RECORDINGS

LABEL: RHEINGAU MUSIK FESTIVAL
CATALOG NUMBER: RMF 02
UPC NUMBER: N/A
NUMBER OF DISCS: 2
RUNNING TIME: 118:43
YEAR RECORDED: 21 AUGUST 2004
CD RELEASE DATE: 2004
CONDUCTOR: ROLF BECK
ORCHESTRA: CAPPELLA ISTROPOLITANA
CHOIR: CHOR DER BAMBERGER  SYMPHONIKER
SOPRANO: ANNA KORONDI
CONTRALTO: ANNETTE MARKERT
TENOR: WERNER GÜRA
BASS: SEBASTIAN NOACK


Available
for

purchase
from

The Rheingau
Musik Festival

website.

AUDIO SAMPLES HIGHLIGHTS OTHER RELEASES

NONE

NONE

NONE

DISC ONE

1. Sinfony     02:54
2. Accompagnato. Comfort ye, my people     02:20
3. Air. Ev'ry valley shall be exalted     03:17
4. Chorus. And the glory of the Lord     02:44
5. Accompagnato. Thus saith the Lord     01:26
6. Air. But who may abide     04:34
7. Chorus. And He shall purify     02:16
8. Recitative. Behold, a virgin shall conceive /
    Air and Chorus. O thou that tellest good tid     05:57
9. Accompagnato. For behold, darkness shall cover the earth            01:44
10. Air. The people that walked in darkness     03:44
11. Chorus. For unto us a Child is born     03:50
12. Pifa     02:18
13. Recitative. There were shepherds /
     Accompagnato. And lo, the angel of the Lord     00:35
14. Recitative. And the angel said unto them /
     Accompagnato. And suddenly there     00:56
15. Chorus. Glory to God     01:52
16. Air. Rejoice greatly     04:08
17. Recitative. Then shall the eyes of the blind /
     Duet. He shall feed His flock     05:03
18. Chorus. His yoke is easy     02:22
DISC TWO

1 Chorus. Behold the Lamb of God     03:09
2 Air. He was despised     09:07
3 Chorus. Surely, He hath borne our griefs     01:50
4 Chorus. And with His stripes     01:45
5 Chorus. All we like sheep     03:54
6 Accompagnato. All they that see Him     00:45
7 Chorus. He trusted in God     02:21
8 Accompagnato. Thy rebuke hath broken His heart     01:27
9 Arioso. Behold and see     01:15
10 Accompagnato. He was cut off     00:19
11 Air. But Thou didst not leave     02:05
12 Chorus. Lift up your heads     03:04
13 Air. How beautiful are the feet     02:06
14 Arioso. Their sound is gone out     01:09
15 Air. Why do the nations     02:59
16 Chorus. Let us break their bonds asunder     01:47
17 Recitative. He hath dwelleth in heaven /
     Air. Thou shalt break them     02:15
18 Chorus. Hallelujah     03:41
19 Air. I know that my Redeemer liveth     05:35
20 Chorus. Since by man came death     02:00
21 Accompagnato. Behold, I tell you a mystery     00:38
22 Air. The trumpet shall sound     06:03
23 Chorus. Worthy is the Lamb     07:29

SITE RATING:  6/10
SITE REVIEW:  This 2004 live recording, a publicly available souvenir from the German-based Rheingau Musik Festival, this English-language Messiah has several pluses, as well as some minuses, both directly attributable to the live setting.  First, the good: the Bamberger Symphony Choir and Cappella Istropolitana Orchestra are both excellent, singing and playing with fiery aplomb. Their performances here are certainly worthy of Handel's work, and they acquit themselves admirably.  The soloists are decidedly mixed in their individual arenas, with their faults showing up noticeably in unsteady, occasionally disastrous melismas, overly bright tones, and forward projection, making them each sound harsh and unpleasant. Soprano Anna Korondi was my favorite among them, for her softer, more approacable tone.  Rolf Beck's direction is uniformly fast - tending towards racing, which further hinders the soloists,  but tends to add a distinct spark of fervor to the choruses.  I felt, however that this performance was on the whole rather stiff - with Beck emphasizing style over substance, and often ignoring the more tender aspects of Messiah. His tempos more often feel rushed than necessary - and the singing and playing more robotic than warm.  Still, there are several admirable moments here, and I'll undoubtedly be listening to this recording again.  Available only through the Festival's official store, payable by international bank transfer.

The Compleat Messiah All Content Copyright © 2010 Bret D. Wheadon
All Rights Reserved.