Brahms: Ein deutsches Requiem; Begräbnisgesang, Op. 13

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LABELS: Virgin Veritas
WORKS: Ein deutsches Requiem; Begräbnisgesang, Op. 13
PERFORMER: Lynne Dawson (soprano), Olaf Bär (baritone); Schütz Choir of London, London Classical Players/Roger Norrington
CATALOGUE NO: VM 5 61605 2 Reissue (1993)
Both soloists are small-scale for the piece though Olaf Bär sounds as if he means every word. Neat singing from the Schütz Choir and strongly characterised orchestral work from the London Classical Players have to be set against an overall view from Norrington that shows a rigid control of tempos (generally on the fast side) and phrasing that is often earthbound and lacking in expansiveness. The result is to make the German Requiem less eventful and moving than it should be. A worthwhile addition is the early Burial Hymn (1858) – Brahms at his most sombre and austere. George Hall