Notebook

Dies iræ

I approached Teodor Currentzis’s rendering of Verdi’s Requiem with scepticism at first, put off by the Le Chiffre look and by all the jumping up and down. Having lived with it for a couple of years, I feel only admiration. Currentzis restores to this work, often performed as if it were a bravura extension of the Chorus of Hebrew Slaves, urgency and seriousness. His ensemble Musicaeterna sometimes sing Verdi as if he were Rakhmaninov, but it is no imposition. On the contrary, it is a revelation. This performance was recorded in the church of San Marco in Milan, where the Requiem was premiered in 1868.

How did we ever manage to consign the Dies irae, that profound and grandiose prayer, to the liturgical archives?