|NUMBER OF DISCS:
2. No.2: Recitative (tenor) 'Comfort ye,
comfort ye my people'
3. No.3: Air (tenor) 'Every valley shall
be exalted' 3.34
4. No.4: Chorus 'And the glory of the
5. No.5: Recitative (bass) 'Thus saith
the Lord' 2.02
6. No.6: Air (bass) `But who may
7. No.7: Chorus `And he shall
8. No.8: Recitative (alto) `Behold, a
virgin shall conceive'
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'
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
15. No.18: Air (soprano) 'Rejoice
greatly, O daughter of
16. No.19/20: Recitative (soprano) and
Duet (soprano, alto):
'Then shall the eyes
... He shall feed his flock'
17. No.21: Chorus 'His yoke is
1. No.22: Chorus 'Behold the
Lamb of God' 3.42
2. No.23: Air (alto) 'He was
3. No.24: Chorus `Surely he hath borne
our griefs' 2.29
4. No.25: Chorus 'And with his
5. No.26: Chorus `All we like
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
8. No.30: Arioso (soprano) 'Behold and
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
11. Nos.34/35: Recitative (tenor) and
Chorus'Unto which of the angels ... Let
all the angels of God'
12. No.36: Air (bass)'Thou art gone up
on high' 3.03
13. No.37: Chorus `The Lord gave the
14. No.38: Air (soprano)'How beautiful
are the feet' 2.39
15. No.39: Chorus `Their sound is gone
16. No.40: Air (bass)'Why do the
17. No.41: Chorus'Let us break their
18. No.42/43: Recitative and Air
(tenor):'He that dwelleth in heaven ...
Thou shalt break them
1. No.45: Air (soprano) `I
know that my Redeemer
2. No.46: Chorus 'Since by man came
3. No.47/48: Recitative and Air (bass)
`Behold, I tell you a mystery ... The
trumpet shall sound'
4. No.49-51: Recitative (alto) Duet
(alto, tenor) and Chorus 'Then shall
be brought to pass
5. O Death, where is thy sting?... But
thanks be to God'
6. No.52: Air (soprano) `If God be for
7. No.53: Chorus'Worthy is the Lamb
... Amen' 9.19
8. 'Deeper, and deeper still ... Waft
9. 'Thanks to my brethren... How vain
10. 'My arms! ... Sound an alarm'
11. 'With plaintive
12. 'Let the bright Seraphim'
SITE RATING: 7/10
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
On November 16, 2010, Newton Classics is
reissuing this title on a 3-CD set.