HD-Vinyl 24/96 (Philips) Hector Berlioz – Requiem (Davis)

Another precious pearl in this chain called “Davis-Berlioz-Cycle”.
Any one not familiar with Berlioz’ “Te Deum” should also give this careful consideration. I personally prefer the Te Deum over the Requiem and wonder why the two works are not equally known. This Davis is pretty much a standard version and not to be slighted. Reportedly, there is another Davis performance made for L.S.O. Live which may not yet have been released. Anyone who catches onto this neglected masterpiece should also investigate the Inbal (on Denon) and the Shaw (on Telarc).

Pay attention: due to an unexpected error on the file B1, I uploaded a corrected B1. DL it and replace the old one.

Composer: Hector Berlioz
Performer: Ronald Dowd, London Symphony Chorus, Wandsworth School Boys’ Choir
Orchestra: London Symphony Orchestra
Conductor: Colin Davis
Vinyl 1970
Number of discs: 2
Format: Flac
Label: Philips
DR 12
Size: 1.85 GB
Scan: yes
Server: FF

The recordings come from the Colin Davis Berlioz cycle form the the 1970s. And they are some of the best of that cycle at that.

The Requiem is brilliant. Without detracting from the obvious spectacle you get with such a large contingent of musicians, Davis never gets lost in the massiveness of the piece. Berlioz composition is both Grand (the full title is “Grande Messe des morts”, or “Grand Mass for the Dead”) and sublime, and Davis captures the sublime elements as few other conductors have ever done. The choruses (the London Symphony Chorus and the Wandsworth School Boys Choir) work together well, and the soloists are very fine.

Sound is ever so important with a work as large as the Berlioz Requiem, and the Philips engineers deserve the bulk of the credit for this presentation. With such massive forces, engineers are challenged to give full efect to the sections that feature all of the forces and yet still capture the quite sections in a manner that makes them equally enjoyable in the home. With many recordings of the Requiem, you feel like you move from one position in the concert to another as the engineers try to “zoom in” to capture quieter moments and then “zoom out” get the full effect of the grand moments. With this recording, I feel like I never leave my seat, but I also never miss anything.


A1 Requiem – Kyrie (Introitus) 11:33
A2 Dies Irae – Tuba Mirum (Prosa) 13:45
B1 Quid Sum Miser 3:18
B2 Rex Tremendae 6:52
B3 Quaerens Me 5:11
C1 Lacrymosa 11:05
C2 Domine Jesu Christie 10:55
C3 Hostias 3:35
D1 Sanctus 11:14
D2 Agnus Dei 13:08


Analyzed folder: /96k Berlioz – Requiem – Davis
DR        Peak        RMS        Filename
DR13        -1.72 dB     -20.70 dB     A1 Requiem – Kyrie (Introitus).aif
DR11        -0.54 dB     -16.62 dB     A2 Dies Irae – Tuba Mirum (Prosa).aif
DR6        -7.04 dB     -20.30 dB     B1 Quid Sum Miser.aif
DR11        -0.71 dB     -16.48 dB     B2 Rex Tremendae.aif
DR13        -2.93 dB     -23.12 dB     B3 Quaerens Me.aif
DR11        -0.44 dB     -16.30 dB     C1 Lacrymosa.aif
DR15        -3.01 dB     -24.42 dB     C2 Domine Jesu Christie.aif
DR14        -9.42 dB     -29.75 dB     C3 Hostias.aif
DR12        -0.96 dB     -19.38 dB     D1 Sanctus.aif
DR14        -2.21 dB     -22.96 dB     D2 Agnus Dei.aif
Number of files:    10
Official DR value:    DR12



  • Choir – London Symphony Chorus, Wandsworth School Boys’ Choir
  • Chorus Master – Arthur Oldham, Russell Burgess
  • Conductor – Colin Davis
  • Tenor Vocals – Ronald Dowd
  • Illustration – Gustave Courbet
  • Orchestra – The London Symphony Orchestra
  • Photography – David Redfern, John Freeman
  • Photography [Colour] – Giraudon

Ripping Info


  • Software: iZotope RX 4 Advanced, Adobe Audition CS 5.5, Twisted Wave 1.9
  • Super light de-clicking with iZotope, significant clicks manually removing, no de-noising
  • DR-Analisys before converting to Flac
  • Converting Wave -> Flac: Twisted Wave 1.9
  • Artwork: Sony Alpha 350, Epson Perfection V750 Pro, Photoshop CS 5.5

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PW: LaWally

17 thoughts on “HD-Vinyl 24/96 (Philips) Hector Berlioz – Requiem (Davis)

  1. This post makes me happy: Berlioz has written in his famous autobiographical memoires: “if I were threatened with the destruction 0f the whole of my works, and save one, i would crave mercy for the Messe des morts” The Messe was first
    performed in 1837 ( may be in St. Louis des Invalides in Paris but not a so spectacular location
    as the Westminster Cathedral, where Colin Davis performed and recorded the Mess).
    If they have a look in to the LP booklet and see the Photo of the performing forces you
    have an impression of the enormous number of singing and playing musicians Berlioz wanted to have and is written in the score: 318 Instruments and 210 members of the choir,
    So you can hear this Messe very seldom today.
    Great Impression and sound. Trottar

  2. A great recording. Thanks for a great job job in converting it. One thing – I’ve got about a 15 seconds of strong hum on B1 at about 2:10. Anyone else or is this just me?

  3. Tremendous sound, Alf.
    The Rex Tremendae, and the rest are extremely well done.
    I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it.
    Thank you, Maestro.

    • Wait for the ultimate (technically) version of this REQUIEM, my dear friend…I find it is a wonderful performance (Roberet Shaw on TELARC) and even if it is not the best of all available releases, it is for sure the best sounding one…..

  4. I responded, but when I hit Post comment it went away and didn’t come back.
    Anyway, I look forward to the Robert Shaw rendition.

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