Guiseppe Verdi
Missa da Requiem


3.5
great

Review

by keysofanxiety USER (9 Reviews)
February 10th, 2010 | 16 replies | 3,694 views


Release Date: 1996 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A compelling piece of Classical music, but there are too many dull moments that make this a definite ‘steer-clear’ for the casual listener.

0 of 1 thought this review was well written

A symphony of destruction; powerful, evil, and aggressive. With such a description, you’d think that Verdi’s “Requiem” is one of the finest pieces of Classical music to ever be heard. Sadly, it only really depicts one song; the dominant second track, titled “Dies Irae”. Having initially heard this track as my only experience with this Requiem (which features in the film ‘Battle Royale’), I hoped that by picking up this album, I’d be equally as impressed with the rest of it.

In the music industry, there always seems to be such a pressure to appreciate the umbrella of ‘Classical’ music; but as far as I’m concerned, if it’s boring or uninspiring to me, then I don’t see why I should listen to it. And don’t get me wrong, this album is host of some absolutely magical moments; packed full of awe-inspiring crescendos and some incredible choir-writing. Upon listening to these, I think to myself “how could I ever consider giving this Requiem a 3.5?”

Then “Dies Irae” kicks in, and I’m simply lost for words.

Notwithstanding the second track, this album is almost a microcosm of everything I think is good and bad about ‘Classical’ music; there are some breathtaking moments, commanding and prevailing, but then it almost always stops abruptly, and you’re left with about 3 minutes of barely-audible strings.

Literally translated, a Requiem is “a mass for the dead”. Unfortunately, the majority of this Requiem reminds me of my primary school memories of a Catholic Mass; not an uninvited pain in the rectum, but more that it is fairly boring. What annoys me is the way that the “exciting” parts are maintained; something incredible happens, your ears prick up attention, only to hear this fantastic sound fall back into a sea of mediocrity.

And subconsciously, I can’t help but compare this to Mozart’s Requiem. This was written nearly 100 years after, but doesn’t seem to be anywhere near to the magnificence of it; and Mozart wasn’t even renowned for writing terror-inducing pieces.

Though in isolation Verdi’s “Dies Irae” is simply one of the greatest pieces I’ve ever heard in my life; not just of Classical music, but music in general, it seems a huge shame that the rest of his Requiem is overshadowed by this one piece. It’s almost as if Verdi himself recognised this- with snippets of “Dies Irae” being repeated throughout this album.

Recommended:
Listen to Dies Irae, but be wary of judging the album on this one song.

Avoid:
Mistaking Mozart’s Requiem for this one.



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user ratings (9)
Chart.
3.9
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Comments:Add a Comment 
keysofanxiety
February 10th 2010



143 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Here's a link to "Dies Irae" by Verdi, I strongly recommend you have a listen and see what you think http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZDFFHaz9GsY

It's absolutely incredible, it's just a shame the rest of the Requiem wasn't like this.

qwe3
February 10th 2010



21355 Comments


Dies Irae rules but its the only part of this i have

keysofanxiety
February 10th 2010



143 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Absolutely. There's a reason why pieces from the rest of this Requiem don't feature in films and stuff =(

qwe3
February 10th 2010



21355 Comments


I usually like Verdi, so I'll definitely check this out. Don Carlos is so good.

thebhoy
Emeritus
February 10th 2010



4459 Comments


I was never big on Verdi. Also when you talk about the "3 minutes of barely-audible strings" it's because classical music was never composed for a recording. Listening to this stuff in the proper acoustics of a concert hall makes those 3 minutes just as beautiful as the rest of the stuff.

keysofanxiety
February 10th 2010



143 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

If you like Don Carlos, I definitely think you'd enjoy this a lot more than I did.

Unfortunately, I just couldn't get into it- despite multiple listens over many months =/

keysofanxiety
February 10th 2010



143 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

@thebhoy

When I referred to "barely audible strings", I meant more of the crazy dynamic contrast that seems to be abundant in Classical works.

qwe3
February 10th 2010



21355 Comments


Dude how could you not? that opening...oh gawd. its prob coz i was an extra in it once and relate the music to my experience there.
but still

keysofanxiety
February 10th 2010



143 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I meant more of the Requiem rather than Don Carlo, but I'm not a huge fan of either, unfortunately ;)



thebhoy
Emeritus
February 10th 2010



4459 Comments


When I referred to "barely audible strings", I meant more of the crazy dynamic contrast that seems to be abundant in Classical works


Oh okay, the way I read it before was that you seemed to have a problem with the recordings. If it's a compositional thing, I still don't really see it, but then again I'm not you so, yeah. Anyways, review is generally well written, keep it up.

Also, listen to these:
Edward Elgar's Enigma Variations (particularly No. 9 - Nimrod)
Antonin Dvorak - Humoresque in G minor (or major, I forget)
Ralph Vaughan Williams - Symphony No. 2 (A London Symphony)
Felix Mendehlsson - The Hebrides Overture
Antonin Dvorak - Cello Concerto in B Minor, Allegro
Frederic Chopin - Nocturne for Violin and Piano, and Ballade No. 1 in G Minor, Op. 23

These are all really beautiful pieces that you may enjoy.

qwe3
February 10th 2010



21355 Comments


ooh thebhoy reccing classical. i only have the dvorak, elgar and mendehlsson stuff so will get others pronto. cheers

thebhoy
Emeritus
February 10th 2010



4459 Comments


start with Chopin's Nocturne for Violin and Piano, it isn't typical Chopin stuff that's like "look how awesome I am at piano", but more like, "look how awesome I can compose beautiful music"

qwe3
February 10th 2010



21355 Comments


i have all his piano nocturnes but not many others, i'll def check that out. thanks man

keysofanxiety
February 10th 2010



143 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thank you for the recommendations

vanderb0b
January 6th 2011



3473 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This is pretty great, just about as good as Mozart's.

MO
May 31st 2012



18526 Comments


rules

requiem is so good



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