RECORDINGS

LABEL: ESSENTIAL CLASSICS
CATALOG NUMBER: UNKNOWN
UPC NUMBER: UNKNOWN
NUMBER OF DISCS: 1
RUNNING TIME: 55:31
YEAR RECORDED: 2006
CD RELEASE DATE: 2013
CONDUCTOR: MARTIN BIGGS
ORCHESTRA: THE SIR JAMES HENDERSON ORCHESTRA
CHOIR: THE SIR JAMES HENDERSON CHOIR
SOPRANO: DOINA PALADE
CONTRALTO: N/A
TENOR: N/A
BASS: N/A


AUDIO SAMPLES HIGHLIGHTS OTHER RELEASES


NONE

NONE

DISC ONE

1. Messiah, HWV 56: "Overture"    3:29
2. Messiah, HWV 56: "And the Glory"    2:59
3. Messiah, HWV 56: "Behold a Virgin"    0:31
4. Messiah, HWV 56: "O Thou that Tellest"    5:49
5. Messiah, HWV 56: "For unto us a Child is Born"    4:47
6. Messiah, HWV 56: "There Were Shepherds"    1:24
7. Messiah, HWV 56: "And Suddenly Glory to God"    2:47
8. Messiah, HWV 56: "He Shall Feed his Flock"    4:4
9. Messiah, HWV 56: "Behold the Lamb of God"    2:49
10. Messiah, HWV 56: "Surely"    2:42
11. Messiah, HWV 56: "Behold and See"    1:39
12. Messiah, HWV 56: "Hallelujah"    5:13
13. Messiah, HWV 56: "I Know that my Redeemer Liveth"    6:44
14. Messiah, HWV 56: "Since by Man Came Death"    2:02
15. Messiah, HWV 56: "Worthy is the Lamb that Was Slain"    3:41
16. Messiah, HWV 56: "Amen"    4:12

SITE RATING:  1/10
SITE REVIEW:  This 2006 highlights disc, performed by The Sir James Henderson Choir and Orchestra, and under the direction of Martin Biggs, is an odd choice for a Messiah release.  The choir and orchestra are a school choir, from The Sir James Henderson British School of Milan (Italy), and although the orchestra and choir are certainly a cut above what might pass for a public school choir and orchestra, still suffer from the ragged, sloppy presentation which you would find at any public institution.  According to its website, the school’s population consists of nearly fifty percent Italians, with approximately twenty percent from England and the rest from other nationalities.  With a total student population of only ninety pupils, it really doesn’t have a large enough base with which to draw a sterling choral or orchestra force, but nevertheless prides itself on their classical program enough to not only perform Handel’s Messiah, but possesses the chutzpah to tour with it as well.  The soprano soloist Doina Palade (the sole one present) is apparently the mother of one of the students, and her wide, chesty tone, unsteady melismas, and forced presentation leaves much to be desired.  Similarly, the choir is completely amateurish, sometimes sounding passable, but on some choruses (“For Unto Us A Child Is Born” and “Glory To God”) completely inept.  Why anyone would want to publicly release (and charge money for!) this remarkably poor recording is beyond my understanding.  Strained voices, horribly flat tones, and omnipresent audience noise make this a Messiah worth missing, even for ardent collectors.


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