The Guardian, 10 October 2013
Tim Ashley
Verdi: Requiem
Daniel Barenboim's new recording of the Requiem, his second, was taped live at La Scala Milan last year. Not everyone, I suspect, will like it. It's a thoughtful, considered interpretation that places the emphasis not so much on the terrors of divine judgment as on mankind's suffering in the face of the unknown. The conflict between drama and devotion at the work's centre is carefully explored but tellingly left unresolved at the close, and the end result makes up in compassion for what it sometimes lacks in visceral excitement. The choral singing is strong, though the soloists aren't evenly balanced. Soprano Anja Harteros sounds ravishing but is pushed to her limits in the Libera Me. Jonas Kaufmann makes a far finer case for himself as a Verdian here than on his recital disc.

 back top