RECORDINGS

LABEL: LONDON
CATALOG NUMBER: 433 003-2
UPC NUMBER: 028943300322
NUMBER OF DISCS: 3
RUNNING TIME: 198:06
YEAR RECORDED: 1960
CD RELEASE DATE: OCTOBER 10, 1991
CONDUCTOR: SIR ADRIAN BOULT
ORCHESTRA: LONDON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
CHOIR: LONDON SYMPHONY CHORUS
SOPRANO: JOAN SUTHERLAND
CONTRALTO: GRACE BUMBRY
TENOR: KENNETH MCKELLAR
BASS: DAVID WARD


AUDIO SAMPLES HIGHLIGHTS OTHER RELEASES


DECCA SXL 6009Decca CD 433 637-2 H
DECCA STEREO SET 218 / 220JUBILLE
                              (CANADA)

DISC ONE

1. No.1: Symphony    5.09
2. No.2: Recitative (tenor) 'Comfort ye, comfort ye my people'    3.38
3. No.3: Air (tenor) 'Every valley shall be exalted'    3.34
4. No.4: Chorus 'And the glory of the Lord'    3.12
5. No.5: Recitative (bass) 'Thus saith the Lord'    2.02
6. No.6: Air (bass) `But who may abide'    5.02
7. No.7: Chorus `And he shall purify'    2.45
8. No.8: Recitative (alto) `Behold, a virgin shall conceive'    7.22
   No.9: Air (alto, chorus)'O thou that teilest good tidings to Zion'
9. No.10: Recitative (bass) 'For behold, darkness shall cover the earth' 2.32
10. No.11: Air (bass) 'The people that walked in darkness'    4.49
11. No.12: Chorus 'For unto us a child is born    4.26
12. No.13: Pifa    3.34
13. No.14-16: Recitative (soprano) `There were shepherds, abiding in the field ... And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them . . . And the angel said unto them ... And suddenly there was with the angel' 2.04
14. No.17: Chorus `Glory to God in the highest'    2.11
15. No.18: Air (soprano) 'Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion'    4.41
16. No.19/20: Recitative (soprano) and Duet (soprano, alto):    6.46
    'Then shall the eyes ... He shall feed his flock'
17. No.21: Chorus 'His yoke is easy'    2.38

DISC TWO

1. No.22: Chorus 'Behold the Lamb of God'    3.42
2. No.23: Air (alto) 'He was despised'    12.23
3. No.24: Chorus `Surely he hath borne our griefs'    2.29
4. No.25: Chorus 'And with his stripes'    2.34
5. No.26: Chorus `All we like sheep'    4.25
6. No.27/28: Recitative (tenor) and Chorus    'All they that see him ... He trusted in God' 3.14
7. No.29: Recitative (soprano) `Thy rebuke hath broken his heart'    2.24
8. No.30: Arioso (soprano) 'Behold and see'    1.47
9. Nos.31/32: Recitative and Air (tenor)'He was cut off... But thou didst not leave'    2.59
10. No.33: Chorus `Lift up your heads'    3.31
11. Nos.34/35: Recitative (tenor) and Chorus'Unto which of the angels ... Let all the angels of God'    2.08
12. No.36: Air (bass)'Thou art gone up on high'    3.03
13. No.37: Chorus `The Lord gave the word'    1.48
14. No.38: Air (soprano)'How beautiful are the feet'    2.39
15. No.39: Chorus `Their sound is gone out'    1.43
16. No.40: Air (bass)'Why do the nations'    2.54
17. No.41: Chorus'Let us break their bonds'    1.50
18. No.42/43: Recitative and Air (tenor):'He that dwelleth in heaven ... Thou shalt break them    2.27
19. No.44: Chorus'Hallelujah'    4.41

DISC THREE

1. No.45: Air (soprano) `I know that my Redeemer liveth'    7.11
2. No.46: Chorus 'Since by man came death'    2.21
3. No.47/48: Recitative and Air (bass) `Behold, I tell you a mystery ... The trumpet shall sound'    9.11
4. No.49-51: Recitative (alto) Duet (alto, tenor) and Chorus 'Then shall be brought to pass ...    4.30
5. O Death, where is thy sting?... But thanks be to God'
6. No.52: Air (soprano) `If God be for us'    4.52
7. No.53: Chorus'Worthy is the Lamb ... Amen'    9.19

ARIAS

8. 'Deeper, and deeper still ... Waft her, angels' (Jephtha)    8.38
9. 'Thanks to my brethren... How vain is man' (JudasMaccabaeus)    7.22
10. 'My arms! ... Sound an alarm' (Judas Maccabaeus)    4.00
11. 'With plaintive note'(Somson)    5.12
12. 'Let the bright Seraphim' (Samson)    5.55

SITE RATING:  7/10
SITE REVIEW:  Sir Adrian Boult's second recording of Messiah on the Decca London label, and his first in stereo is about on par with his earlier, mono recording.  Instead of the London Philharmonic Orchestra and  Chorus, here he uses the London Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, but his conducting style has changed very little in the six years between the two recordings - Boult uses the grand, romantic tradition, and his soloists, ranging from an in-her-prime Joan Sutherland to the richly-voiced Grace Brumby, the underwhelming tenor Kenneth McKellar and a similarly anemic bass, David Ward, whose melismas are unfocused, and whose tessatura I didn't find pleasing.   Boult's style of conducting Messiah in slow, grand phrases gives the oratorio a heightened sense of pathos during the bleaker passages, but also infuses the more joyful choruses with a reigning-in effect which only occasionally breaks out, such as the strongly declamatory "Let Us Break Their Bonds".  The recording is strongly ambient, with the chorus receiving a generally warmer sound than the drier orchestra, but the blend is very good, the performance generally very pleasing, and an overall good reading.  Should you choose this recording over other 1950s-era Messiahs?  I didn't find this Messiah as compelling as others of the era, but personal preference aside, this is a perfectly serviceable recording.  As of this writing it's out of print on CD, but receives a very fine in-demand CD-R release through Archiv records which includes all notes and printed labels.
UPDATE: On November 16, 2010, Newton Classics is reissuing this title on a 3-CD set.



The Compleat Messiah All Content Copyright 2015 Bret D. Wheadon
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