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Steven Jude Tietjen
Opera News, April 2018

VERDI, G.: Messa da Requiem (Staged Version) (Zürich Opera, 2016) (NTSC) ACC-20392
VERDI, G.: Messa da Requiem (Staged Version) (Zürich Opera, 2016) (Blu-ray, Full-HD) ACC-10392

Choreographer Christian Spuck, director of Ballett Zürich, stages Verdi’s deeply human Requiem as a ballet, melding soloists, chorus, dancers and orchestra into an ensemble that elicits loss, searching, hope, salvation and uncertainty. The stage images and gestures, performed by dancers and singers, are abstract; there is no clear narrative. Spuck’s concept focuses on the emotional power of the music rather than on a fabricated storyline. The lack of a superimposed plot and the symbiosis of music and movement, sound and image, make this live performance of Verdi’s timeless masterpiece, recorded at the Opernhaus Zürich in December 2016, resonate more strongly than a traditional concert or a radical operatic reimagining would have.

The four soloists bring personal artistry to the score while weaving themselves seamlessly into the ensemble. Bass Georg Zeppenfeld gives a wounded, shell-shocked performance that’s almost shattering, whereas tenor Francesco Meli sings with authority and perfectly controlled, honey-toned pianissimo in the Ingemisco and Hostias. Mezzo-soprano Veronica Simeoni sings with worldly sincerity, which grounds her duets with the spellbinding musicality of soprano Krassimira Stoyanova. They are led, with the superb Chor der Oper Zürich, by the expert hand of Fabio Luisi, conducting the Philharmonia Zürich. © 2018 Opera News Read complete review



David Reynolds
American Record Guide, March 2018

Zurich Ballet has some marvelous dancers, and they are given great opportunities in this staging. The four soloists are all more than competent and, in the case of Krassimira Stoyanova and Georg Zeppenfeld, oustanding. Fabio Luisi’s direction of the chorus and orchestra is very exciting. It cannot have been easy to sing this difficult music and perform this choreography at the same time. © 2018 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide



Robert J Farr
MusicWeb International, February 2018

The Manzoni Requiem, as the work is often called, has been referred to by some cynics as ‘Verdi’s best opera’. Certainly, the greatest recorded performances seem to have been under the baton of renowned opera conductors. This is the case here with Fabio Luisi, a renowned opera conductor, and Verdian, on the rostrum.

Like the conducting, the choral singing is quite magnificent and viscerally exciting in the Dies irae. Two of the soloists had withdrawn from an earlier performance with colds, but on the recording you would not guess whom. Of the men, I was pleased to hear that tenor Francesco Meli had not forgotten how to sing sotto voce in the Ingemisco after his forays into heavier repertoire. His male colleague, Georg Zeppenfeld, is smooth and vocally mellifluous, his repeats of Mors stupebit in the Tuba mirum chilling. In the Recordare the two ladies duet well, with mezzo Veronica Simeoni smooth and sonorous in the Liber scriptus. Soprano Krassimira Stoyanova is outstanding in the concluding Libera me. © 2018 MusicWeb International Read complete review




Michael Johnson
ConcertoNet.com, December 2017

VERDI, G.: Messa da Requiem (Staged Version) (Zürich Opera, 2016) (NTSC) ACC-20392
VERDI, G.: Messa da Requiem (Staged Version) (Zürich Opera, 2016) (Blu-ray, Full-HD) ACC-10392

The four vocal soloists deserve full praise. They move as part of the community, as it were, but each soars vocally when his or her part comes to the fore, such as Georg Zeppenfeld’s sepulchral Mors stupebit or Francesco Meli in the Agnus Dei. © 2017 ConcertoNet.com Read complete review





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