RECORDINGS

LABEL: PHILIPS
CATALOG NUMBER: 0 412 538-1 PH3
UPC NUMBER: 028941253828
NUMBER OF DISCS: 3
RUNNING TIME: 149:59
YEAR RECORDED: 1984
CD RELEASE DATE: OCTOBER 25, 1990
CONDUCTOR: SIR COLIN DAVIS
ORCHESTRA: BAVARIAN RADIO SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
CHOIR: BAVARIAN RADIO SYMPHONY CHOIR
SOPRANO: MARGARET PRICE
CONTRALTO: HANNA SCHWARZ
TENOR: STUART BURROWS
BASS: SIMON ESTES

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DISC ONE

1. Messiah, oratorio, HWV 56: Part 1. Sinfonia
2. Messiah, oratorio, HWV 56: Part 1. No. 1. Recitativo accompagnato
3. Messiah, oratorio, HWV 56: Part 1. No. 2. Air
4. Messiah, oratorio, HWV 56: Part 1. No. 3. Chorus
5. Messiah, oratorio, HWV 56: Part 1. No. 4. Recitativo accompagnato
6. Messiah, oratorio, HWV 56: Part 1. No. 5. Air
7. Messiah, oratorio, HWV 56: Part 1. No. 6. Chorus
8. Messiah, oratorio, HWV 56: Part 1. No. 7-8-9. Recitativo - Air - Chorus
9. Messiah, oratorio, HWV 56: Part 1. No. 10-11. Recitativo accompagnato - Air
10. Messiah, oratorio, HWV 56: Part 1. No. 12. Chorus    
11. Messiah, oratorio, HWV 56: Part 1. No. 13. Pifa (Sinfonia pastorale)
12. Messiah, oratorio, HWV 56: Part 1. No. 14. Recitativo - Recitativo accompagnato - Recitativo accompagnato
13. Messiah, oratorio, HWV 56: Part 1. No. 15. Chorus    
14. Messiah, oratorio, HWV 56: Part 1. No. 16. Air    
15. Messiah, oratorio, HWV 56: Part 1. No. 17a. Recitativo    
16. Messiah, oratorio, HWV 56: Part 1. No. 18a. Duet    
17. Messiah, oratorio, HWV 56: Part 1. No. 19. Chorus
DISC TWO

1. Messiah, oratorio, HWV 56: Part 2. No. 20. Chorus    
2. Messiah, oratorio, HWV 56: Part 2. No. 21. Air
3. Messiah, oratorio, HWV 56: Part 2. No. 22-23-24. Chorus
4. Messiah, oratorio, HWV 56: Part 2. No. 25. Recitativo accompagnato
5. Messiah, oratorio, HWV 56: Part 2. No. 26. Chorus
6. Messiah, oratorio, HWV 56: Part 2. No. 27. Recitativo accompagnato
7. Messiah, oratorio, HWV 56: Part 2. No. 28. Air
8. Messiah, oratorio, HWV 56: Part 2. No. 29-30. Recitativo accompagnato - Air
9. Messiah, oratorio, HWV 56: Part 2. No. 31. Chorus
10. Messiah, oratorio, HWV 56: Part 2. No. 32-33. Recitativo - Chorus
11. Messiah, oratorio, HWV 56: Part 2. No. 34. Air
12. Messiah, oratorio, HWV 56: Part 2. No. 36. Air
13. Messiah, oratorio, HWV 56: Part 2. No. 37. Chorus
14. Messiah, oratorio, HWV 56: Part 2. No. 38. Air
15. Messiah, oratorio, HWV 56: Part 2. No. 39. Chorus
16. Messiah, oratorio, HWV 56: Part 2. No. 40-41. Recitativo - Air
17. Messiah, oratorio, HWV 56: Part 2. No. 42. Chorus

DISC THREE

1. Messiah, oratorio, HWV 56: Part 3. No. 43. Air
2. Messiah, oratorio, HWV 56: Part 3. No. 44. Chorus
3. Messiah, oratorio, HWV 56: Part 3. No. 45. Recitativo accompagnato
4. Messiah, oratorio, HWV 56: Part 3. No. 46. Air
5. Messiah, oratorio, HWV 56: Part 3. No. 47-48-49. Recitativo - Duet - Chorus
6. Messiah, oratorio, HWV 56: Part 3. No. 50. Air
7. Messiah, oratorio, HWV 56: Part 3. No. 51-52.

SITE RATING:  8/10
SITE REVIEW:  According to reports at the time, Sir Colin Davis was persuaded to record this version of Messiah with The Bavarian Radio Symphony & Chorus after a performance in Munich, where the public, reportedly unaware of Messiah (is that even possible?) gave a rapturous response - and so, pulling together the same forces, this expansive recording was made.  Strangely, it's fallen completely out of print, and listening to it, this Messiah is a strange throwback in many ways to the large, operatic performances of the 1950s.  The soloists all hail from the opera arena, and have distinctly 'large' voices - the Barvarian Radio Symphony and Chorus are similarly huge, giving this performance the most mammoth personalities of any of Davis's Messiahs.  It has a granduer and power that many recordings lack, and will easily appeal to those anti-baroque musicians who rail against period-instrument performances.  Davis also pulls some surprises, such as having "And With His Stripes" sung acapella!  The tempos are hot and cold - with some very slow movements strongly contrasting with lightning-quick choruses.  Although I still would not rate this performance as highly as Sir Colin Davis's 1966 recording, it's easily on par, performance-wise, with his 2007 recording.  Worth seeking out for those who like their Messiahs large and grand in the best Romantic tradition.

The Compleat Messiah All Content Copyright © 2009 Bret D. Wheadon
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