RECORDINGS

LABEL: HARMONIA MUNDI
CATALOG NUMBER: 201498.99
UPC NUMBER: 79488178602
NUMBER OF DISCS: 2
RUNNING TIME: 2:22:40
YEAR RECORDED: 1993
CD RELEASE DATE: JANUARY 10, 2006
CONDUCTOR: WILLIAM CHRISTIE
ORCHESTRA: LES ARTS FLORISSANTS
CHOIR: LES ARTS FLORISSANTS
SOPRANO: BARBARA SCHLICK, SANDRINE PIAU
CONTRALTO: ANDREAS SCHOLL
TENOR: MARK PADMORE
BASS: NATHAN BERG


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DISC ONE

1. Sinfonia
2. "Comfort ye, my people saith your God"
3. "Every valley shall be exalted"
4. "And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed"
5. "Thus saith 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" - "O thou tellest good tidings to Zion" - "O thou that tellest"
9. "For behold, darkness shall cover the earth" - "The people that walked in darkness"
10. "For unto us a child is born"
11. (Pifa)  
12. "There were shepherds abiding in the field" - "And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them
13. "Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion"
14. "Then shall the eyes of the blind be opened" - "He shall feed His flock like a shepherd"
15. "His yoke is easy, and His burthen is light"
16. "Behold the lamb of God"
17. "He was despised and rejected of men"
18. "Surely He hath borne our griefs" - "All we like sheep have gone astray"
DISC TWO

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

SITE RATING:  8/10
SITE REVIEW:  Yet another recording of the "Dublin 1742" version of Messiah on period instruments - this performance by William Christie and Les Arts Florissants is a very fine performance, with only a couple of qualities, mostly within the soloists, that keep me from rating this higher.  First issued in 1994, and then again in 1999, the latest release coming in 2006, showing that this Messiah is a consistant seller for Harmonia Mundi, and for good reason: the overall performance is bright, clean and extremely polished - the Les Arts Florissants is a premiere baroque orchestra, and play with great style and verve - the choir is small, well dileneated, and beautifully unified and precise.  Of the soloists, Barbara Schlick and Sandrine Piau and both lovely - light and controlled; tenor Mark Padmore has a lovely tessatura, but is rather hard-edged and clipped in his solos; countertenor Andreas Scholl is too "hooty" in his tone for my tastes, and bass Nathan Berg's tone too covered and throaty.  Christie also makes the happy choice of choosing a treble, Tommy Williams, in the role of the annunciation angel, and his presence creates an unusual quality that I enjoy.  My personal preferences for the soloists aside, this is an excellent recording, and I recommend it most easily. ~ BDW


The Compleat Messiah All Content Copyright 2015 Bret D. Wheadon
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