RECORDINGS

LABEL: CLARION
CATALOG NUMBER: 919
UPC NUMBER: 040888091929
NUMBER OF DISCS: 2
RUNNING TIME: 137:14
YEAR RECORDED: 2005
CD RELEASE DATE: OCTOBER 17, 2006
CONDUCTOR: STEPHEN ALLTOP
ORCHESTRA: THE APOLLO CHORUS CHAMBER ORCHESTRA
CHOIR: THE APOLLO CHORUS OF CHICAGO
SOPRANO: MARIA JETTE
CONTRALTO: PATRICE DJEREJIAN
TENOR: WILLIAM HITE
BASS: JEFFREY STRAUSS


AUDIO SAMPLES HIGHLIGHTS OTHER RELEASES



DISC ONE

1 Part 1. Sinfonia     03:03
2 Part 1. Accompagnato. Comfort ye my people     02:51
3 Part 1. Aria. Every valley shall be exalted     03:20
4 Part 1. Coro. And the glory of the Lord     02:49
5 Part 1. Accompagnato. Thus saith the Lord     01:21
6 Part 1. Aria. But who may abide the day of His coming?     04:39
7 Part 1. Coro. And He shall purify     02:23
8 Part 1. Recitativo. Behold, a virgin shall conceive     00:22
9 Part 1. Aria/Coro. O thou that tellest good tidings to Zion     05:11
10 Part 1. Accompagnato. For behold, darkness shall cover the earth     01:46
11 Part 1. Aria. The people that walked in darkness     03:46
12 Part 1. Coro. For unto us a Child is born     03:54
13 Part 1. Pifa - Sinfonia Pastorale     01:03
14 Part 1. Recitativo. There were shepherds abiding in the field / Accompagnato. And lo! the angel of     00:28
15 Part 1. Recitativo. And the angel said unto them     00:32
16 Part 1. Accompagnato. And suddenly there was with the angel     00:16
17 Part 1. Coro. Glory to God     01:48
18 Part 1. Aria. Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion     04:33
19 Part 1. Recitativo. Then shall the eyes of the blind be opened     00:31
20 Part 1. Aria. He shall feed His flock like a shepherd     04:57
21 Part 1. Coro. His yoke is easy and His burden is light     02:10
22 Part 2. Coro. Behold the Lamb of God     02:49
23 Part 2. Aria. He was despised     10:16

DISC TWO

1 Part 2. Coro. Surely He hath borne our griefs     01:44
2 Part 2. Coro. And with His stripes we are healed     01:56
3 Part 2. Coro. All we like sheep have gone astray     03:56
4 Part 2. Accompagnato. All they that see Him, laugh Him to scorn     00:42
5 Part 2. Coro. He trusted in God that He would deliver Him     02:23
6 Part 2. Accompagnato. Thy rebuke hath broken His heart     01:37
7 Part 2. Arioso. Behold, and see if there be any sorrow     01:21
8 Part 2. Accompagnato. He was cut off out of the land of the living     00:15
9 Part 2. Arioso. But Thou didst not leave His soul in hell     02:22
10 Part 2. Coro. Lift up your heads, O ye gates     02:54
11 Part 2. Recitativo. Unto which of the angels said He     00:13
12 Part 2. Coro. Let all the angels of God worship him     01:26
13 Part 2. Aria. Thou art gone up on high     03:10
14 Part 2. Coro. The Lord gave the word     01:03
15 Part 2. Aria. How beautiful are the feet of them     02:14
16 Part 2. Coro. Their sound is gone out into all lands     01:25
17 Part 2. Aria. Why do the nations so furiously rage     02:34
18 Part 2. Coro. Let us break their bonds asunder     01:49
19 Part 2. Recitativo. He that dwelleth in heaven     00:12
20 Part 2. Aria. Thou shalt break them     02:09
21 Part 2. Coro. Hallelujah!     03:45
22 Part 3. Aria. I know that my Redeemer liveth     05:54
23 Part 3. Coro. Since by man came death     01:46
24 Part 3. Accompagnato. Behold, I tell you a mystery     00:31
25 Part 3. Aria. The trumpet shall sound     08:34
26 Part 3. Recitativo. Then shall be brought to pass     00:16
27 Part 3. Duet. O death, where is thy sting?     01:06
28 Part 3. Coro. But thanks be to God     02:11
29 Part 3. Aria. If God be for us, who can be against us?     05:14

30 Part 3. Coro. Worthy is the Lamb     07:44

SITE RATING:  6/10
SITE REVIEW:  This 2005 recording by Stephen Alltop and the Apollo Chorus of Chicago is another good "regional" recording that suffers in comparison with more internationally-renowned artists.  You can almost smell these "local choir makes good" albums as soon as they're released; they come with rapturous reviews from local newspapers, and receive glowing reports from people who know the conductor/choir member/orchestra player on a personal level.  But stacked against other Messiahs, this one is lacking is performances from both soloists and choir.  Specifically, contralto Patrice Djerejian possesses a particularly flimsy tone that drags her arias down, and the tenor section of the choir, when singing alone, is weak and undernourished.  Alltop's tempos are fine, and the live recording is generally well-balanced, with the occasional audience noise breaking the mood, and the Apollo Chorus has several fine moments that show off their unity and polish.  More distracting is the Apollo Chorus's regional accent, which chews consonants and slurs vowels to a noticeable degree.  The other soloists have more pleasing tones, but are let loose on their ornamentation, and on occasion falter in their sustaining tones.   I'm sure that the organization is a proud one for the Chicago community, but this Messiah is appealing only on a local level.


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