Mozart: Requiem in D minor, K 626

Reviewed on Thu 30 Nov, 2017

There are no shocks to be had here: alterations largely resist calling attention to themselves, with textures crisper in places, richer in others (notably so in the Tuba mirum and Confutatis).

René Jacobs has long been a Mozartian of distinction and his thoughts on this new completion of Mozart’s Requiem fascinate as much as Pierre-Henri Dutron’s re-fashioning itself. Dutron takes a discretely interventionist approach rooted in Franz Xaver Süssmayr’s completion, made soon after the composer’s death. There are no shocks to be had here: alterations largely resist calling attention to themselves, with textures crisper in places, richer in others (notably so in the Tuba mirum and Confutatis). Distinct benefits accrue from his re-working of strings in the Sanctus and, especially so, a stylish re-imagining of the Benedictus. Jacobs responds with graceful accommodation, maintaining the music’s liquid rhythm, pent-up emotional potency and sense of suspended imminence to rapt effect. Solo vocal contributions are strong, the choir acquits itself with translucent (if uneven) beauty, the orchestra flexible and vivid. Recorded sound is well-framed, with excellent notes by Dutron.
–Michael Quinn