Fritz Reiner: Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra – Verdi: Requiem (2LP, red vinyl, Franklin Mint pressing)


# Composer: Giuseppe Verdi
# Orchestra: Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
# Conductor: Fritz Reiner
# Vinyl (1961 / 1978)
# Number of Discs: 2
# Format: Flac
# DR Analysis: DR 14
# Label: Franklin Mint Record Society – Records 13/14 of 100
# Size: 1.85GB (24/96) + 475MB (16/44.1)
# Recovery: 5%
# Scan: yes
# Server: RS, FF

Since I’ve been posting rips from this 100LP collection, Verdi’s Requiem has gotten more requests than anything else in the set. So, as the saying goes, this one is by popular demand. 🙂

As mentioned in the earlier posts, if anyone has requests for other titles in this set, please add them to the comments.


For a few decades now, Fritz Reiner’s recording of the Verdi Requiem (one of his rare stereo recordings not made for RCA, and not with the Chicago Symphony) has lurked in the shadowy corners of Decca’s catalog, appearing only on budget LPs and CD two-fers. Now, in its latest incarnation as part of the Decca Legends series, it may at last get the recognition it deserves. Reiner’s rendition has several things going for it, not least of which are the superstar soprano and tenor soloists. In 1960 Leontyne Price was at the beginning of her illustrious career, delivering on this occasion that same radiant, ravishing singing that would soon have Metropolitan Opera audiences deliriously applauding. In contrast, Jussi Björling’s performing days were dwindling (he would die only three months after these sessions), and though his singing no longer had the super-precision and stamina of his youth, it still retained its passionate humanity, with squillo tones that would still make many a modern tenor cry and gnash his teeth (his thrillingly ardent Ingemisco is a case in point). Rosalind Elias’ burnished mezzo and Giorgio Tozzi’s buff and beefy bass complete the solid, if not ideally matched quartet.

Reiner himself is more controversial. At almost 99 minutes, this is one of the longest Requiems on record, a real surprise to those who know this conductor from his lithe and lean Chicago Symphony recordings. After setting a very deliberate pace for the Requiem aeternam, Reiner floors it for the Dies irae, establishing a pattern of extremes that will hold pretty much throughout the performance. The Vienna Philharmonic produces many beautiful colors under Reiner’s baton, but as with Karajan’s and Solti’s recordings, I think this orchestra sounds too cultured for this music. Nonetheless, this is a deeply felt and highly emotive performance that deserves shelf space next to Ferenc Fricsay’s blistering German Radio broadcast on DG and Robert Shaw’s powerfully recorded Atlanta reading on Telarc. – Victor Carr Jr., Classics Today

Fritz Reiner’s clean, lean, and thrilling account of the Verdi Requiem will alternately set your hair on end and move you quite deeply. While Verdi’s daring rearrangement of the Latin text for the Requiem Mass brought its share of criticism in his day, the critics have long been silenced by the profound beauty of this somber, operatically proportioned masterpiece. Reiner’s unsentimental yet flexible 1960 performance is carefully calibrated to pack a wallop when it needs to. For example, after a lovely, straightforward reading of the plaintive “Requiem” movement, Reiner’s fabled rhythmic precision drives his rafters-shaking “Dies irae” like a juggernaut of brimstone; you’ll want to have your hand on the volume knob for this one. The string playing of the Vienna Philharmonic is especially fine, as in the swirling pianissimo passages in the “Sanctus” and the descending chromatic runs in the “Lux aeterna.” Reiner also enjoys a dream vocal quartet. The sure-footed bass Giorgio Tozzi seems most in line with Reiner’s frank interpretation of Verdi’s music. The “Lux aeterna” elicits attractive and unusually soul-bearing singing from mezzo-soprano Rosalind Elias. But it is the stellar vocal duo topping the roster that makes this recording truly historic. The incomparable Swedish tenor Jussi Björling was only months away from death, while the great Leontyne Price was only months away from the Metropolitan Opera debut that would establish her as the great Verdi soprano of her generation. As his biographers have noted, Björling staved off his drinking demons during Reiner’s recording sessions; his inspired singing here captures him at the top of his form. – uncredited reviewer,

Track List:

Side One
01. Messa da Requiem – 1. Requiem
02. Messa da Requiem – 2. Dies irae: Dies irae
03. Messa da Requiem – 2. Dies irae: Tuba mirum
04. Messa da Requiem – 2. Dies irae: Liber scriptus
05. Messa da Requiem – 2. Dies irae: Quid sum miser

Side Two
06. Messa da Requiem – 2. Dies irae: Rex tremendae
07. Messa da Requiem – 2. Dies irae: Recordare
08. Messa da Requiem – 2. Dies irae: Ingemisco
09. Messa da Requiem – 2. Dies irae: Confutatis
10. Messa da Requiem – 2. Dies irae: Lacrymosa

Side Three
11. Messa da Requiem – 3. Offertorium: Domine, Jesu Christe
12. Messa da Requiem – 3. Offertorium: Hostias
13. Messa da Requiem – 4. Sanctus
14. Messa da Requiem – 5. Agnus Dei

Side Four
15. Messa da Requiem – 6. Lux aeterna
16. Messa da Requiem – 7. Libera me: Libera me
17. Messa da Requiem – 7. Libera me: Dies irae
18. Messa da Requiem – 7. Libera me: Requiem aeternam
19. Messa da Requiem – 7. Libera me: Libera me

Leontyne Price – soprano
Rosalind Elias – mezzo-soprano
Jussi Björling – tenor
Giorgio Tozzi – bass
Society Of The Friends Of Music, Vienna – chorus

Conductor – Fritz Reiner

You can see a listing of the entire set here.

Info on the original album can be seen here

Ripping Info:

All vinyl is cleaned on a VPI 16.5

Technics SL1200-MK5 (modified)
– Rega RB300 arm with RB700 wiring
– Michell Tecnoweight
– SoundSupports armboard
– Trans-Fi Audio Reso-Mat
Shure V15VxMR (with Jico stylus)
SimAudio Moon 110LP preamp
Native Instruments Audio4DJ USB interface

Processing: Sound Forge 10, ClickRepair (manual mode only)

Ripper’s note: These two albums had noticeably more surface noise than any of the others I’ve heard in this set, and required considerably more processing time. There may be a few few stray anomalies here and there, but overall, it should be clean. Hope you enjoy the rip!


All of the files are here

Password is SteveMTNO.
The files are interchangeable.

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18 thoughts on “Fritz Reiner: Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra – Verdi: Requiem (2LP, red vinyl, Franklin Mint pressing)

  1. Thanks for ripping this so thoroughly. There are lots of scratches on my cd version. But once you get into the music you don’t hear them any more. I’m old enough to have lived with vinyls before we got cds and it is strange how fast you adapt.

    I’m very happy to have a vinyl rip of this masterpiece, the last one Jussi B recorded before his fatal heart attack. Thank you! 😀

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