RECORDINGS

LABEL: CHINESE CHRISTIAN MISSION, INC.
CATALOG NUMBER: SM-72-2
UPC NUMBER: N/A
NUMBER OF DISCS: 3
RUNNING TIME: UNKNOWN
DATE RECORDED: 1971
RELEASE DATE: 1972
CONDUCTOR: LUCY W. CHEN
ORGANIST: STEPHEN DENMARK
PIANIST: DOROTHY HWANG
CHOIR: FIRST EVANGELICAL CHURCH CHOIR OF LOS ANGELES
SOPRANO: SHIRLEY LAU
ALTO: ESTHER LEE
TENOR: HENRY HWANG
BASS: JOSHUA T. LAW

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DISC ONE

SIDE ONE
1. Overture
2. Comfort ye my people
3. Every valley sahll be exalted
4. And the glory of the Lord
5. Thus saith the Lord of Hosts
6. But who may abide
7. And He shall purify the sons of Levi

SIDE TWO
8. Behold, a virgin shall conceive
9. O thou that tellest good tidings to Zion
10. For, behold, darkness shall cover
11. The people that walked in darkness
12. For unto us a Child is born
13. Pastoral Symphony
14. There were shepherds abiding
15. And the angel said unto them
16. And suddenly there was with the angel
17. Glory to God in the highest
DISC TWO

SIDE THREE
18. Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion
19. Then shall the eyes of the blind
20. He shall feed His flock / Come unto Him
21. His yoke is easy
22. Behold the Lamb of God
23. He was despised and rejected of men

SIDE FOUR
24. Surely He hath borne our griefs
25. And with His stripes we are healed
26. All we like sheep have gone astray
27. All they that see Him
28. He trusted in God that He would deliver
29. Thy rebuke hath broken His heart
30. Behold, and see if there be any sorrow
31. He was cut off
32. But Thou didst not leave His soul in hell
33. Lift up your heads, O ye gates
34. Unto which of the angels
35. Let all the angels of God

DISC THREE

SIDE FIVE
36. The Lord gave the word
37. How beautiful are the feet
38. Their sound is gone out
39. Why do the nations so furiously rage
40. Let us break their bonds
41. He that dwelleth in heven
42. Thou shalt break them
43. Hallelujah
44. I know that my Redeemer liveth

SIDE SIX
45. Since by man came death
46. Behold, I tell you a mystery
47. The trumpet shall sound
48. Then shall be brought to pass
49. O death, where is thy sting?
50. But thanks be to God
51. Worthy is the Lamb /  Amen

SITE RATING:  2/10
SITE REVIEW:  There are few Chinese-language recordings of Messiah that I'm aware of, which alone makes this recording of interest; and this one, from 1971, is the first I'd heard.  A bare-bones production of the Chinese Christian Mission of Detroit, Michigan, and directed by Lucy W. Chen, this recording is accompanied by both organ and piano, and features a small church choir. Nevertheless, it's a complete recording, which is in itself ambitious for such a group.  Organist Stephen Denmark performs a convincing Overture, and then pianist Dorothy Hwang joins for the arias.  Tenor Henry Hwang is unfortunately very tremulous on his solos, with a swallowed tone and nervous vibrato throughout.  The same amateurishness is evident in the chorus, with flat, unornamented performances being the hallmark of the First Evangelical Church Choir of Los Angeles.  Bass Joshua T. Law is more effective, giving a stern, authoritative reading to his arias, while alto Esther Lee sings remotely, with little feeling or spirit. Soprano Shirley Lau has a somewhat shrill tone, and unfortunately brings nothing substantive to her moments.  There is also an odd, trilling quality to the organ, giving it a carnival ride quality that is very strange.  Besides Mr. Law and a few scattered moments of choral unity, there is little to recommend this recording, except as a collector's curiosity.

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