RECORDINGS

LABEL: DECCA
CATALOG NUMBER: 433740
UPC NUMBER: 02894337402
NUMBER OF DISCS: 2
RUNNING TIME: 146:06
YEAR RECORDED: 1969
CD RELEASE DATE: OCTOBER 13, 1992
CONDUCTOR: RICHARD BONYNGE
ORCHESTRA: ENGLISH CHAMBER ORCHESTRA
CHOIR: AMBROSIAN SINGERS
SOPRANO: JOAN SUTHERLAND
CONTRALTO: HUGUETTE TOURANGEAU
TENOR: WERNER KRENN
BASS: TOM KRAUSE


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(WILL OPEN IN NEW WINDOW)
LONDON STEREO FFRR Record
                              Album (OS 26254) DECCA SETA 465-467 [UK]

DISC ONE

1. Overture
2. Comfort ye
3. Every valley shall be exalted
4. And the glory of the Lord
5. Thus saith the Lord
6. But who may abide
7. And he shall purify
8. Behold, a virgin shall conceive... O thou that tellest
9. For behold, darkness shall cover the earth
10. The people that walked in darkness
11. For unto us a child is born
12. Pastoral symphony
13. There were shepherds abiding in the field
14. Glory to God
15. Rejoice greatly
16. He shall feed his flock
17. His yoke is easy
18. Behold the Lamb of God
19. He was despised
DISC TWO

1. Surely he hath borne our griefs
2. And with his stripes
3. All we like sheep have gone astray
4. All they that see him... He trusted in God
5. Thy rebuke hath broken his heart
6. Behold and see
7. He was cut off... But thou didst not leave
8. Lift up your heads
9. Unto which of the angels... Let all the angels of God
10. Thou art gone up on high
11. The Lord gave the word
12. How beautiful are the feet
13. Their sound is gone out
14. 
Why do the nations so furiously rage together
15. Let us break their bonds asunder
16. He that dwelleth in heaven/Thou shalt break them
17. Hallelujah
18. I know that my Redeemer liveth
19. Since by man came death
20. Behold, I tell you a mystery... The trumpet shall sound
21. Then shall be brought to pass... O Death, where is thy sting?
22. If God be for us
23. Worthy is the Lamb... Amen

SITE RATING:  8/10
SITE REVIEW:  Richard Bonynge's 1969 Messiah is curious for several reasons, not the least being the amount of ornamentation encouraged by all the soloists; it's as if Vincenzo Bellini had taken up his pen and tried re-arranging Messiah in the same manner as Mozart.  Certainly a different approach, and one that is certain to engender discussion.  From my point of view, it's simply a different way of looking at Messiah, which is, if not always successful from an artistic point of view, is almost always interesting; since if Messiah were simply carbon-copied from one peformance to the next, it would wither and die.  But there are some very good things evident in this recording as well, from the bright, dancing tempos, to the wondefully sensitive playing by the English Chamber Orchestra, to the solid singing of the Ambrosian Chorus.  The soloists, apart from the unusually high amount of ornamentation, are also quite good, the only large distraction being contralto Hughette Tourangeau's French accent, which often flattens the English vowels.  Joan Sutherland is glorious - in her prime here, and singing with the lovely bell-like tones which she built her formidable reputation upon.  This is a perfectly adequate Messiah, the only major sticking point being the excessive ornamentation, but otherwise, beautifully performed, and a high point of the 1960s Messiah cycles.


The Compleat Messiah All Content Copyright 2015 Bret D. Wheadon
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