I guess what I’m trying to do is get some classical starting points down. The as-close-to-definitive-as-it-gets recordings. The ones that are etched into our brains already. This is probably the default REQUIEM for western culture. Some people find it slow, not me. I like when conductors draw a piece out and let it breathe. -Ian!
I can only review Bohm’s interpretation of the requiem in the context of the only other version I have — the weak Karajan version recorded in 1987. In contrast to Karajan who rushes through this piece in an unseemly and bizarre manner, Bohm adopts a majestic pace much more suitable, in my view, to this sort of music. Some think the pace too slow but I find Bohm’s reading delicately nuanced yet crisp and quite vigorous when it needs to be. Bohm’s take on the requiem feels flexible, mature, confident, whereas Karajan feels like he is trying much too hard for reasons that are entirely inapparent. Moreover, the singing on the Bohm recording is much better than that on the Karajan. The soloists in particular sound far superior and the chorus is wonderful. Interestingly, both Karajan and Bohm recorded with the Wiener Philharmoniker — except Bohm clocks in at 64:26 (mins: secs) versus Karajan at 52:10. Unless you are in a hurry for some strange reason, you should buy this version and smell the flowers, as it were.
-some guy on amazon.com