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An intimate encounter with Brahms.
Repertoire: Ein deutsches Requiem
Artists: Claire Seaton, Colin Campbell, Vasari Singers, Jeremy Filsell, Roderick Chadwick (pianos)/Jeremy Backhouse
Label: Guild GMCD 7302
One of the earliest British performances of Brahms’s Requiem, in 1871, took place in a private house in London. Due to lack of space, Brahms provided a transcription of the orchestral accompaniment for piano duet and that is the version performed here by the chamber-sized Vasari Singers. There’s an undeniable loss of dramatic splendour at the climax of the second movement (‘For all flesh is as grass’), but the greater degree of intimacy is highly appealing. The choir makes a pure, well-blended sound, Claire Seaton’s solo is ethereally beautiful in the fifth movement and Jeremy Backhouse holds it all together wonderfully well.