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Robin Ticciati & DSO Berlin - Debussy: Nocturnes – Duruflé: Requiem - The Scotsman

It’s a strange coupling of Debussy and Duruflé that allows the latter’s music to sound more Debussyesque than the former. Yet that’s what Robin Ticciati succeeds in doing in what ought to be a sumptuous musical coupling of Debussy’s Nocturnes and Duruflé’s Requiem, but which falls a tad short in embracing the layered textural magic of the opening Nocturne, Nuages. The performance by the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin is a slow starter, giving this Nuages a laboured edge and a shortage of genuine warmth. The joie de vivre of Fêtes and mystical euphoria of Sirènes quickly redress the issue; and by the time Ticciati brings on board the Rundfunkchor Berlin and mezzo soprano Magdalena Kožená for the Duruflé, its plainsong roots cast in rich Romantic effusion, the performers are firing on all cylinders. Kožená finds demure tenderness in the Pie Jesu; the choral singing is mellifluously wholesome, the orchestral wash heartwarmingly beautiful.

The Scotsman
23 September 2019