SACD & Other Hi-Res Reviews

LUIGI CHERUBINI: Requiem in c minor – Chamber Choir Stuttgart/Hofkapelle Stuttgart/ Frieder Bernius – Carus

Cherubini was a contemporary of Mozart and his Requiem has many similarities to Mozart’s Requiem.

Published on January 30, 2011

LUIGI CHERUBINI: Requiem in c minor – Chamber Choir Stuttgart/Hofkapelle Stuttgart/ Frieder Bernius – Carus

LUIGI CHERUBINI: Requiem in c minor – Chamber Choir Stuttgart/Hofkapelle Stuttgart/ Frieder Bernius – Carus multichannel SACD 83.227, 46:12 [Distr. by Albany] ****:

Cherubini was a contemporary of Mozart and his Requiem – which was very popular during his lifetime – has many similarities to Mozart’s Requiem. Cherubini differs greatly from Mozart in that he live to the age of 81.  He was a top-rated opera composer, also like Mozart, but his dark-colored Requiem doesn’t get operatic to the extent of those by Verdi and Berlioz.  It does have some dramatic moments, though. There are some more modern touches, such as the unexpectedly loud tam-tam crash to introduce the Dies Irae section. One of its choral movements might almost be a cousin of Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana

The Requiem was used for a memorial service for Louis XVI in 1817 – he had of course been executed during the French Revolution.  It was also used at the funeral service for Beethoven. The Offertorium section is one of the highlights of the work, and the following section brings together the Sanctus and Benedictus texts – a custom of the period in France.  The settings of the text are well thought out, and the complete text is printed in the booklet. It’s interesting that there are no solos at all in this requiem. It is an important requiem which has been neglected, and Bernius has assembled an excellent performance of it, which has been well-recorded by the Carus engineers – in May of just last year.

 – John Sunier




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