Faure: Requiem; Dolly Suite

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COMPOSERS: Faure
LABELS: DG Classikon
WORKS: Requiem; Dolly Suite
PERFORMER: Pavane Kathleen Battle (soprano), Andreas Schmidt (baritone) Philharmonia Orchestra & Chorus/Carlo Maria Giulini, Tanglewood Festival Chorus, Boston SO/Seiji Ozawa
CATALOGUE NO: 449 846-2 (1986/87)

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The conductor Ernest Ansermet could claim an involvement with the musical life of Paris from the earliest years of this century, so his 1955 Decca recording of Fauré’s Requiem has at least the stamp of authority. You can feel it in his bold colours, keen articulation and generally robust approach to work that many conductors choose to swathe in pastel-shaded cotton wool. You have to put up with tape hiss, warbly choristers and a soprano instead of a boy treble in the ‘Pie Jesu’, but it is worth it to avoid the lugubrious mellifluity of Ozawa. Christopher Lambton