Hickox, Richard

Performance DetailsRelease DetailsReviews
Soprano: Yvonne Kenny
Alto: Alfreda Hodgson
Tenor: Arthur Davies
Bass: Gwynne Howell

Choir: Northern Sinfonia Chorus
Orchestra: Northern Sinfonia
Conductor: Richard Hickox

Date: January 1989
Venue: All Saints Church, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK

Label: Virgin Classics
Cat No.: CUV 5 61260 2
Released: November 14, 1995
Of the recordings of Mozart’s Requiem released to coincide with the 200th anniversary of the composer’s death, this one by Richard Hickox may or may not be the worst, but it is probably the most forgettable. Although Hickox has in the last decade proved himself to be the finest English conductor of his generation, this early recording shows him as still an apprentice learning to blend voices and instruments and balance mass and motion. With the Northern Sinfonia doing its best, the result is still a bit thick around the middle, a little thin on top, and a little full on the bottom. Hickox’s English soloists are among the most ardent ever to sing the parts with soprano Yvonne Kenny adding an especially sweet top to their four-part harmonies, but Hickox’s mixture of the Northern Sinfonia’s chorus with the London Sinfonietta’s chorus is not quite fully accomplished and they sometimes overwhelm the soloists and occasionally even the orchestra. Virgin’s relatively early digital sound is only relatively glassy and harsh.
— James Leonard, AllMusic.com