RECORDINGS

LABEL: PEARL
CATALOG NUMBER: 9456
UPC NUMBER: 727031945628
NUMBER OF DISCS: 2
RUNNING TIME: 120 MIN.
YEAR RECORDED: 1927
CD RELEASE DATE: JANUARY 19, 1993
CONDUCTOR: SIR THOMAS BEECHAM
ORCHESTRA: THE BBC SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
CHOIR: THE BBC CHOIR
SOPRANO: DORA LABBETTE
CONTRALTO: MURIEL BRUNSKILL
TENOR: HUBERT EISDELL
BASS: HAROLD WILLIAMS


AUDIO SAMPLES OTHER RELEASES



DISC ONE

1. Overture
2. Comfort Ye, My People
3. E'vry Valley Shall Be Exalted
4. And the Glory of the Lord
5. Thus Saith the Lord
6. But Who May Abide the Day of His Coming?
7. And He Shall Purify
8. Behold, The Virgin Shall Conceive
9. O Thou That Tellest Good Tidings to Zion
10. For Behold, Darkness Shall Cover the Earth
11. People That Walked in Darkness
12. For Unto Us a Child Is Born
13. There Were Shepherd ... and lo, The Angel of the Lord
14. And the Angel Said Unto Them
15. And Suddenly There Was With the Angel    
16. Glory to God
17. Rejoice Greatly, O Daughter of Zion!
18. Then Shall the Eyes of the Blind Be Opened
19. He Shall Feed His Flock Like a Shepherd
20. His Yoke Is Easy, And His Burthen Is Light

DISC TWO

1. Behold the Lamb of God
2. He Was Despised
3. Surely He Hath Borne Our Griefs
4. And With His Stripes We Are Healed
5. All We Like Sheep Have Gone Astray
6. All They That See Him, Laugh Him to Scorn
7. He Trusted in God That He Would Deliver Him
8. Thy Rebuke Hath Broken His Heart
9. Behold, And See If There Be Any Sorrow
10. He Was Cut Off Out of the Land of the Living
11. But Thou Didst Not Leave His Soul in Hell
12. Lift Up Your Heads, O Ye Gates
13. How Beautiful Are the Feet
14. Why Do the Nations So Furiously Rage Together?
15. Let Us Break Their Bonds Asunder
16. He That Dwelleth in Heaven    
17. Thou Shalt Break Them
18. Hallelujah!
19. I Know That My Redeemer Liveth
20. Since by Man Came Death
21. Behold, I Tell You a Mystery    
22. Trumpet Shall Sound
23. Worthy Is the Lamb That Was Slain


SITE RATING:  5/10
SITE REVIEW:  Listening to a recordings like Sir Thomas Beecham's 1927 recording of Messiah takes some education, otherwise, the casual listener would quickly listen to a few seconds, and then simply turn it off, our modern ears not accustomed to the particular idiosyncracies that 1927 listeners were accustomed to.  In particular, singers from this era did little recording - most of their livelihood was made on stage, or in drawing rooms of wealthy patrons.   They learned their craft in opera houses and theaters, and the way their voices were trained for those venues was quite different from today, where artificial amplification and other in-studio means could polish off the worst vocal offenses. Which means that all of the soloists use trills and vocal scoops which our modern ears are not accustomed to; and their voices have tonal colors and shades that are quite different from modern vocal techniques.  Also, recording technology was still very primitive, and much depended on the placement of the orchestra and singers in relation to the microphone.  Historically, this is an extraordinarily important recording, being the only full reading of the score to survive.  Pearl Records, which makes its specialty in rescuing and restoring early Twentieth Century albums, has done everyone a great service by searching for these archival recordings and putting them out to the public, where otherwise they might simply lay ignored in library special collections.  The only other project like it on CD is Koch Historic's double-disc collection of Messiah fragments, dating from 1898-1930.  Besides the vocal variances, the recording was obviously mastered from pre-vinyl sources, and carries the burden of ever-present surface noise. ~ BDW


The Compleat Messiah All Content Copyright 2015 Bret D. Wheadon
All Rights Reserved.