Dunedin Consort - Mozart: Requiem - NJ.com
The Mozart Requiem is no stranger to diverse performance practices, from those with a modern standpoint to various rewritings of the work that the composer died before completing. The Dunedin Consort aims to preserve the work as it sounded in its earliest performances. Among the notable features are its small chorus of 16, which includes the soloists who break in and out of the ensemble for a seamless listening experience, and relatively small instrumental forces. Drawing on a full 1793 version of the work, director John Butt leads a performance that brings out the intricate orchestral writing that underpins the vocal lines. A lilting tendency and a faster tempo than one might expect opens the work, with an energized, precise "Kyrie" fugue. Drama amps up for a blazing, swift "Dies Irae." The lightness of the "Lacrymosa" is less effective in its tearful beginning but builds to a powerful conclusion. A reconstruction of a 1791 concert of the work's first two movements bears a strong resemblance to the first iteration but is slimmer in orchestration.