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Barnaby Rayfield
Fanfare, November 2017

Continually hyped as the most exciting conductor ever, Gustavo Dudamel would seem a perfect fit for the decibels and theatrics of Verdi’s Requiem Mass.

Dudamel is an engaged presence throughout, forsaking a baton for precise, unambiguous jolts of his arms. The choir reciprocates with rapt attention and fairly clean ensemble, singing the hushed opening with impressive clarity and softness.

The soloists are generally pretty good too and, unlike many a vocal quartet now, have some sense of vibrato ensemble and vocal blending. Mezzo Michelle DeYoung, a veteran of this piece, sings with intense commitment, old-fashioned guttural power, and luminous tone. Julianna diGiacomo, new to me, is a steely voiced soprano, good in the main but inconsistent of tone and a little forceful in ensembles. …Ildebrando d’Arcangelo is steady and sure-footed if not overwhelming in tone. Vittorio Grigolo, so often ungainly and tense in the past, is here calm and dignified in expression.

All in all, I came away impressed by how unified and coherent the performance was. For all the hype, dashed expectations, and probable backlash, Dudamel really is a great conductor technically. Contact with both choir and orchestra is superb and he doesn’t appear to micro-manage or give superfluous gestures. © 2017 Fanfare Read complete review

David Reynolds
American Record Guide, November 2017

Gustavo Dudamel brings incredible energy and commitment to this work, and it’s clear he treasures Verdi’s masterpiece. I know several people who sang in the Los Angeles Master Chorale for these performances, and they were very enthusiastic about Dudamel’s passion and ability to convey that to his forces. The chorus sings well, with excellent intonation and ensemble. The Los Angeles Philharmonic does Dudamel proud; they too are inspired by his fervor. The soloists are all good. Juliana Di Giacomo has a lovely soprano and soars impressively on the many high notes. Michelle DeYoung is a fine mezzo… Vittorio Grigolo brings his vibrant voice to the occasion… Ildebrando D’Arcangelo’s bass is authoritative, his performance aided by a handsome stage presence. © 2017 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide

Hugo Shirley
Gramophone, October 2017

VERDI, G.: Messa da Requiem (Di Giacomo, DeYoung, Grigolo, D’Arcangelo, Los Angeles Master Chorale, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Dudamel) (NTSC) 741208
VERDI, G.: Messa da Requiem (Di Giacomo, DeYoung, Grigolo, D’Arcangelo, Los Angeles Master Chorale, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Dudamel) (Blu-ray, HD) 741304

…Julianna Di Giacomo is technically secure and often moving in the soprano solos and mezzo Michelle DeYoung makes a characteristically impassioned partner for her. Vittorio Grigolo is in very good voice but his delivery is lumpy and overwrought. Ildebrando D’Arcangelo does a good job underpinning it all…

The Los Angeles Master Chorale make an impressive sound and the Los Angeles Philharmonic play with luxurious tone… © 2017 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone

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