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DVORÁK: Requiem; ROSSINI: Stabat Mater - Pavarotti, Lorengar, The Ambrosian Singers, Pavarotti, London Symphony Orchestra (2 CDs)

DVORÁK: Requiem; ROSSINI: Stabat Mater - Pavarotti, Lorengar, The Ambrosian Singers, Pavarotti, London Symphony Orchestra (2 CDs)


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Dvořák naturally gave a great deal of attention to the genre of the oratorio and it was his work in this area that firmly established his reputation in the English-speaking world.

Rossini very much admired Pergolesi’s fine setting of the Stabat Mater but had not felt equal to attempting his own. The decision to try came as a result of a plea from a Spanish prelate, Fernández Varela who wished to possess an original Rossini manuscript. However, Rossini succumbed to an attack of lumbago and had given the score to Giovanni Tadolini to complete. Rossini forbade any publication or performance of the score as it stood and eventually supplied another publisher (Troupenas) with a complete, all-Rossini score. Together with the Mozart Requiem and his Masonic music, these are the only sacred works recorded by Kertész for Decca. Both feature Pilar Lorengar singing the soprano parts and the Rossini also features Luciano Pavarotti, dazzling in his tenor solo.

Lorengar’s singing is particularly sensitive and appealing in the quieter passages … The four soloists combine beautifully in the quartet “Recordare, Jesu pie”, and the chorus with them in ‘Pie Jesu, Domine’, perhaps the loveliest movement in the work … The hero of the occasion is Kertész. He gets choral singing and orchestral playing of the finest quality from the Ambrosian Singers and the London Symphony Orchestra. It is abundantly evident that he cherishes a great love for this work … tremendous vitality and care for balance … The big climaxes are thrilling and altogether Kertesz and his forces make one revise one’s qualified view of the work to a very large extent. This is certainly the finest performance of it that I have ever heard’ (Dvořák) Gramophone

‘[Lorengar] is attractive in all she does and phrases with delicacy … Minton moves surely through the octave-and-a-fifth leaps, the octave-and-a-fifth arpeggios, of ‘Fac ut portem’ … Pavarotti always delights me with the ease and naturalness of his singing, and his pure vowels; his solo in the first number is outstanding. In the celebrated ‘Cuius animam’ he rings out splendidly … Sotin has a voice of firm focus and beautiful timbre’ (Rossini) Gramophone

Requiem, Op. 89

Pilar Lorengar, soprano
Erzsébet Komlóssy, contralto
Luciano Pavarotti tenor
Tom Krause, bass
Ambrosian Singers
John McCarthy
London Symphony Orchestra
István Kertész

Stabat Mater

Pilar Lorengar, soprano
Yvonne Minton, mezzo-soprano
Luciano Pavarotti, tenor
Hans Sotin, bass
London Symphony Chorus
Arthur Oldham
London Symphony Orchestra
István Kertész

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