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Robert Benson, December 2012

It was a highly emotional event in every way. All performers were magnificent, and young conductor Andris Nelsons leads with total control. At the soft, almost inaudible conclusion of the work there is total silence for at least two minutes…a moving episode indeed. Video and audio are state-of-the-art. Even if you own other recordings of Britten’s masterpiece, you should investigate this issue. © 2012 Read complete review

John Quinn
MusicWeb International, December 2012

This DVD documents a deeply moving performance of War Requiem given in Coventry Cathedral on the exact anniversary of its first performance there fifty years earlier. The performance, under the inspired direction of Andris Nelsons, is superb in every way and the solo contributions of Mark Padmore and Hanno Müller-Brachmann are outstanding. © 2012 MusicWeb International

John Quinn
MusicWeb International, November 2012

Let it be said at once that the performance is absolutely superb. I’m sure everyone concerned was caught up not just in the music but also in the occasion and was inspired to give of their very best. At the end of the performance, as the ovation commences, it’s clear that Mark Padmore, for one, had been deeply moved. Mind you, that’s scarcely surprising for he had just given a performance of spellbinding intensity.

I was very taken with Hanno Müller-Brachmann’s performance on the night but, if anything, I’m even more impressed by what I see and hear on this DVD.

…CBSO Chorus…sing[s] superbly throughout. Passages where they are particularly impressive include the Recordare, which the sopranos and altos put across with all the feeling demanded by Andris Nelsons…A special word of praise, too, for the contingent of girls from the CBSO Youth Chorus. Their singing is superb: at all times they are clear, incisive and completely accurate.

The orchestral contributions are on the same exalted level. The main CBSO plays superbly throughout. The playing is incisive—no mean feat in such a reverberant acoustic—and though the quiet playing is consistently excellent it’s the sheer unforced power of the playing—when required—that particularly impresses. The group of orchestral principals who form the chamber orchestra play their demanding parts with stylish virtuosity, matching the male vocal soloists’ sensitivity.

Presiding over everything is Andris Nelsons. His direction is hugely impressive. This score matters to him and he conducts it with care and passion…

I have one regret about this film. It’s a very fine film of the performance; the camera work is excellent and the selection of shots is always relevant.

As a performance it is a major achievement by all concerned and deeply moving. © 2012 MusicWeb International Read complete review

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