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Jerry Dubins
Fanfare, January 2014

Marin Alsop’s new version on the present Naxos CD could not be much closer to average, timing-wise…There is, however, nothing average about the performance. Alsop draws from her chorus an almost innocent-sounding freshness and lightness of texture that not only enhances transparency among the parts but reminds us that Brahms’s German Requiem is still the work of a relatively young composer of 35.

Alsop’s approach to the German Requiem seems to acknowledge, intuitively, the freshness, openness, and unaffectedness of the music, and she communicates that to her choristers and soloists.

Stephan Genz’s baritone is equally well-suited to Alsop’s vision of the work.

The MDR (Middle German Radio) Leipzig Choir sounds like they’ve sung Brahms’s German Requiem before, more than once in fact; either that, or they have been exceptionally well-prepared by choir master Nicolas Fink and exceptionally well-rehearsed by conductor Marin Alsop. Intonation is pitch perfect, enunciation is crystal clear, and collectively the choristers produce a perfectly balanced and integrated sound that issues forth with unstrained beauty of tone. The same may be said of the MDR Leipzig Symphony Orchestra, which supports and complements the vocal forces without ever overwhelming them. © 2014 Fanfare Read complete review

David Vernier, November 2013

Alsop has the luxury of a very fine chorus—neither extended high tessituras nor the brambly enunciative thicket of “Ja, der Geist spricht” make any trouble, and the ensemble sound, whether in the softest or most full-blown sections, is a joy to hear, and substantial enough to lead as it should…the collective sound and unity of purpose of this orchestra and chorus we can assume are born of long familiarity and cultural/stylistic agreement, which are significant components of the success of this performance.

…Alsop’s rendition [of Ein Deutsches Requiem]…makes a cohesive, articulate statement that, as Brahms intended, presents the work not as a languorous, weighty sermon but as a vital, relevant reassurance for the living who are both mourning the dead and contemplating their own mortality. © 2013 Read complete review

Shirley Ratcliffe
Choir & Organ, November 2013

Conductor Marin Alsop reveals its true nature by giving a beautifully controlled, subtle reading which brings out the work’s poignant but hopeful message. The dynamics are well balanced and the fugal lines clearly delineated, the performers responding well to Alsop’s touch…Recommended. © Choir & Organ

Leslie Wright
MusicWeb International, October 2013

Marin Alsop has given us very good recordings of the four Brahms symphonies with other orchestral works accompanying them. Now she concludes her series with an equally welcome account of the German Requiem. The orchestra and chorus blend well and the text comes through as clearly as on other recordings with which I am familiar.

I really like Anna Lucia Richter, who has the pure, lyric soprano this movement calls for. Her voice is balanced well with the orchestra and chorus…

Overall, Alsop’s is a fine addition to the recorded library of Brahms’ German Requiem…Anyone collecting her series of Brahms CDs should not hesitate. Fine notes by Keith Anderson and an attractive presentation with Paul Klee’s Domestic Requiem on the booklet cover a further enhancement. © 2013 MusicWeb International Read complete review

Robert Cummings
Classical Net, October 2013

Marin Alsop has received high praise for her recent cycle of the Brahms symphonies with the London Philharmonic Orchestra on Naxos. Now she turns to the Brahms Requiem and produces one of the finest recordings of this work I have ever encountered.

Alsop’s soprano and baritone soloists are both quite fine. Young Anna Lucia Richter…is splendid in #5, And ye now therefore have sorrow…she has a beautiful voice and sings the text with total commitment.

The chorus sings splendidly throughout…The sound reproduction by Naxos is vivid and powerful. In general, I can opine that Alsop has fashioned an excellent performance of the Brahms Requiem to compete with the very best recordings available…the Alsop CD is very compelling on nearly all levels: it offers a spirited and incisive interpretation, fine orchestral playing, beautiful and committed singing by the chorus, and the angelic voice of rising star Anna Lucia Richter. Brahms mavens will certainly want this recording, and for that matter, so will mostly anyone with an abiding interest in choral music from the Romantic era. © 2013 Classical Net Read complete review

International Record Review, October 2013

Alsop draws out all the expressive tenderness of the music here and the results are moving and beautifully sung by the choir. © International Record Review

BBC Music Magazine, October 2013


A Romantic Requiem realised with clarity © 2013 BBC Music Magazine

Calum MacDonald
BBC Music Magazine, October 2013

This nicely judged account of the German Requiem makes a very satisfying follow-up to Marin Alsop’s estimable series of the Brahms Symphonies with the LPO. Anna Lucia Richter brings an appealingly youthful voice to ‘Ihr habt nun Traurigkeit’, while Stephan Genz’s light-coloured baritone…is virile and emotional in his solos. The Leipzig Radio forces are dependable, and the precision of the MDR Radio Chorus’s enunciation keeps everything moving along nicely.

There are rivals aplenty…But at its bargain price, this honest, no-nonsense account, beautifully played and sung, is certainly competitive. © 2013 BBC Music Magazine

BBC Music Magazine, October 2013

a sensitive and often moving account of the score. © BBC Music Magazine

Blair Sanderson, September 2013

Marin Alsop leads the MDR Leipzig Radio Choir and Symphony Orchestra in this collaboration between the MDR label and Naxos, and the performance is characterized by a vibrant warmth that enfolds the listener and a mellow lyricism that is uplifting. Alsop controls the pacing of the music with steady tempos and draws out radiant sonorities from the choir and orchestra… © 2013 Read complete review

Richard Lawrence
Gramophone, September 2013

The Leipzig Radio Choir sounds like a large body. There are no fluffed entries and no weaknesses. The tenors are particularly impressive, with no sense of strain on the high notes. Stephan Genz is properly suppliant…and Anna Lucia Richter shows great promise in her solo. Well worth your money… © 2013 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone

David Denton
David's Review Corner, August 2013

This year the American conductor, Marin Alsop, becomes the first woman to direct the highly popular ‘Last Night of the Proms’ in London’s Royal Albert Hall. Rush released is this outstanding account of A German Requiem in a Liepzig studio recording made in April. From the opening Selig sind, dia da Leid tragen, the Leipzig choir…impress by the sheer beauty of their unforced tonal quality. Then like a chameleon, it can instantly change its tonal colour to capture the dramatic outpouring of the following Denn alles Fleisch, es ist wie Gras. They are a well-schooled ensemble,with a highly impressive range of dynamics, their quiet singing something very special for such a large ensemble. [Marin Alsop] has two very fine German soloists in the much travelled and experienced baritone, Stephan Genz, and the twenty-three year old soprano, Anna Lucia Richter…She certainly has a bright and charming voice that is perfectly controlled. In the Leipzig orchestra, Alsop has a wonderful ensemble to provide her with that rich Germanic tonal palette, the decisive timpani adding much to the more highly charged moments. The UK recording team have obtained a gorgeous sound from the Leipzig Gewandhaus, and I don’t think anything will unseat this from my ‘Choral Record of the Year’. © David’s Review Corner

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