Here’s the Verdi Requiem records I’ll consider as favorites (music and soundwise) right now (in falling order) with Reiners 1960 recording as no 1 (my taste):
here’s my collection.
i like the reiner very much; my favorite is probably Robert Shaw’s on Telarc. the recorded sound is very good, and the chorus and solo singing is fantastic. shaw worked for Toscanini, but doesn’t have a particularly individualistic view of the work- he let’s the music speak for itself. a good thing IMO.
there’s a Karajan video shot live in an empty La Scala, with Price, Pavarotti, and Ghiaurov all in stupendous voice. i’ve not seen a digital, music only, release however, and the sound is a bit odd.
Huge fan of the Solti / Chicago recording with Leontyne Price, Janet Baker, Luchetti, and Van Dam. Or any Requiem with Ms. Price, really, including the Reiner mentioned above, also featuring the incomparable Björling.
There’s also the Solti / Vienna recording with Sutherland, Horne, Pavarotti, and Talvela for some pretty solo singing.
For a more modern choice, Muti / Chicago or Dudamel / LA Philharmonic are also barn-burners, but the soloists aren’t as good.
the first Muti recording, which features Scotto and Luchetti is quite good.
I remember it got a 10 in the classical magazine Luister (in the Netherlands)
I really like Claudio Abbado. In 2000 he was diagnosed with stomach cancer. His return to the international stage resulted in a visibly ill man conducting a stupendous Requiem with the Berlin Philharmonic in 2001.
He is digging deep. Much of the quieter passages are absolutely beautiful. I don’t know but in the climaxes this by all accounts gentle man seems to be raging against his fate. Some find it a little uncontrolled and how you get on with the 2001 will be very system dependent. I’m not much good with DSP. I often wonder if there are settings that could compress the dynamics a little.
He was also principle conductor at La Scala since a young man in the late 1960’s. He “gets” Verdi. On balance I prefer the much more controlled 1980 with La Scala, Domingo and Ricciarelli, although it does not quite plumb the emotional depths of the 2001.