Reviewed by Andy Gill
Friday, 9 september 2011
Paavo Järvi's recent recordings of Beethoven's 9th Symphony and Brahms' Ein Deutsches Requiem have demonstrated his ability to marshall grand forces – the latter comparison is most pertinent here, in another beautifully-balanced Requiem of shorter, gentler, Gallic persuasion.
He's assisted here by equally sensitive contributions from baritone Matthias Goerne in the "Offertorium" and "Libera Me" sections, and countertenor Philippe Jaroussky, breathtakingly angelic in what Saint-Saëns considered the only "Pie Jesu" worth performing. But it's Järvi's uncanny knack to somehow derive spiritual uplift from the gloomiest of subjects that most impresses here, a talent tailored to fit such needs.