Requiems

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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

On Sunday, the Chicago Symphony's recording of the Verdi Requiem won two Grammys, for best classical album and best choral album. Given all the interest in the Requiem -- a.k.a. the Latin Mass for the Dead -- we want to know, which is your favorite: that of Durufle, Fauré, Mozart or Verdi? You told us it was Verdi and we played it today at 12 noon.

 

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Comments [81]

Helena, New York

I didn't have the opportunity to vote, but I would have been stuck between Faure and Durufle. I haven't known Durufle for more than several years and find him simply brilliant. I have a copy of the King's College / Willcox Faure Requiem; it's one of my most valuable posessions. There is a piece of music, if there ever was one. It's subtle, it's deep, it hangs, floats, pierces and it stays. To think Faure wrote it just for the heck of it. "For fun", he is said to have remarked. He was tired of all the same old boring church organ music he was made to play at the Madeleine, apparently. I play it on special days, over and over, sometimes, and often follow it with the Canticle de Jean Racine, which brings out a decade's worth of tears from me.
QXR really should have a more varied selection, outside of Verdi and Mozart and the rest of them; this showdown is pleasant, though.

Feb. 16 2011 02:52 PM
Cindy Legorreta from Union Square

Gee, all this talk of dueling requia...just makes me wonder: where the hequia!

Feb. 16 2011 01:16 PM

I don't like the Verdi Requiem, but I can't deny that Muti's interpretation is thrilling -- an opera of a mass!

Can anyone else hear Olga Borodina's palatalization?

Feb. 16 2011 12:50 PM
Gary from Dallas, TX

Having sung all choices over the years, my choice would have to be for the Verdi. Two productions of recent vintage with the Dallas Symphony stand out - I was in the the Symphony Chorus for each. The first was with Maestro Claus Peter Flor - electric to say the least with stand out mezzo Eleni Matos and the more recent was a couple of seasons ago with Maestro Jaap van Zweden with Stuart Neil (the definitive Verdian tenor if there ever was) delivering yet another moving, soul stirring performance. So many churches have watered down music and liturgy to the point of they've lost their historical compass. We must not forget the great works of the past for the church whether Palestrina, Byrd, Mozart, Verdi, etc. As an organist as well as singer, I find it increasingly frustrating to see the consistent dumbing down of solid liturgically correct music. Thank you to WQXR for playing these magnificent works in their entirety.

Feb. 16 2011 12:44 PM
Still Angry Ed from Englewood, N. J.

Of course you're playing the Verdi. It is, after all, a piece that your programming morons cut to a five-minute excerpt during the end-of-the-year extravaganza of the best classical music ever written. You owe it to your listeners (those who are still with you).

Feb. 16 2011 12:24 PM

With all respect, I hear too, too, much of the Berlioz Requiem in Verdi's, as if Verdi's is the Berlioz Requiem adapted for Il Trovatore.

Feb. 16 2011 12:22 PM
Mary Nowak-Sturkie from Helmetta, NJ

I apologize to Verdi...I just realized I wrote previously - Vivaldi....the perils of multi-tasking, oops !

Feb. 16 2011 12:15 PM
Sydney

Brahms -- my favorite.
Today I voted for Durufle, just because I don't own that one and wanted to hear it.

Feb. 16 2011 12:11 PM
Marge McGowan from new york city

Fauvre -not heard as often as Mozart and Verdi-very soothing........

Feb. 16 2011 12:00 PM
Michael Meltzer

Larry from Rutherford:
Your local American Guild of Organists chapter shoudl be able to help you find a Roman church that still does the good old stuff, even Latin texts. You might have to drive a bit. Here in the city there are St. Ignatius Loyola and Corpus Christi, although they have professional choirs. Good music isn't dead yet, just harder to find.

Feb. 16 2011 11:59 AM
Holliday from New York

They're all fabulous and profound works. And if you're a choral singer it is a tough choice.......Brahms is probably my favorite, the Faure is sublime, the Durufle intriguing and the Mozart spectacular but, I'm voting for the Verdi today. Just because.
:-)

Feb. 16 2011 11:57 AM
James Bosco

I sang in the chorus for a performance of the Verdi Requiem. During the Libera Me I saw that the stoic William Steinberg had tears running down his face. It was an incredible performace - one of the rare moments when you feel you are existing in a different and marvelous place.

Feb. 16 2011 11:57 AM
Lifesart from Long Island

Arriving home early from school on November 22, 1963, the Faure was on WQXR in honor of JFK's death.

And at music camp, several years later, the summer my Mom died, we rehearsed the Faure endlessly, finally giving a performance that evoked astonishment from the audience that such a young ensemble could move them to tears.

You can imagine how I feel each time I hear it.

Feb. 16 2011 11:56 AM
Toni Wechsler from NYC

For the In Paradisium section alone I had to vote for Fauré this time around. I never tire of hearing that ethereal and celestial passage.

Feb. 16 2011 11:56 AM
tom from New York, NY

Mozart's is the most powerful!

Feb. 16 2011 11:55 AM
Andres from Manhatta

Mozart best

Feb. 16 2011 11:53 AM
Jan Schwartz from Vacaville, CA

I am voting for the Verdi, because it IS my favorite (and that's what the question is today). The Mozart is incomparably beautiful, the Faure is moving and spiritual, and the Durufle an unquestionable achievement, but the Verdi has history, meaning, power, and glory. Makes no difference if it's noon or midnight -- let's hear it!

Feb. 16 2011 11:52 AM
Louis A. Macchiarulo, Ph. D. from Jackson Heights, NY

Verdi's "Requiem" was written to honor the passing of Alessandro Manzoni, Italian patriot and father of the Italian language, a fact often forgotten.

Feb. 16 2011 11:42 AM
Larry from Rutherford

I remember with great tenderness, a time when Catholic chuches actually had choirs. I sang in the tenor section, and we would frequently sing the Verdi at funerals. Most Sundays we sang eitherr Missa se Angelis or parts of the Missa Solemnis, by Ludwig van...

We also sang lots of Mozart and Palestrina with healthy portions of both Gregorian and Ambrosian chant.

Alas, those days are gone.

Feb. 16 2011 11:40 AM
Zulema from Bronx, NY

I love all of them, but the beginning of Mozart's is inextricably bound in my mind with the funeral of John F. Kennedy, and so it pulls on my heartstrings more than the others, though they are magnificent creations all.

Feb. 16 2011 11:37 AM
David Christmas from Upper Montclair, NJ

I love the Faure. It reminds me of a dear friend who passed away from AIDS in the 80's. At his memorial at Ascension Church it was performed live. It was so moving. If it wins today I'll be thinking of Michael. If it doesn't, that's ok too. They're all beautiful!!!

Thanks

Feb. 16 2011 11:35 AM
Lee from Stamford

Verdi, drew upon Mozart and made it momentous.

Faure is sweet, but not impressive enough!

Feb. 16 2011 11:31 AM
Finn Olsen from Søllested, Denmark

I wote for Mozart - that I know - but will love to hear Durufle, who are new to me

Feb. 16 2011 11:31 AM
trombaphile from Milford, CT

Was unaware of Mr. Somary's passing until I read Kate from Stamford's comment. The most memorable requiem I ever took part in was Verdi under his baton more than 30 years ago. For that reason, my vote is still to hear Verdi.

Feb. 16 2011 11:27 AM
Laura from New Jersey

While the Brahms Requiem is my absolute favorite, the Faure and Verdi come close...I've sung them all many times and relish every chance to do so. The Durufle is also wonderful and has some outstanding moments in it. For today at noon, though, I'll vote for the Faure.

Feb. 16 2011 11:22 AM
David

These are great works, all of them. But Mozart's has such a special place in me since my childhood and always gives me a glimpse of something transcendent of this world.

Feb. 16 2011 11:22 AM
Kate from Stamford, CT

Faure . . . in memory of Johannes Somary.

Feb. 16 2011 11:19 AM
vicky cosgrove from Little Neck , NY

MOZART!!!!!!!!!!

Feb. 16 2011 11:14 AM
trombaphile from Milford, CT

Verdi, please!

Feb. 16 2011 11:14 AM
Flute Lady from Manhattan

As much as I love the Verdi (and I've even had the opportunity to perform it in Carnegie Hall as a chorister), I haven't chosen it, because I'd like to hear something that isn't played all that frequently. For that reason, I'd like to hear the Durufle, which I'd like to get to know. That's my policy lately with concerts and opera: I prefer to hear things I HAVEN'T heard a hundred times before. I consider that part of my ongoing musical education.

Feb. 16 2011 11:14 AM
Carol Luparella from Elmwood Park, NJ

Although I love the Faure Requiem, today I voted to hear the Durufle Requiem because I am not as familiar with it. It was played on WQXR a while back, I think on Symphony Hall, but unfortunately I was interrupted while listening and only heard the beginning and the end! However, I heard enough to realize that it is a beautiful work and I would like to hear it in it's entirety. Thank you for this "Showdown at High Noon" feature - it is very enjoyable.

Feb. 16 2011 11:12 AM
sarita from Manhattan

Verdi was the first Requiem I ever heard, and I still love this angry, lush requiem. However, the Faure conducted by Celibidache is the most exquisite, with its boy soprano solo. It is also memorable as I heard it at Grace Church in June of 2001 and they performed it again in September as a Memorial for 9/11 and I sat in tears, linking the music to real people that were no more.

Feb. 16 2011 11:12 AM
June Severino Feldman from NYC

The Faure just has some moments in it that are completely ethereal. Even though it's shy on good alto parts, it's my favorite.

Feb. 16 2011 11:11 AM
Tom from Manhattan

NO QUESTION!!!! It's the Mozart "Requiem" by a mile! And not just any one either. It's got to be Wilma Lipp (Soprano), Hilde Rossel-Majdan (Alt/contralto), Anton Dermota (Tenor), Walter Berry (Bass) under the direction of Herbert von Karajan and the Berlin Philharmoniker. 1962 recording. It's heaven!

Feb. 16 2011 10:56 AM
Beverly Joy from Cambridge, NY

I wish we could have a double header. I voted for Mozart, but would so very much love to hear Faure as well.

Ah, requiems, truly music to die for.

Feb. 16 2011 10:55 AM
Michael Meltzer

Whatever you play, I hope it's a recording approved by Kent Tritle. There are some truly rotten recordings out there, particularly of the Mozart, and the "name recognition" that your programming department goes by doesn't help one bit. You have to know.

Feb. 16 2011 10:54 AM
Norma V. from Bronx, NY

Love them all, but am in the mood for Fauré today. So he has my vote!

Feb. 16 2011 10:53 AM
Sally Evans from White Plains, NY

Tough choice today. I love them all but I haven't heard Durufle in a long time. Next time how about adding John Rutter's lovely entry in the category?

Feb. 16 2011 10:53 AM
James from Brooklyn

That's FAURE that I voted for & my previous posting tells me I shouldn't be using my phone's tiny keypad!

Feb. 16 2011 10:52 AM
brassmatters from North Country, USA

A write-in for Hector! The Spano performance was previewed by the NYT one week in advance and spoke to the Berlioz genius. And to the legacy of Robert Shaw. A requiem should celebrate life..every life!
And please, do mention Bach in recapping your shootout. Given these somewhat limited choices, I'll say yes to the Faure as an ethereal alternative, and marvelously French.

Feb. 16 2011 10:51 AM
Morty Rosner from Teaneck, NJ

I voted Faure, not b/c it's superior to the Verdi, but at noon the Verdi Requiem is a lot to handle. If you're looking for gentleness and consolation in a requiem, Faure's your man. Save Verdi for live performance or, at least, a large room graced by ample speakers to give the music room to breathe and expand.

Feb. 16 2011 10:48 AM
Al Luna from Bronx, NY

Tough one, Faure/Mozart.

I vote for Faure.

Feb. 16 2011 10:46 AM
Stan from NY,NY

The requiem of Verdi is the most theatrical of all of them--worth dying for.....

Feb. 16 2011 10:44 AM
Mildred from East Brunswick, NJ

Although I sincerely chose the Faure', I hope for another opportunity. There are so many beautiful ones, that we don't hear enough of: Berlioz, Andrew Lloyd-Weber, Vivaldi. Also the Schuetz - haven't heard it but would love to learn it.

Feb. 16 2011 10:43 AM
James from Brooklyn

Voted for Fairer - don't think I've heard it before & that's the great thing about being into QXR.

Feb. 16 2011 10:42 AM
NancyWilken from NY

The Faure requiem always leaves me in eternal rest and peace with all "things" of this planet Earth!

Feb. 16 2011 10:40 AM
William from working in Manhattan

I vote for Dvorak's Requiem. I know it isn't one of the choices offered; so consider this a 'write-in' vote for it.

Feb. 16 2011 10:38 AM
Pamela from NYC

The Mozart is achingly beautiful.

Feb. 16 2011 10:35 AM
Victor from Brooklyn

I vote for the Verdi.

Feb. 16 2011 10:33 AM
Norman from Rockville Centre

Although for operatic drama and majesty, both the Verdi and Berlioz are unsurpassed, I vote for the quiet contemplative Faure which captures the prayerful quality of the requiem's liturgy.

Feb. 16 2011 10:23 AM
Susan Sladowski in Whitestone, Queens

Please play the Faure.

Feb. 16 2011 10:21 AM
Holcomb Noble from ny ny

the faure is one of the most moving pieces ever written

Feb. 16 2011 10:18 AM
Mary Elwell from Green Twp, NJ

There is only one truly great requiem, and that was written by Mozart. I never tire of hearing it!

Feb. 16 2011 10:18 AM
Ted Jablonski from Wellesley MA

Faure, please. The last time we heard it was at St. Paul's in Harvard Square, Cambridge MA (home of the Choir School) with the Boston Boy's Choir and Men's Schola. A sublime and brilliant work that is played far less frequently than the others.

Feb. 16 2011 10:16 AM
david toor from Beaufort, SC

I bought an Internet Radio just to hear you, the station I grew up with living in Brooklyn. And it's a joy to have you surrounding me all day here in SC where classical music is about as popular as bagels and lox.
And of course, I'll listen to Mozart every chance that comes along. (That Tommassini in the Times would put Beethoven ahead of Mozart on his list of ten greatest makes every review of his I read in the future suspect.)

Feb. 16 2011 10:15 AM
FOX

Faure - our community chorus is perfroming it on 3/27/2011

Feb. 16 2011 10:14 AM
barbara barrie

please play the new muti verdi requiem.

Feb. 16 2011 10:13 AM
Ralph from Delaware

Love them all. Too bad I won't be able to listen when they play one for me, but I can listen today so I say .........Verdi.

Feb. 16 2011 10:12 AM
Rob Zimmer from Kalamazoo, MI

My favorite is the Berlioz. I wish it were an option here. I will take a chance on the Durufle only because I am unfamiliar.

Feb. 16 2011 10:11 AM
RP from New York City

The Durufle Requiem is played so seldom and is so lovely that I think it is time it is heard again even though I think the Faure is exquisite. However, I bet most people will choose the Mozart, which, beautiful as it is, practically everyone knows backwards.

Feb. 16 2011 10:10 AM
Randall Gabrielan from Middletown NJ

I suggest playing the Faure. Most know of the power and majesty of the Verdi and Mozart, but those loving the beauty and sublimity of the Faure want to share it with all.

Feb. 16 2011 10:06 AM
Monnie from Brooklyn

I too attended the wonderful Berlioz on Sunday. Why isn't it on your list?

Feb. 16 2011 10:05 AM
Fred Williams from NYC

How could it not be the Faure; particularly after Bartoli's achingly beautiful rendition.
I would agree that you could find a more suitable promotional photo.

Feb. 16 2011 09:59 AM
Gunda Narang from Manhattan

If I could afford it, the mourners at my end-of-life service would listen to Mozart's requiem.
I do enjoy the requiems of the other composers, but none shows the sensitivity of Mozart.

Feb. 16 2011 09:53 AM
Tom Walsh from Montclair, NJ

I love the Mozart Requim, but we don't get to listen to others. I voted for the Verdi Requim. All are great!

Feb. 16 2011 09:50 AM
Thomas Venturella

The Faure Requiem HANDS DOWN! It is the closest to what a true Requiem Mass should be.

Feb. 16 2011 09:49 AM
Thomas E. O'Brien, Pharm. D. from New York, NY

My wife and I attended a wonderful performance of the Berlioz Requiem, conducted by Robert Spano with the Orchestra of St. Luke's this past Sunday at Carneige Hall. Might you consider airing a performance of this magnificant piece?

Feb. 16 2011 09:45 AM
Tom McKay from Wayne, New Jersey

I have listened to the other Requims over the years and Faure's is the most beautiful. A magnificent rendition is the CD, Choir Of King's College, Cambridge, with Sir David Willcocks, would it be possible to hear it at 12 noon. Thank you

Feb. 16 2011 09:44 AM
Norma Prescott from Joisey

The Faure and Verdi requiems are beautiful works, but Mozart captures the graveness of a requiem.

Feb. 16 2011 09:33 AM
Eileen from New York

My son lives in Vienna so, on my visits I try to hear as many free concerts as possible. Although I am not a Mozart fan, (I know I can hear the groans) I do love his Requiem. So, for me it is by far and away the most emotional of all those listed.

As for the picture - I would agree something more appropriate should be posted but, if you stand back and lighten up it's quite funny!

Feb. 16 2011 09:19 AM
Mary Nowak-Sturkie from Helmetta, NJ

I am convinced there is no other Pie Jesu Requiem that will ever conquer my love of Faure's, and can listen to that one repeatedly, no problem. But I would be interested in hearing Vivaldi's since it was awarded the Grammy.

Feb. 16 2011 09:14 AM
Michael Meltzer

The Brahms is an extraordinarily powerful work, but not a liturgical requiem mass. If you include the Brahms, the door should be open as well to the Heinrich Schuetz Musikalishes Exequien (1635), one of the earliest and most beautiful of memorial services, as yet unknown to the new WQXR.

Feb. 16 2011 09:03 AM
Peter F. Eder from Darien, CT

In 2006, to celebrate my retirement from full time employment, my wife and I spent two weeks in January in Vienna (my Dad's birthplace), celebrating Mozart's 250 birth anniversary. One of the loveliest things we were able to do was to hear his Requiem preformed in the church his family attended. The performance was on one of the coldest days in Vienna's recorded weather days - 22 F. But in achurch packed to the rafters, with the singers - and musicians- in coats, scarves, hats and yes, even gloves, it was one of the most heartwarming events we have ever attended. So ... here's one for WAM. Peter

Feb. 16 2011 09:02 AM
Tim Brown

Thanks for the tip @Liege Motta

Feb. 16 2011 08:48 AM
Liege Motta from Manhattan

@ Tim Brown - If you are interested in exploring Duruflé and his Requiem, here's your chance! Instead of choosing the more familiar Mozart, pick, as I did, the Duruflé - which I have been fortunate to have performed several times and consider, together with the Brahms less "orthodox" version, not included in this showdown, the most transcendental of the batch.

Feb. 16 2011 08:03 AM
Joe R from NYC

One of the most beautiful concerts I've ever attended was at St Paul's in London. John Scott (same guy from St Thomas NYC) led a choir of men and boys in the Faure Requiem. (I think it was also Scott who played the organ solo in the Saint Saens Organ Symphony in the second part of the performance.) The acoustics here were perfect for the Requiem.
BTW, I like the "showdown" photo. Some of your listeners should lighten up about it - that's not a murder, it's a "theatrical depiction".

Feb. 16 2011 07:54 AM
Tim Brown from Washington, DC

I'm not familiar with Durufle or his requiem and look forward to exploring his music. Your list of candidates today is woefully short. Where is Berlioz? Where is Brahms? Even with those missing masterpieces on the ballot my vote would still go to Mozart - his requiem is the all-time great testament to death and life.

Feb. 16 2011 07:48 AM
Gev Sweeney from Ocean Grove, New Jersey

Mr. Stanley, the flickr picture of the gunfighters is the icon for Showdown at High Noon. As such, it appears every Wednesday with this particular blog.

Feb. 16 2011 07:38 AM
Frederick Stanley

how can you announce a contest when it isn't open yet? It is not fair.

Feb. 16 2011 06:55 AM
Gev Sweeney from Ocean Grove, New Jersey

I share Michael Meltzer's view of the pic. I can understand legal and artistic reasons for choosing it, but I do question the content, especially in such a gun-conscious age.

Feb. 16 2011 06:32 AM
Michael Meltzer

I think the photograph you have posted of the murder about to take place is in the worst possible taste for the subject matter of this site. Do you know these four works and their content? What are you thinking?

Feb. 16 2011 12:51 AM

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