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Penguin Guide, January 2009

Recorded (in association with Bavarian Radio) against the glorious backcloth of St Vitus Cathedral, Prague, Neumann’s inspired performance…creates a sustained intensity from the very opening, and the Czech Philharmonic Chorus reaches heights of fervour in both the Offertorium and the resplendent Sanctus, while the second Pie Jesu (which moved the composer himself so much when he conducted the work’s première at the Birmingham Festival in 1891) and the Agnus Dei make an equally poignant climax at the work’s close. The soloists make a good team; the women are not without the occasional wobble, but they sing committedly and ensure that the work’s Czech character is full maintained. The recording is first class and the video direction admirably straightforward, using the cathedral interior very effectively for visual variety.





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