At the Heart of the Romantic Era

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Brahms' Requiem, Franz Liszt's Christus and Rossini's Messe Sollenelle are all masterworks wonderfully representing the era, but with an intriguing connection: they were conceived and composed while America waged its devastating Civil War.

The episode begins with a new recording of Brahms's Requiem by John Eliot Gardiner and his Monteverdi Choir. This is the second time Gardiner has recorded the work, but this time it was taken from a live concert in Edinburgh, Scotland. The recording has all the nuance, shaping and perfect-ensemble singing of a group that has performed this work many dozens of times over the last 20 years.

Theodore Dubois was a French composer, teacher and organist who worked at the Church of the Madelaine and the Paris Conservatoire. We play movements from his oratorio The Seven Last Words of Christ with Bernard Lallement leading Chorale Franco Allemande de Paris and Jugendsinfonieorchester de Bonn.

Also on the program is Franz Liszt's oratorio Christus. Composed between 1862-1866, Christus takes the plot of Christ's life from his birth to his passion and resurrection. The oratorio is about three hours in duration and requires significant orchestral and vocal forces, which makes it rather a rarity in concert halls of today. We play a movements from a performance of Helmut Rilling leading the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra, Cracow Chamber Choir, and Stuttgart Gachinger Kantorei.

 

Playlist:

Brahms/Requiem/Monteverdi Choir, Orchestre Revoltionnaire et Romantique, John Eliot Gardiner

 

Theodore Dubois/ The Seven Last Words of Christ/ Chorale Franco Allemande de Paris and Jugendsinfonieorchester de Bonn,

Bernard Lallement

 

Lizst/ Christus/Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra, Cracow Chamber Choir, and Stuttgart Gachinger Kantorei, Hellmut Rilling.

 

Rossini/Pettite Messe sollenelle