RECORDINGS

LABEL: CARUS-VERLAG
CATALOG NUMBER: CV 83.219/00
UPC NUMBER: 4 009350 832191
NUMBER OF DISCS: 2
RUNNING TIME: 150 MIN.
YEAR RECORDED: 2008
CD RELEASE DATE: SEPTEMBER 8, 2009
CONDUCTOR: FRIEDER BERNIUS
ORCHESTRA: BAROCKORCHESTER STUTTGART
CHOIR: KAMMERCHOR STUTTGART
SOPRANO: CAROLYN SAMPSON
CONTRALTO: DANIEL TAYLOR
TENOR: BENJAMIN HULETT
BASS: PETER HARVEY


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DISC ONE

1. Part 1. No. 1. Sinfony
2. Part 1. No. 2. Accompagnato. Comfort ye my people
3. Part 1. No. 3. Air. Ev'ry valley shall be exalted
4. Part 1. No. 4. Chorus. And the glory of the Lord
5. Part 1. No. 5. Accompagnato. Thus saith the Lord
6. Part 1. No. 6. Air. But who may abide
7. Part 1. No. 7. Chorus. And He shall purify
8. Part 1. No. 8. Recitative. Behold, a virgin shall conceive / Air and Chorus. O thou that tellest good tidings to Zion
9. Part 1. No. 9. Accompagnato. For behold, darkness shall cover the earth
10. Part 1. No. 10. Air. The people that walked in darkness
11. Part 1. No. 11. Chorus. For unto us a child is born
12. Part 1. No. 12. Pifa. Recitative. There were shepherds abiding in the field
13. Part 1. No. 13. Accompagnato. And lo, the angel of the Lord    
14. Part 1. No. 14. Recitative. And the angel said unto them / Accompagnato. And suddenly there was with
15. Part 1. No. 15. Chorus. Glory to God in the highest
16. Part 1. No. 16. Air. Rejoice greatly
17. Part 1. No. 17. Recitative. Then shall the eyes of the blind / Air. He shall feed his flock
18. Part 1. No. 18. Chorus. His yoke is easy
19. Part 2. No. 19. Chorus. Behold the Lamb of God
20. Part 2. No. 20. Recitative. He was despised

DISC TWO

1. Part 2. No. 21. Chorus. Surely He hath borne our griefs
2. Part 2. No. 22. Chorus. And with His stripes we are healed
3. Part 2. No. 23. Chorus. All we, like sheep
4. Part 2. No. 24. Accompagnato. All they that see Him
5. Part 2. No. 25. Chorus. He trusted in God that He would deliver Him
6. Part 2. No. 26. Accompagnato. Thy rebuke hath broken His heart
7. Part 2. No. 27. Arioso. Behold, and see, if there be any sorrow
8. Part 2. No. 28. Accompagnato. He was cut off out of the land of the living    
9. Part 2. No. 29. Air. But Thou didst not leave His soul in hell
10. Part 2. No. 30. Chorus. Lift up your heads
11. Part 2. No. 31. Recitative. Unto which of the angels / Chorus. Let all the angels of God worship hi
12. Part 2. No. 32. Air. Thou art gone up on high
13. Part 2. No. 33. Chorus. The Lord gave the word
14. Part 2. No. 34. Air. How beautiful are the feet of them
15. Part 2. No. 35. Chorus. Their sound is gone out
16. Part 2. No. 36. Air. Why do the nations
17. Part 2. No. 37. Chorus. Let us break their bonds asunder
18. Part 2. No. 38. Recitative. He that dwelleth in heaven / Air. Thou shalt break them
19. Part 3. No. 40. Air. I know that my Redeemer liveth
20. Part 3. No. 41. Chorus. Since by man came death
21. Part 3. No. 42. Accompagnato. Behold, I tell you a mystery
22. Part 3. No. 43. Air. The trumpet shall sound
23. Part 3. No. 44. Recitative. Then shall be brought to pass / Duet. O death, where is thy sting?
24. Part 3. No. 45. Chorus. But thanks be to God
25. Part 3. No. 46. Air. If God be for us
26. Part 3. No. 47. Chorus. Worthy is the Lamb that was slain / No. 48. Chorus. Amen


SITE RATING:  10/10
SITE REVIEW:  For whatever reason, SACD technology has held on, even if only for a very few, and this Messiah, released on an SACD hybrid disc (SACD and CD or DVD players can play it) is worth picking up even if you're not an SACD enthusiast, since the performance is beautifully realized.  The Stuttgart Baroque Orchestra (playing period instruments) and the Stuttgart Kammerchor are both accomplished, unified forces, led with estimable grace by Frieder Bernius.  Unlike other period performances, Bernius doesn't rush things along pell-mell, but allows the tempi to be dictated by the needs of the piece; therefore, "The People That Walked In Darkness" is maintained an an even, walking tempo, while "Rejoice Greatly" is allowed to dance in a joyful manner.  It's a very sympathetic musical approach to Messiah that all too few conductors understand.  The soloists are all beautifully fitted to their roles, with all of them bringing a more, shall we say, Romantic approach to their singing than the drier Baroque bell-singing school.  Soprano Carolyn Sampson and Bass Peter Harvey bring much warmth and carefully controlled vibrato to their singing, while tenor Benjamin Hewlett gives a somewhat gentle, more forgiving tenor lead, which I found  more in keeping with the mood of the entire piece.  The Choir shines on its choruses, with "Since By Man Came Death" especially effective with the changes between the bleak and triumphant interchanges.  Baroque enthusiasts might not be drawn to this lusher, lovely Messiah, but in finding a middle ground between the Romantic and Baroque extremes, I believe that Frider Bernius has created one of the most "human" Messiahs on record.  An excellent addition to the canon.   ~ BDW


The Compleat Messiah All Content Copyright 2016 Bret D. Wheadon
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