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Lux aeterna

Kirkby RequiemThis is a beautiful rendition of The Requiem, the acoustics of Westminster Cathedral playing a major part in the creation of a spaciousness in the sound. There is also a shiny timbre with the use of period instruments.

It’s an elderly recording, dating from the 80’s and has been digitally remastered. There is a slight cavil I have, in that there is less dynamism and thrusting forward energy than with some other versions, but its swings and roundabouts really, because the quality of the soloists, particularly Emma Kirkby, is outstanding.

Kirkby’s pure soprano line rises and floats without strain, impossibly open and effortless. There is no fulsome vibrato, or density to her voice, just a quality of effortlessness, impossible, almost, to imagine produced from the solidity of flesh! The Tuba Mirum is a wonderful illustration of this, a dance and progression from the strong bone and earth of David Thomas’ bass and the vibrant brass to Kirkby’s ethereal tones, supported by that bone and earth, but escaping free into space.

What an extraordinary piece of music this is.

If you read some of the reviews on Amazon by serious musicologists there is a lot of erudition to be found about different versions of the music. Here, everything that is NOT Mozart (Sussmayr) is excised


Mozart Requiem, Hogwood, Kirkby Amazon UK
Mozart Requiem, Hogwood, Kirkby Amazon USA