Related Reviews
HighResMac
'beautiful and surprising facets' / 'schöne und überraschende Facetten'
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International Record Review
'Butt directs an at once powerful and attractively nuanced performance of the Requiem.'
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AudioStream
'Download of the Week': 'The sound of this recording is first rate.'
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Choir & Organ
5 Stars
'Beautifully paced and using period instruments in a chamber-like recording, the classical brass and woodwind create just the right ambience and drama when needed.'
more >>
Radio Klara
5 Stars
One of Flemish Radio Klara's 'Top 10' picks
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Hi-Fi News
'Album Choice': 'Butt’s direction is akin to cleaning an old painting, the colours emerging with a new vividness. An important realisation of a well-loved work.'
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The Irish Times
5 Stars
'The performance is sinewy and expressive, lit as from within, and captures the contrapuntal writing in a way that can only be called pristine.'
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RP Online
'The most beautiful Mozart "Requiem"...'
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Classical Candor
'Among the segments that stood out for me were the "Dies Irae" for its menacing spirit; the "Tuba Mirum," "Recordare," and "Lux Aeterna" for their sweet freshness; and the "Lacrimosa" for its earnest bearing.'
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The Sunday Times
'Butt gets drama aplenty...'
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The Telegraph
4 Stars
'The consort of 16 singers and an orchestra of historically aware punch and pungency bring to the music not only a vibrant clarity but also a dramatic intensity in such apocalyptic portions of the Mass...'
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Gramophone
Recording of the Month: '...one of the finest Mozart Requiems...'
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The Times
4 Stars
'It’s as though a veil has been lifted...And in the Dunedin Consort’s hands, almost every note, whoever wrote it, thrills, warms, and enchants.'
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Big Issue
'It’s a performance that reels you in and never lets you go.'
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AllAboutJazz.com
'The results are overwhelming.'
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NJ.com
'John Butt leads a performance that brings out the intricate orchestral writing that underpins the vocal lines.'
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BBC Music Magazine
5 Stars
'[Butt's] measured approach brings out the starkness and solemnity of Mozart’s setting, while the recording highlights its distinctive colours in a near ideal ecclesiastical acoustic.'
more >>
SA-CD.net
5 Stars
'There is no doubt that this issue is thought-provoking in its scholarship, exciting in its spontaneous and assured musicianship...'
more >>
Le Parnasse Musical
4 Stars
'Prise de son extraordinaire, l'une des meilleures de tout le catalogue discographique.'
more >>
The Guardian
4 Stars
'There's a real energy, with tremendous climaxes...'
more >>
Music and Words
'Disc of the Day': 'The Lacrimosa is especially beautiful, the choir's soft entries touchingly dramatic.'
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MusicWeb International
'...endlessly fascinating...Overall it is an essential addition to any collection of Mozart's choral music.'
more >>
AllMusic.com
4½ Stars
'Linn offers extraordinarily clear and spacious sound, and the sharpness of the playing comes across in the mix without any loss of the wonderful acoustic resonance.'
more >>
Retford Times
'stunning'
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Voix des Arts
'Maestro Butt and Dunedin Consort approach the score with the refinement of chamber players, and the resulting fusion of grandeur with intimacy serves the music ideally.’
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Surrey Mirror
‘…it’s well nigh impeccable, with director John Butt marshalling his resources superbly to create a richly detailed rendition of this much loved work.’
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Audiophile.no
‘…a world-class performance…’
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BachTrack.com
4 Stars
‘…magical performance…’
more >>
The Guardian
'The Requiem had plenty of Dunedin hallmarks: crystal-clear counterpoint in the Lux Aeterna, pure vocal lines in the Lacrimosa, ferocious drive in the Dies Irae.'
more >>

Dunedin Consort - Mozart: Requiem - Sinfini Music


17 April 2014
Sinfini Music
Andrew Stewart
4 Stars

Mozart's Requiem, unfinished at the time of his death in 1791, swiftly entered legend as the work of a genius aware that his time had come. John Butt's taut, intense reading of the Requiem cuts through thick layers of Romantic sentimentality to reveal a piece strong on genuine compassion, packed with vivid contrasts and sharp anguish. He returns to the much-maligned version completed by Mozart's pupil Franz Xaver Süssmayr, presenting it as it might have sounded at its first performance in Vienna in January 1793. Butt's band may be lean but it's certainly not mean in tonal range or cutting power; likewise, his 16-strong chorus and its step-out soloists project with striking force. Linn's up-close recording balance captures the dramatic focus and fiery energy generated by the Dunedin Consort.

Does the Requiem need another recording? The ‘as it might have been performed' stamp carries some weight, but not enough to provide a positive answer. This recording is ultimately justified by the close engagement of its performers with the music. Their commitment and conviction are irresistible, even in places where Butt's interpretation feels too driven or ‘operatic'. This really sounds like a Requiem, a work touched by death's sting, unsettling and all too human.


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