MOZART Requiem Thielemann

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W. A. MOZART

Requiem
Sibylla Rubens · Lioba Braun
Steve Davislim · Georg Zeppenfeld
Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks
Münchner Philharmoniker
Christian Thielemann
Int. Release 03 Nov. 2006
1 CD / Download
CD DDD 0289 477 5797 9 GH
Requiem soars as Christian Thielemann’s debut Mozart disc


Liste de titres

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756 - 1791)
Requiem in D minor, K.626

Completed by Joseph Eybler & Franz Xaver Süssmayr

1.
0:00
4:47

Sibylla Rubens, Münchner Philharmoniker, Christian Thielemann, Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Peter Dijkstra, Friedemann Winklhofer

2.
0:00
2:51

Münchner Philharmoniker, Christian Thielemann, Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Peter Dijkstra, Friedemann Winklhofer

Münchner Philharmoniker, Christian Thielemann, Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Friedemann Winklhofer

Sibylla Rubens, Lioba Braun, Steve Davislim, Georg Zeppenfeld, Münchner Philharmoniker, Christian Thielemann, Friedemann Winklhofer

Münchner Philharmoniker, Christian Thielemann, Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Peter Dijkstra, Friedemann Winklhofer

Sibylla Rubens, Lioba Braun, Steve Davislim, Georg Zeppenfeld, Münchner Philharmoniker, Christian Thielemann, Friedemann Winklhofer

Münchner Philharmoniker, Christian Thielemann, Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Peter Dijkstra, Friedemann Winklhofer

Friedemann Winklhofer, Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Münchner Philharmoniker, Christian Thielemann

Sibylla Rubens, Lioba Braun, Steve Davislim, Georg Zeppenfeld, Münchner Philharmoniker, Christian Thielemann, Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Peter Dijkstra, Friedemann Winklhofer

10.
0:00
4:40

11.
0:00
1:53

Münchner Philharmoniker, Christian Thielemann, Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Peter Dijkstra, Friedemann Winklhofer

Sibylla Rubens, Lioba Braun, Steve Davislim, Georg Zeppenfeld, Münchner Philharmoniker, Christian Thielemann, Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Friedemann Winklhofer

13.
0:00
3:18

Münchner Philharmoniker, Christian Thielemann, Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Peter Dijkstra, Friedemann Winklhofer

14.
0:00
6:15

Sibylla Rubens, Münchner Philharmoniker, Christian Thielemann, Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Friedemann Winklhofer

Durée totale de lecture 52:02

Mr. Thielemann confirms that he is a real musician, doing justice to an immortal work.

Enjoyable . . .

. . . there's no denying the power of the performance. If you want a grandly scaled modern version of this most-recorded of all choral works, using the traditional, unexpurgated Süssmayr text, this live performance (presumably culled from two or three separate concerts) has a lot in its favour . . . he draws glowing, deep-toned playing from his Munich band; dynamic contrasts are vast, cadence ¿ say, at the end of the opening "Requiem aeternam" ¿ lovingly protracted.

. . . traditionalists will find much to thrill and move them in this performance and I was glad to have heard it . . .

. . . Thielemann conveys well the overall mood of solemnity, and there's a sense of rhythmic pulse and harmonic direction . . . The soloists . . . form a serviceable quartet, with a particularly graceful tenor line from Steve Davislim . . .

Mr. Thielemann confirms that he is a real musician, doing justice to an immortal work.

The recorded version is a monumental performance, in the sense that it is weighty and fraught with significance, best exemplified by the prolonged final chord, perhaps intended as a preview of eternity. To reach that point Thielemann moves at a generally moderate pace, underlining the more salient episodes . . . The chorus and the orchestra, both . . . are always attentive and persuasive . . .

Mit Spannung erwarteten Fans wie Kritiker, wie Christian Thielemann, der musikalischen Romantik, Wagner und einer Orchestertradition des samtenen, dunklen Klangs verpflichtet, auch bei klassischen Werken großen Besetzungen nicht abhold, Mozart interpretiert . . . Mit dem geschmeidigen Solistenquartett . . . und den rund und doch auch schlank klingenden Münchner Philharmonikern entstand in München ein Mozart-Requiem, das ohne Übertreibungen auskommt, durch Klarheit besticht und durchaus berühren kann . . . er [bietet] auch mitunter dramatische Wucht und Innigkeit.

Süffiger, zugleich klar strukturierter und spannungsvoller Mozart. Virtuos arbeiten die Musiker und Solisten unter Christian Thielemanns Leitung mit der Dynamik. Einen derart satten Mozart hatte man hier erwartet, nicht aber solch einen vielschichtig aufgefächerten ¿ eine echte Überraschung. Die Toningenieure servieren die Live-Aufnahme sehr weiträumig. Gleichzeitig halten sie den Blick aufs musikalische Detail gerichtet. Die CD zielt auf die Emotionen ¿ und trifft mitten ins Herz.

Christian Thielemann liebt den romantischen Stil von Oratorienaufführungen. In breitwandiger Projektion errichtet er mit den Münchner Philharmonikern ein Klanggebäude in flächiger Dynamik. Wie von Furien gejagt braust das »Dies irae« vorüber. Wenn schroffe Akzente im »Rex Tremendae« schrecken und das »Lacrimosa« als erschütternde Klageszene in den Achtel-Motiven der Geigen seufzt, dann spürt man die Nähe zum Theatralischen, Opernhaften. Hohe Kunstfertigkeit beweist der Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks. Die Solisten fügen sich zu einem lobenswert homogenen Ensemble.

. . . Thielemann [setzt] den Notentext von Mozart bzw. von Franz Xaver Süssmayr (in den von Mozart nur skizzierten oder nicht ausgeführten Werkteilen) plastisch und kontrastreich um . . . Der Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks und die Münchner Philharmoniker agieren dabei ebenso diszipliniert wie das stimmlich frisch, exzellente Solistenquartett . . . es [mangelt] der Aufführung nicht an polyphoner Transparenz.

Der Wohlklang stets schönen . . . Musizierens wird von Solisten, Chor und Philharmonikern mühelos erreicht.

Schon der zwingende Fluss des Kyrie zeigt, welche Rhetorik Thielemann einbringt, welche Bedeutung er dem Zusammenwirken von Wort und Musik zumisst. Kontraste sind überhaupt ein wichtiges Gestaltungsmittel, etwa im mächtig aufrauschenden "Rex tremendae", das mit einem wunderbar zart und liebevoll geformten "Salva me"
endet. "Confutatis" und "Lacrimosa" werden hier zum Herzstück der Komposition, getragen von Engelsstimmen und berückend geformt in einer mysteriösen Spannung um das zentrale Anliegen "Dona eis requiem". Thielemann wählte die traditionelle Süssmayr-Fassung und zeigt mit elementarer Kraft, ätherischen Passagen und in einer sehr bildhaften, textbezogenen Form, dass Tradition neue Werkauffassungen nicht
ausschließt.

. . . la qualité des ensembles est remarquable, et le geste de Thielemann impérial . . .

. . . Christian Thielemann se está revelando últimamente como el más teutónico de los directores, ofreciendo unas lecturas de una densidad tal que lo sitúan en una línea próxima a la de batutas míticas como la de Furtwängler o Böhm. En sus manos, la música adquiere la consistencia pétrea de una montaña que va creciendo sobre sí misma, deslizándose con la serenidad evolutiva de las estaciones sobre la tierra. . . . En resumen, un Mozart muy germánico, elegante y bestial, profundamente hermoso.
Thielemann Conducts “The Mozart Requiem"

    The tale of Mozart's swansong continues to be told and retold, yet, more than two centuries after its composition and some four decades since the bizarre circumstances surrounding its genesis came to light, it is still shrouded in myth. The mystery that remains unsolved, indeed unsolvable, is no longer why or how Mozart composed the Requiem but what it might have sounded like had he lived to complete it.

    In summer 1791, he was approached, via an anonymous go-between, by Count Franz von Walsegg, a minor Austrian landowner with a quaint penchant for commissioning works secretly, then recopying and performing them at his castle for friends, who were asked to guess the composer. The count wanted a Requiem Mass to commemorate his young wife who had died in February. Mozart accepted the commission, with an advance of half the fee, and set to work. He broke off in late August to devote himself to his new opera, La clemenza di Tito, then resumed at the end of September. A couple of weeks later, his wife Constanze, worried about his deteriorating health, took the score away. He went back to it at the end of November and worked on it until illness stayed his hand, two days before his death on 5 December.

    He had finished only the opening Introit and Kyrie, and those two movements were sung at his own Requiem Mass on 10 December in St. Michael's, Vienna. Of the “Dies irae", “Tuba mirum", “Rex tremendae", “Recordare", “Confutatis maledictis", “Domine Jesu" and “Hostias", Mozart had written down only the vocal parts and continuo bass line. The “Lacrimosa" has vocal parts as well as violin and viola for the first eight bars but then breaks off: at this point Mozart's strength finally gave out. If there were sketches for the rest of the movements, they are lost.

    After his death Constanze, with her eye on the rest of the fee, sought the services of her late husband's associates in completing the work. She turned first to his close friend, the composer Joseph Eybler, who got as far as scoring much of the “Dies irae" before the awesomeness of the task got the better of him. To finish the job Constanze now settled for Mozart's less-than-brilliant 25-year-old pupil Franz Xaver Süssmayr, who apparently claimed that he and the master had sung and played through the completed sections and talked about instrumentation.

    By early 1792, Süssmayr had produced an integral, fully scored Requiem setting, incorporating Eybler's work (and possibly that of two other, smaller contributors), completing the “Lacrimosa" and composing entirely on his own the missing Sanctus, Benedictus, Agnus Dei and communion. Unlike Eybler, whose input went directly on to the original manuscript, Süssmayr copied out the entire work, imitating Mozart's handwriting - probably to avoid Count Walsegg's suspicion as to the work's authorship - and even forging his signature. It was this version which was performed on 2 January 1793 at a benefit concert in Vienna for Constanze and her two young sons, and it is this version, and it alone, with all its faults - for the hapless Süssmayr's work has always elicited a fair measure of derision - which until recent times has embodied “the Mozart Requiem".

    So much for the why and how. Beginning in the early 1970s, there have been numerous attempts, more or less drastic, more or less convincing, to improve upon that text, to reconstruct the what - something closer to the musical conception Mozart may have had in his mind's ear. And yet, Süssmayr's completion, ingrained in the musical consciousness, stubbornly remains the choice of most conductors. As the German scholar Christoph Wolff wrote in 1991, it is “the only document that represents the genuine musical truth of the unfinished work . . . its rough juxtaposition and open intermingling of perfection and imperfection draws us directly into the realm and atmosphere of the inner Mozart circle trying to cope with an overwhelming legacy." Moreover, as the American scholar Thomas Bauman also wrote in 1991, modern attempts to reconstitute a more “authentic" text for Mozart's Requiem ignore the reality of “art as cultural practice. And it is precisely here that the traditional performing version of the Requiem possesses an authenticity denied all of its younger siblings."

    Hence Christian Thielemann's decision to perform this familiar version in 2006 in Munich and Vienna and in this recording as his contribution to the anniversary year. Although Mozart is not a composer one generally associates with this conductor, he points out: “In my Kapellmeister years I conducted a huge amount of Mozart. I try to follow a path between the 'normal' performance practice and the ostensibly authentic, which sometimes strikes me as sounding too contrived. On the other hand, I want to profit from its findings and insights. Even the use of large-scale forces, like this performance of the Requiem, can achieve fantastic quiet playing and transparency."

    The extremes of contrast that Thielemann implies - in dynamics, texture and expression - are built in to the work itself, indeed, as the late Mozart expert Stanley Sadie put it, “juxtaposed almost kaleidoscopically, often succeeding each other in response to single phrases of the text." For Mozart there was no contradiction, in the words of another astute Mozart commentator, Nicholas Till, “between the ultimate sanction of punishment and his belief in the infinite forgiveness of God. In the Requiem we find the two positions united within the context of the Catholic liturgy itself. In the succession of its movements the work ceaselessly alternates terror and consolation, visions of hell and visions of heaven."

    However much Mozart there may be in “the Mozart Requiem", what he did manage to write down before death claimed him is irrefutable proof that those alternating visions were at the heart of his design. Any truthful performance of the work, whether using large- or small-scale forces, will convey that tremendous, poignant conception.

    Richard Evidon
    7/2006