Berlioz: Grande messe des morts

Our rating 
3.0 out of 5 star rating 3.0

COMPOSERS: Berlioz
LABELS: Sony Essential Classics
WORKS: Grande messe des morts
PERFORMER: Cesare Valletti (tenor); Temple University Choir, Philadelphia Orchestra/Eugene Ormandy
CATALOGUE NO: SBK 62659 ADD
This single-disc Requiem from 1964 is good value, and under Ormandy’s austere direction it is not without thrills. One curiosity is the inclusion of ten bars in the ‘Quaerens me’ which Berlioz decided to cut. This movement and the controversial ‘Hostias’ show up slightly coarse-grained choral singing; some redisposition of the choral parts also occasionally weakens the impact in forte passages. The orchestra is excellent and Valletti delivers the Sanctus with purity and strength. Julian Rushton

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