On the first listening, I was slightly underwhelmed. This performance, with orchestra using ‘period’ instruments just didn’t deliver the liveliness and inventive brilliance this classic Requiem usually shows.
The fault was mine. The next day I cranked up my amp and played it at something approaching recital hall level. The music blossomed. Instruments opened up and voices became truly dynamic. Some music needs this approach. Forget the neighbours – let everyone share in Mozart’s final creation.
Yes, a Requiem is often sad. But despite the fact that Mozart was dying as he wrote it, this piece
is also full of great joy. For me, there are three great Requiems, by Mozart, Verdi and Fauré; all share this transcendental nature.
Of the four very capable soloists, Sara Macliver shines out, and her performance of the very beautiful Exsultate, Jubilate is a particularly fine addendum. Also included on the disc are two gems; Ave verum Corpus and Sancta Maria, mater Dei, making a fully-rounded program of Mozart’s sacred works.
Antony Walker’s Cantillation choral group and his Orchestra of the Antipodes are as lustrous as ever. Walker’s career is now centred on the USA, but long may he be able to return home to deliver fruits such as these.