Pearlman, Martin

Performance DetailsRelease DetailsReviews
Soprano: Ruth Ziesak
Alto: Nancy Maultsby
Tenor: Richard Croft
Bass-Baritone: David Arnold

Choir: Boston Baroque
Orchestra: Boston Baroque
Conductor: Martin Pearlman

Date: November 2-3, 1994
Venue: Campion Center, Weston, Massachusetts

Label: Telarc
Cat No.: 80410
Released: August 29, 1995
Even though the 1792 completion by Franz Xaver Süssmayr is regarded by many as the standard performing version of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s unfinished Requiem in D minor, several musicologists have tried their hands at alternative versions with varying degrees of success. In his masterful edition, Robert Levin preserves all that is reliably Mozart’s music, substantially recomposes the inept Osanna fugue, and here and there touches up faulty harmonies and clumsy orchestration. Levin also replaces the cadential close of the Lacrimosa with a completion of Mozart’s sketches for an Amen fugue, a feature of this completion that some listeners may find startling, but sufficiently Mozartian and ultimately satisfying as a solution. Martin Pearlman and the Boston Baroque enhance Levin’s efforts with a sterling rendition on period instruments that is marvelously resonant, especially with Telarc’s vibrant reproduction; soprano Ruth Ziesak, mezzo-soprano Nancy Maultsby, tenor Richard Croft, and baritone David Arnold form a remarkably sensitive vocal quartet, well attuned to each other in the Recordare and the Benedictus. Of course, no one will ever know what Mozart would have written for the closing movements, had he lived, but Levin’s scholarly completion is strikingly idiomatic and thoroughly convincing as a reconstruction, and this exceptional recording is highly recommended.

Blair Sanderson,