Sunday, May 29, 2011

Verdi - Requiem - Robert Shaw, Atlanta Symphony & Chorus







It may seem surprising to recommend a Verdi Requiem conducted by Robert Shaw over all those listed above, directed by world-famous conductors, but that is what I intend doing for any number of reasons. But I ought to begin by telling those younger readers about Shaw. He was in his earlier days in charge of the eponymous Robert Shaw Chorale, from 1948 to 1966. Before that he was asked by Toscanini to prepare the chorus for his recordings with the NBCRobert Shaw Symphony. Since 1967 he was Music Director in Atlanta where, as earlier records have shown, he has done sterling work but nothing quite to equal this  set. With the credentials listed above, it is hardly surprising to hear him follow Toscanini's example in matters of tempo and orchestral clarity in this work or to find that he inspires his chorus to achieve such great things. Although the single parts of this performance are all admirable, the sum of them is what makes it so enjoyable. I don't think any of the other sets on CD has choral singing to equal this one. 


flac, covers

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