Mezzo-Soprano: Věra Soukupová
Tenor: Georg Jelden
Bass-Baritone: Heinz Rehfuss
Choir: Czech Philharmonic Choir
Orchestra: Czech Philharmonic Orchestra
Conductor: Karel Ančerl
Date: September 14, 1966
Venue: Grande Salle du Pavillon, Montreux, Switzerland
Cat No.: TAH 660
None of this has any direct bearing on the Requiem performance but it does serve to show how fortunate we are that it has been preserved. It was recorded by Radio de la Suisse Romande and captures the travelling orchestra, soloists and conductor in good radio sound. The prevailing tone is reverential, broadly paced and sympathetically whole. The element of noble gravity and restraint is established early in the Kyrie – but it’s not one of over-solemn seriousness. Similarly the Dies Irae is not set forth grandiloquently or explosively rather embodying an almost classical restraint, a more consonant expressive web to join the individual movements, to bind the rhetoric securely together over its fifty-five minute span.
The brass harmonies of the Rex Tremendae are pointed with great spiritual nobility – gravely moving – and the Lachrymosa moves with a slow, beautifully measured beneficence. The joy in the women’s voices in the Domine Jesu Christe is equally palpable as is the underlying legato of the Hostias before the more dynamic and athletic brass-led incursions. The soloists make for a most effective quartet – Heinz Rehfuss justly grave in the Tuba Mirum with Agnès Giebel and Vera Soukoupova well balanced throughout; Georg Jelden is the straightforward tenor.
The disc serves as a worthy in memoriam for Ančerl, the centenary of whose birth in 1908 was marked by its release.
— Jonathan Woolf, MusicWeb International [April 9, 2009]