This Teldec collection was a project close to György Ligeti’s heart – the pioneering Hungarian composer was actively involved in the recording process up until his death in 2006. The artists had long-standing relationships with Ligeti and his work, both in the studio and in concert: pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard, the Berlin Philharmonic, the Schönberg and Asko Ensembles led by Reinbert de Leeuw.
Jeremy Summerly and his Oxford Schola Cantorum is beautifully paced and the calibre of the singing itself is very impressive indeed, as is the Naxos recording. …the singing is unique: forthright, direct, fresh, recorded quite ‘tight’ and making this 17th-century music as emotive as possible.
Mozarts Requiem may have been written under strange circumstances in the final months of the composers life, but the work itself it is timeless. Mariss Jansons and the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and Chorus give a powerful and poignant performance of Mozarts masterpiece with an impressive group of solo singers, in a concert recorded live in Munich in May 2017.
This 2016 release followed on an immensely successful 2014 performance of the Fauré Requiem, Op. 48, and in many ways it's a partner to the earlier recording. The Fauré had a historical-performance aspect, re-creating the 1889 premiere even down to the specific organ stops used. In this case, historical performance is not involved: the version of the Duruflé Requiem performed is not the original, but a 1961 revision for mezzo-soprano, chorus, organ, and chamber orchestra. But the forces bring the music close to the overall effect of the Fauré, with boy sopranos of the Choir of King's College connecting the two performances. In both recordings, the organ is brought to the foreground and issues almost electronic-like sounds that shoot beams of mystic light through the small Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. It's gorgeous, and it might easily result in a revival for this version of the work. Conductor Stephen Cleobury does wonderfully with his mezzo-soprano soloist: for sampling, you could luxuriate in the "Pie Jesu," with its restrained instrumental backing making the music less operatic and more cantata-like. You also get a pair of little-known Duruflé works, the Quatre Motets sur des thèmes Grégoriens, Op. 10, and the Messe "Cum jubilo," Op. 11, with chorus, organ, and one soloist; each of these could challenge the conception of Duruflé as a one-hit wonder. Yet the biggest news here is the Duruflé Requiem itself, and the way the work retains its slightly otherworldly quality in this intimate version.