Tuesday, April 24, 2007

The first recording of Robert Levin's completion of Mozart's Requiem

Mozart: Requiem, Kyrie / Rilling, Stuttgart Bach Collegium

Pros: The quartets are simply exquisite, Rilling's feel for dynamics is marvelous
Cons: Some tempo interpretations just don't work for me
The Bottom Line: This is the first recording of the Robert Levin completion of Mozart's Requiem, and where it is good, it is very good, but I question some of the tempo choices

Pianist, composer and Mozart expert Robert Levin was commissioned in 1987 by the International Bach Academy to produce a new completion of Mozart's Requiem in D minor (KV626). In August 1991, conductor Helmuth Rilling premiered Levin's work at the European Music Festival, winning Levin wide-ranging praise for his efforts. There is no need for me to go into details over the many, many scholarly arguments over the authorship of various sections of the work, nor to flog the details of each and every change made by Levin. Suffice to say, my personal feeling is that the Levin completion is much more satisfying and seemingly true to Mozart than the traditional completions that surfaced during the work's first two hundred years...

...Robert Levin's completion of Mozart's Requiem is convincing, stirring and true. Rilling's interpretation is consistent, disciplined and a touch slow throughout, and fatally so in the climactic moments of Confutatis. The vocal ensemble are the true stars of this recording, giving marvelously balanced performances that are a real delight. Overall, this disc is quite good indeed, but the listener may have to get around his own preconceived notions of Mozart's Requiem in order to really enjoy Levin's completion and Rilling's tempo.

Read the entire review at epinions.com

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