harmonies and arched phrases (with the cellos’ achingly beautiful arpeggios) is the real gem of this disc.
It leads dramatically into the original version of the ‘Libera me’ from the Messa per Rossini of 1869 – which was later expanded and transposed for the familiar Messa da Requiem in memory of Manzoni. The allegro risoluto fugue bounces along with a tremendous verve, having been introduced by one of those brilliant flashes of Verdian humour – the bassoon quartet chords. The brass-writing can easily become bombastic but not so here; Pappano’s players provide a firmness of tone in a perfectly balanced sound stage. Clarity of scoring is the keyword here.
Pappano’s speeds are consistently brisker than Gianandrea Nosedra’s interpretations from Turin for Chandos. He is also more noticeably vocal, very much in the Barbirollian manner, with some occasional sympathetic groans and hums picked up by the microphones. However, his chorus is the more highly expressive instrument and – despite its large size – capable of punctiliously fine detail in its collective singing. At full pelt it is equally matched to the tutti of the orchestra, whose playing is always accomplished, with especially crisp brass.
Pappano is such a compelling advocate for Verdi’s music that there could be no finer 200th-birthday salute than this stunning disc. Do try to find room for it on your shelves. Quattro Pezzi sacri, Libera me – selected comparison: Noseda (5/11) (CHAN) CHAN10659
RECORDINGs Of THE YEaR
awards issue Gramophone Choices
Js Bach Brandenburg Concertos dunedin consort / John Butt Linn CKD430 ‘Expertly stylish recordings of the Brandenburg Concertos are two-a-penny but the Dunedin Consort offer more substantial style and bona fide expertise than most.’
SChUMAnn Symphony no 2. Manfred & Genoveva overtures orchestra mozart / claudio abbado DG 479 1061Gh ‘Abbado’s ear for detail and the individual colouristic effects of instrumental tonal qualities make the score glow with subtle light and shade.’
Js Bach ‘organ Works, Vol 2’ robert quinney org Coro CoR16112 ‘Robert Quinney’s Bach recital of probing vitality and resourcefulness gets to the heart of the music with refreshing clarity and a communication born of genuine understanding.’
BartóK Violin Concertos isabelle Faust vn swedish radio symphony orchestra / daniel harding harmonia Mundi hMC90 2146 ‘Sensitivity, subtlety and energy are among Faust’s priorities and she enjoys superlative orchestral support and first-rate engineering.’
r strauss Ein heldenleben. tod und Verklärung sWr symphony orchestra, Baden-Baden and Freiburg / François-Xavier roth hänssler Classic CD93 299 ‘Strauss’s genius as a master orchestrator is presented with understated effectiveness.’
Bingham ‘Choral Music’ Wells cathedral choir / matthew owens hyperion CDA67909 ‘There’s a frankness to the sound that suits music that has nothing precious or twee about it…this collection is the most representative yet of Bingham’s liturgical works.’
L t D
P R E S S
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C L A S S
: W A R n E R
p h o t o G r a p h y
Antonio Pappano at the Auditorium Parco della Musica gramophone.co.uk hindemith ‘Complete Viola Works, Vol 1: Viola & orchestra’ tabea zimmermann va deutsches symphonieorchester Berlin / hans graf Myrios MYR010 ‘Zimmermann plays wholly convicingly. Hindemithians will not hesitate; neither should you.’
rachmaninoV� shostaKoVich Cello Sonatas leonard elschenbroich vc alexei grynyuk pf onyx onYX4116 ‘Rarely have I heard the Rachmaninov with such a sensation that its dramatic trajectory has been charted with such consummate perception.’
schuBert Winterreise christoph prégardien ten michael gees pf Challenge Classics CC72596 ‘Crucially, Prégardien “lives” the cycle as vividly as ever…like all the finest singers of Winterreise, he makes the wanderer’s snowbound journey a cathartic experience.’
GRAMOPHONE RECoRDinGS of thE YEAR 2013 29