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Spanjaard: Fauré – Requiem & Other Choral Works (24/96 FLAC)

Composer: Gabriel Urbain Fauré
Performer: Harry Peeters, Christiane Oelze, Netherlands Chamber Choir
Orchestra: Maastricht Limburg Symphony Orchestra
Conductor: Ed Spanjaard
Format: FLAC (tracks)
Label: Pentatone
Release: 2005
Size: 916 MB
Recovery: +3%
Scan: yes

Requiem, Op. 48
01. I. Introit
02. II. Kyrie
03. III. Offertoire
04. IV. Sanctus
05. V. Pie Jesu
06. VI. Agnus Dei
07. VII. Libera me
08. VIII. In Paradisum

09. Pavane, Op. 50
10. Madrigal Op. 35
11. Les djinns Op. 12
12. Ave verum corpus, Op. 65 No. 1
13. Tantum ergo, Op. 55
14. Cantique de Jean Racine, Op. 11

Thanks to the dedication, skill, and expressive power of the vocal soloists, choir, orchestra, and conductor, this profound and beautiful performance of Gabriel Fauré’s Requiem, Op. 48, is one of the most moving interpretations on disc, and sure to garner critical praise for its polish and eloquence. Baritone Harry Peeters is especially moving in his solo in the Libera Me, and soprano Christiane Oelze’s Pie Jesu is as seraphic and serene as one might wish. The scrupulously blended voices of the Netherlands Chamber Choir and the sonorous Limburg Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Ed Spanjaard, merge seamlessly in this gentle, legato performance. Yet it should also be noted that Spanjaard’s pacing, while steady, is slightly faster than usual, which keeps the Requiem fluid and light, and prevents even the most foreboding passages from sliding into gloominess. Also contributing to the excellence of this hybrid SACD is PentaTone’s remarkably deep multichannel reproduction, and the resonance of the venue adds an ideal radiance to the performers’ warm sound. Listeners may pick and choose among the short works that fill out the rest of this album — some, such as the overplayed Pavane and the bombastic Les Djinns, are easy to skip — but the sublime Requiem should not be missed.