Alto: Gertrud Freimuth
Tenor: Walther Ludwig
Bass: Fred Drissen
Choir: Bruno Kittel Chorus
Orchestra: Berliner Philharmoniker
Conductor: Bruno Kittel
Venue: Berlin, Germany
Cat No.: 459 004-2
Released: October 12, 1998
Politics aside, the performance is more or less what one might expect: large-scaled with good choral work, thickly textured, and old-fashioned by today’s standards. Nonetheless it has more to recommend it than one recorded six years earlier by Bruno Walter.
Mortimer H. Frank, FANFARE [5/1999]
Historic significance rather upstages artistic values in the first volume of DG’s imaginatively conceived “Centenary Collection” — titled “The Early Years” — when an unexceptional performance of Mozart’s Requiem earns notoriety through one singular, sinister peculiarity: the unsettling claim that “all references to Christianity’s Jewish roots [are] rigorously excised”. This means that “Deus in Sion” becomes “Deus in coelis”, and “in Jerusalem”, “hic in terra”. Pinch yourself if you insist, but I can assure you that it is true! Bruno Kittel conducts his own Choir and the Berlin Philharmonic, with a team of soloists that includes the excellent tenor Walther Ludwig, and the 1941 shellac originals have been exceptionally well transferred.