RECORDINGS

LABEL: ARS MUSICI
CATALOG NUMBER: 232374
UPC NUMBER: 4011222323743
NUMBER OF DISCS: 2
RUNNING TIME: 77:37, 66:59
YEAR RECORDED: 2003
CD RELEASE DATE: NOVEMBER 17, 2009
CONDUCTOR: JÖRG BREIDING
ORCHESTRA: BAROCKORCHESTER L'ARCO
CHOIR: KNABENCHOR HANNOVER
SOPRANO: SIRI KAROLINE THORNHILL
COUNTERTENOR: MARTIN WÖLFEL
TENOR: JAN KOBOW
BASS: KAY STIEFERMANN


AUDIO SAMPLES HIGHLIGHTS OTHER RELEASES


DISC ONE

1. Symphony
2. Comfort ye my people
3. Ev'ry valley shall be exalted
4. And the glory of the Lord
5. Thus saith the Lord, the Lord of Hosts
6. But who may abide the day of His coming
7. And He shall purify the sons of Levi
8. Behold, a virgin shall conceive
9. O thou that tellest good tidings to Zion
10. O thou that tellest good tidings to Zion
11. For behold, darkness shall cover the earth
12. The people that walked in darkness
13. For unto us a Child is born
14. Pifa
15. There were shepherds abiding in the field
16. Glory to God in the highest
17. Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion
18. Then shall the eyes of the blind be open'd
19. He shall feed His flock like a shepherd
20. His yoke is easy, His burthen is light
21. Behold the Lamb of God
22. He was despised and rejected
23. Surely, He hath borne our griefs
24. And with HIs stripes we are healed
25. All we like sheep have gone astray
DISC TWO

1. All they that see Him, laugh Him to scorn
2. He trusted in God that He would deliver Him
3. Thy rebuke hath broken His heart
4. Behold, and see if there be any sorrow
5. He was cut off out of the land of hte living
6. But thou didst not leave His soul in hell
7. Lift up your heads, O ye gates
8. Unto which of the angels said He at any time
9. Let all the angels of God worship Him
10. Thou art gone up on high
11. The Lord gave the word
12. How beautiful are the feet of them
13. Their sound is gone out into all lands
14. Why do the nations so furiously rage
15. Let us break their bonds asunder
16. He that dwelleth in heaven
17. Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron
18. Hallelujah
19. I know that my Redeemer liveth
20. Since by man came death
21. Behold, I tell you a mystery
22. The trumpet shall sound
23. Then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written
24. O death, where is thy sting?
25. But thanks be to God
26. If God be for us, who can be against us
27. Worthy is the Lamb that was slain
28. Amen

SITE RATING:  6/10
SITE REVIEW:  A German import, this 2003 recording with a very young Jörg Breiding contains many good points, including generally fine soloists, excellent playing by the L'Arco Baroque Orchestra, pleasing singing by the Hannover Knabenchor, and good recorded sound.  The main fault (and it is an insurmountable one) lies in the rather indifferent conducting by Breiding, leading to rather sluggish readings of most of the choruses and many of the arias.  It all sounds a bit tired and listless; and make no mistake, this is not due to conducting in the "old-school" manner, with the larger forces, and grander, more romantic interpretation - no, this Messiah uses smaller forces, and baroque instrumentation, which would lead me to think this was going to be a brighter reading; but Breiding seems to prefer a soporific approach to this performance, which strips the oratorio of its energy and vitality.  The soloists and massed performing forces are all very good, with excellent tone, balance, and a minimum of excess - but it was difficult for me to maintain interest with every movement feeling reined in.  I was reminded while listening to this of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein; what this performance needs is a strong infusion of electricity to bring it to life; as it is, this Messiah is a lumbering beast which sacrifices joyfulness and liveliness to the listener's detriment.


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