MOZART:  Requiem in D Minor
Anna Tomowa-Sintow, soprano; Agnes Baltsa, contralto; Werner Krenn, tenor; JosÈ van Dam, bass; Wiener Singverein; Berlin Philharmonic Orch/Herbert von Karajan, cond.
DGG 471 639 (F) (ADD) TT:  53:19
(5.1 channel)

This performance of Mozart's final work was recorded in 1975 and is Karajan's second—and finest—of the work; his first was in 1962, his third in 1987. The conductor's mastery is ever apparent, the sound superior to what is heard on the "surround" issue of Beethoven's Ninth, with more natural balances. Still, there is little of the presence one would expect from a multi-channel recording. Soundwise, this wasn't a particularly good recording to begin with; "surround" adds little except resonance.  


WAGNER:  Excerpts from The Flying Dutchman, Die Meistersinger, Tannh”user, Parsifal and Die Walküre
Byrn Terfel, bass-baritone; Berlin Philharmonic Orch/Claudio Abbado, cond.
DGG 471 638 (F) (DDD) TT:  71:57
(5 channel)

The multi-channels and sonic advantages of SACD surely do benefit these performances. The improved format offers more space around the performers although there still is a touch of constriction in louder passages. Terfel

s voice is super-clear, wel-balanced with the orchestra. R.D. reviewed this when it was issued in its regular CD format. I agree with his feeling that though these performances have some strong points, doubtless they will grow interpretively over the years. It seems odd this is in 5 channels, while the Mozart discussed on this page, recorded more than a quarter-century ago, is listed as 5.1.