RECORDINGS

LABEL: NIMBUS RECORDS
CATALOG NUMBER: NIM 5709
UPC NUMBER: 710357570926
NUMBER OF DISCS: 2
RUNNING TIME: 2003
YEAR RECORDED: 143:42
CD RELEASE DATE: JULY 6, 2004
CONDUCTOR: WILLIAM BOUGHTON
ORCHESTRA: ENGLISH SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
CHOIR: SAINT MICHAEL'S SINGERS
SOPRANO: ALISON SMART
COUNTERTENOR: WILLIAM TOWERS
TENOR: MICHAEL HART-DAVIS
BASS: GAVIS CARR


AUDIO SAMPLES HIGHLIGHTS OTHER RELEASES



DISC ONE

1. Part One: Sinfonia - Overture: Grave     1:41
2. Part One: Sinfonia - Overture: Allegro moderato    2:09
3. Part One: Recitative: Comfort ye my people    3:18
4. Part One: Aria - Tenor: Ev'ry valley shall be exalted    3:28
5. Part One: Chorus: And the glory of the Lord    2:35
6. Part One: Recitative: Thus saith the Lord    1:22
7. Part One: Aria - Counter-Tenor: But who may abide the day of his coming?    4:30
8. Part One: Chorus: And he shall purify    2:48
9. Part One: Recitative: Behold, a virgin shall conceive    0:27
10. Part One: Aria - Counter-Tenor: O thou that tellest good tidings to Zion    4:06
11. Part One: Chorus: O thou that tellest good tidings to Zion    1:37
12. Part One: Recitative: For behold, darkness shall cover the earth    1:54
13. Part One: Aria - Baritone: The people that walked in darkness    3:37
14. Part One: Chorus: For unto us a child is born    4:26
15. Part One: Pifa - 'Pastoral Symphony'    1:05
16. Part One: Recitative: There were shepherds abiding in the field    0:13
17. Part One: Recitative: And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them    0:21
18. Part One: Recitative: And the angel said unto them    0:38
19. Part One: Recitative: And suddenly there was with the angel    0:17
20. Part One: Chorus: Glory to God    1:54
21. Part One: Aria - Soprano: Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion    5:01

22. Part One: Recitative: Then shall the eyes of the blind    0:33
23. Part One: Aria - Counter-Tenor & Soprano: He shall feed his flock    5:18
24. Part One: Chorus: His yoke is easy, and his burthen is light    2:42
25. Part Two: Chorus: Behold the Lamb of God    3:25
26. Part Two: Aria - Counter-Tenor: He was despised    10:40

DISC TWO

1. Part Two: Chorus: Surely he hath borne our griefs     1:52
2. Part Two: Chorus: And with his stripes we are healed    1:47   
3. Part Two: Chorus: All we like sheep have gone astray    3:58
4. Part Two: Recitative: All they that see him laugh him to scorn    0:45
5. Part Two: Chorus: He trusted in God    2:15
6. Part Two: Recitative: Thy rebuke hath broken his heart    2:02
7. Part Two: Aria - Soprano: Behold,and see if there be any sorrow    1:23
8. Part Two: Recitative: He was cut off out of the land of the living    0:23
9. Part Two: Aria - Tenor: But thou didst not leave his soul in hell    2:19
10. Part Two: Chorus: Lift up your heads, O ye gates    3:04
11. Part Two: Recitative: Unto which of the angels said he at any time    0:20
12. Part Two: Chorus: Let all the angels of God worship him    1:25
13. Part Two: Aria - Counter-Tenor: Thou art gone up on high    3:16
14. Part Two: Chorus: The Lord gave the word    1:08
15. Part Two: Aria - Soprano: How beautiful are the feet    2:03
16. Part Two: Chorus: Their sound is gone out    1:26
17. Part Two: Aria - Baritone: Why do the nations so furiously rage together?    3:00
18. Part Two: Chorus: Let us break their bonds asunder    1:55
19. Part Two: Recitative: He that dwelleth in heaven    0:16
20. Part Two: Aria - Tenor: Thou shalt break them    2:14
21. Part Two: Chorus: Hallelujah    3:47
22. Part Three: Aria - Soprano: I know that my redeemer liveth    6:02
23. Part Three: Chorus: Since by man came death    1:53
24. Part Three: Recitative: Behold, I tell you a mystery    0:43
25. Part Three: Aria - Baritone: The trumpet shall sound    9:06
26. Part Three: Recitative: Then shall be brought to pass    0:19
27. Part Three: Duet - Counter-Tenor & Tenor: O death, where is thy sting?    0:55
28. Part Three: Chorus: But thanks be to God    2:02
29. Part Three: Aria - Soprano: If God be for us    4:41
30. Part Three: Chorus: Worthy is the Lamb that was slain    3:23
31. Part Three: Chorus: Amen


SITE RATING:  4/10
SITE REVIEW:  An unfortunate recording, this 2003 Messiah by William Boughton sounds shrill, nervous, and generally ill-at-ease with itself.  High points include countertenor William Towers, with his mellow, natural sound very easy and pleasant, and the Saint Michael's Singers who collectively bring a freshness and innocence to their readings.  But the minuses on this Messiah are very distinct: Tenor Michael Hart-Davis is particularly harsh and clipped on his solos, as is soprano Alison Smart, giving one of the most hard, unnatural performances I've heard on disc.  Baritone Gavis Carr also sounds unsteady on his melismas, and the three of them all sound forced - as if they had not warmed up their voices previous to the concert.  Boughton's tempos are unfocused, having an unnatural, brittle quality to them, leading the whole fabric of the piece unable to gel into a pleasing whole.  The recorded sound is soft was well, leaving such bright contrapuntal pieces such as "Let Us Break Their Bonds Asunder" awash in muddiness.  A recording that's frustrating on many levels, and not worth picking over far-better alternatives.


The Compleat Messiah All Content Copyright 2015 Bret D. Wheadon
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