Mozart Requiem Mass

Mozart Requiem Mass, K 626 (Franz Beyer edition; Sanctus completed by Robert Levin). Performed as part of the 2012 Lucern Festival at the KKL Luzern Concert Hall. Claudio Abbado conducts the Lucern Festival Orchestra, the Bavarian Radio Choir, and the Swedish Radio Choir (Chorus Master Peter Dijkstra). Singers are Anna Prohaska (soprano), Sara Mingardo (alto), Maximilian Schmitt (tenor), and René Pape (bass). Directed for TV by Michael Beyer; produced by Paul Smaczny. Released 2013, disc has 5.1dts-HD Master Audio sound. Grade: Help!

David Threasher in the November 2013 Gramophone (page 77) has modest praise for this recording stating that "If you desire a concert Requiem [K 626] on DVD, this would be as good a purchase as any; you will look in vain, however, for any particular insight or revelation." Is usual, you can't tell if Threasher saw the Blu-ray version or the DVD.

David Baker, writing in the February 2014 Opera News at pages 58-59, arrives at a similar conclusion saying that the "undisputed focal point here is the conductor himself . . . ." Well, where 60 musicians (more or less) and 4 soloists have nothing to impart more impressive than a conductor, I would suggest that orchestra and singers might not be good enough to warrant the services of the conductor in question. Stated differently, if you have a great orchestra and the performance isn't outstanding, the conductor has failed.

Please help us with a comment or mini-review about this title!