RECORDINGS

LABEL: NAXOS
CATALOG NUMBER: 8.554511-12
UPC NUMBER: 636943451120
NUMBER OF DISCS: 2
RUNNING TIME: 142:19
YEAR RECORDED: 1996
CD RELEASE DATE: NOVEMBER 30, 1999
CONDUCTOR: OWEN BURDICK
ORCHESTRA: THE TRINITY ORCHESTRA
CHOIR: THE TRINITY CHOIR
SOPRANO: BETHANY HODGES, JANINE ULLYETTE
CONTRALTO: ANDREA SAPOSNIK, SARAH BLEASDALE
TENOR: BENJAMIN BRECHER
BASS: JAMES MARTIN, ROBERT MCLOUD


AUDIO SAMPLES HIGHLIGHTS OTHER RELEASES



DISC ONE

1. Overture    
2. Arioso. Comfort ye
3. Air. Every valley shall be exalted    
4. Chorus. And the glory of the Lord
5. Recitative. Thus saith the Lord of host    
6. Air. But who may abide the day of his coming    
7. Chorus. And he shall purify the sons of Levi
8. Recitative. Behold a virgin shall conceive    
9. Air and Chorus. O thou that tellest good tidings to Zion    
10. Arioso. For behold, darkness shall cover the earth
11. Air. The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light
12. Chorus. For unto us a child is born
13. Pifa (Pastoral Symphony)     Listen
14. Recitative. There were shepherds abiding in the field / Arioso. And lo, the angel
15. Recitative. And the angel said unto them, Fear not
16. Arioso. And suddenly there was with the angel...    
17. Chorus. Glory to God in the highest    
18. Air. Rejoice greatly    
19. Recitative. Then shall the eyes of the blind be opened    
20. Air. He shall feed his flock like a shepherd    
21. Chorus. His yoke is easy, and his burden is light
22. Chorus. Behold, The Lamb of God    
23. Air. He was despised and rejected of men    
24. Chorus. Surely he hath borne our griefs    
25. Chorus. And with his stripes we are healed
26. Chorus. All we like sheep have gone astray
DISC TWO

1. Arioso. All they that see him laugh him to scorn
2. Chorus. He trusted in God that he would deliver him
3. Recitative. Thy rebuke hath broken his heart
4. Air. Behold and see if there be any sorrow like unto his sorrow
5. Recitative. He was cut off out of the land of the living    
6. Air. But thou didst not leave his soul in hell
7. Chorus. Lift up your heads
8. Recitative. Unto which of the angels said he at any time    
9. Chorus. Let all the angels of God worship him
10. Air. Thou art gone up on high
11. Chorus. The Lord gave the word
12. Aria. How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace
13. Air. Why do the nations so furiously rage together
14. Chorus. Let us break their bonds asunder
15. Recitative. He that dwelleth in heaven shall laugh them to scorn    
16. Air. Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron
17. Chorus. Halleujah     Listen
18. Air. I know that my redeemer liveth
19. Chorus. Since by man came death
20. Recitative. Behold, I tell you a mystery    
21. Air. The trumpet shall sound    
22. Duet. O death, where is thy sting
23. Chorus. But thanks be to God    
24. Air. If God be for us who can be against us    
25. Chorus. Worthy is the lamb that was slain...    
26. Chorus. Amen

SITE RATING:  8/10
SITE REVIEW:  For the Naxos label, which specializes in recording and releasing live performances of classical works, this is a very good release, indeed.  Recorded at the New York Trinity Church (where Messiah received its U.S. premiere, being first performed only twenty-eight years after it was composed), the listener is treated to wonderful natural acoustics, stunning soloists (with special mention given to tenor Benjamin Brecher for his passionate readings and awe-inspiring tessatura), and playing and singing by the Trinity Choir and Orchestra that is truly envious for it's precision and unity.  The sound is not always as close and separated as I might wish, but neither is it too murky - being a live recording in a 200-year-old church it's remarkably good, but we lose some of the finer points of the melismas in the "wash" of sound being captured.  And what we lose as far as clarity, we gain with the atmosphere of the Trinity Church.  The largest problem I have with this particular performance is the ornamentation of the soloists, whose sudden cresendos "punch out" of the rest of the fabric of the oratorio in a forced, startling manner.  Regardless, for the price offered, and the performance with which the listener is treated, this is an excellent addition to any music collection.


The Compleat Messiah All Content Copyright 2015 Bret D. Wheadon
All Rights Reserved.