RECORDINGS

LABEL: HYPERION
CATALOG NUMBER: CDD22019
UPC NUMBER: 034571120195
NUMBER OF DISCS: 2
RUNNING TIME: 140:40
YEAR RECORDED: DECEMBER, 1986
CD RELEASE DATE: SEPTEMBER 9, 1997
CONDUCTOR: HARRY CHRISTOPHERS
ORCHESTRA: THE SIXTEEN ORCHESTRA
CHOIR: THE SIXTEEN CHOIR
SOPRANO: LYNNE DAWSON
CONTRALTO: CATHERINE DENLEY
COUNTERTENOR: DAVID JAMES
TENOR: MALDWYN DAVIES
BASS: MICHAEL GEORGE


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DISC ONE

1. Part 1. Symphony
2. Part 1. Comfort ye my people
3. Part 1. Every valley shall be exalted
4. Part 1. And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed
5. Part 1. Thus saith the Lord of hosts
6. Part 1. But who may abide the day of his coming?
7. Part 1. And he shall purify the sons of Levi
8. Part 1. Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son    
9. Part 1. O thou that tellest good tidings to Zion
10. Part 1. For behold, darkness shall cover the earth
11. Part 1. The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light
12. Part 1. For unto us a child is born
13. Part 1. Pifa (Pastoral Symphony)
14. Part 1. There were shepherds, abiding in the field    
15. Part 1. And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them    
16. Part 1. And the angel said unto them, fear not
17. Part 1. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude    
18. Part 1. Glory to God in the highest
19. Part 1. Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion
20. Part 1. Then shall the eyes of the blind be opened    
21. Part 1. He shall feed his flock like a shepherd
22. Part 1. His yoke is easy and his burthen is light
23. Part 2. Behold the Lamb of God     Listen
24. Part 2. He was despised and rejected of men
DISC TWO

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

SITE RATING:  7/10
SITE REVIEW:  This first Messiah recording by Harry Christophers and The Sixteen Choir and Orchestra was recorded in 1986, and followed the then-new trend of small-scale forces and quicker, lighter tempi.  This recording has always struck me as strangely self-concious, as if the singers and players are all distinctly aware of just how precise and controlled they are performing together, and immensely pleased with themselves. It's a difficult feeling to explain, or defend; nevertheless, I feel each time that I hear this recording that this is a 'vain' Messiah, something that's completely out of keeping with the libretto's message of a coming Savior and Redeemer. Since this recording, Harry Christophers and The Sixteen have formed their own record label: Coro, and released a second recording, which I find measurably warmer and more accessible. There is no denying the remarkable control and beauty of all the performers, with special attention to soprano Lynne Dawson, who give an ethereal performance; but in the battle of the Messiahs, this one rates lower with me, due it its emotional distance and chill. ~ BDW


The Compleat Messiah All Content Copyright 2015 Bret D. Wheadon
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