RECORDINGS

LABEL: CORO
CATALOG NUMBER: COR16125
UPC NUMBER: 0828021612527
NUMBER OF DISCS: 2
RUNNING TIME: 2:14:49
YEAR RECORDED: 2014
CD RELEASE DATE: OCTOBER 14, 2014
CONDUCTOR: HARRY CHRISTOPHERS
ORCHESTRA: HANDEL+HAYDN SOCIETY
CHOIR: HANDEL+HAYDN SOCIETY
SOPRANO: GILLIAN KEITH
COUNTERTENOR DANIEL TAYLOR
TENOR: TOM RANDLE
BARITONE: SUMNER THOMPSON


AUDIO SAMPLES HIGHLIGHTS OTHER RELEASES

NONE

NONE

DISC ONE

1. Sinfony 3:04
2. Accompagnato. "Comfort Ye, My People"  2:39
3. Air. "Ev'ry Valley Shall Be Exalted." 3:10
4. "And the Glory of the Lord Shall Be Revealed" 2:52
5. Accompagnato. "Thus Saith the Lord of Hosts" 1:20
6. Part I: Air. "But Who May Abide the Day of His Coming?" 4:20
7. Chorus. "And He Shall Purify" 2:29
8. Recitative. "Behold a Virgin Shall Conceive, and Bear a Son" 0:27
9. Air and Chorus. "O Thou that Tellest Good Tidings to Zion" 4:55
10. Accompagnato. "For Behold, Darkness Shall Cover the Earth" 2:15
11. Air. "The People that Walked in Darkness Have Seen a Great Light" 3:01
12. Chorus. "For Unto Us a Child is Born" 3:52
13. Pastoral Symphony (Pifa) 2:38
14. Recitative. "There Were Shepherds" - Accompagnato. "And Lo, the Angel of the Lord Came Upon Them" - Recitative. "And The Angel Said Unto Them: Fear Not" 1:04
15. Accompagnato. "And Suddenly There Was With the Angel" - Chorus. "Glory to God in the Highest" 2:08
16. Air. "Rejoice Greatly, O Daughter of Zion" 4:11
17. Recitative. "Then Shall the Eyes of the Blind be Opened" 0:30
18. Air. "He Shall Feed His Flock Like a Shepherd" 4:58
19. Chorus. "His Yoke is Easy and His Burden is Light" 2:13
20. Chorus. "Behold the Lamb of God" 2:44
21. Air. "He was Despised and Rejected of Men" 9:41
22. Chorus. "Surely He Hath Borne Our Griefs" 1:46
23. Chorus. "And With His Stripes We Are Healed" 1:44
24. Chorus. "All We Like Sheep Have Gone Astray" 3:58
DISC TWO

1. Accompagnato. "All They That See Him Laugh Him to Scorn" 0:46
2. Chorus. "He Trusted in God That He Would Deliver Him" 2:12
3. Accompagnato. "Thy Rebuke Hath Broken His Heart" 1:49
4. Arioso. "Behold and See if There Be Any Sorrow" 1:14
5. Accompagnato. "He Was Cut off Out of the Land of the Living" 0:15
6. Air. "But Thou Didst Not Leave His Soul in Hell" 2:07
7. Chorus. "Lift Up Your Heads" 2:50
8. Recitative. "Unto Which of the Angels" - Chorus. "Let All the Angels of God Worship Him" 1:35
9. Air. "Thou Art Gone Up on High" 3:10
10. Chorus. "The Lord Gave the Word" 1:00
11. Air. "How Beautiful Are the Feet of Them That Preach" 2:03
12. Chorus. "Their Sound is Gone Out Into All Lands" 1:19
13. Air. "Why Do the Nations So Furiously Rage Together?" 2:39
14. Chorus. "Let Us Break Their Bonds Asunder" - Recitative. "He That Dwelleth in Heaven" 1:53
15. Air. "Thou Shalt Break Them With a Rod of Iron" 2:00
16. Chorus. "Hallelujah!" 3:54
17. Air. "I Know that My Redeemer Liveth" 5:28
18. Chorus. "Since by Man Came Death" 2:02
19. Accompagnato. "Behold, I Tell You a Mystery" 0:34
20. Air. "The Trumpet Shall Sound" 8:25
21. Recitative. "Then Shall Be Brought to Pass" 0:16
22. Duet. "O Death, Where is Thy Sting?" 1:02
23. Chorus. "But Thanks Be to God Who Giveth Us the Victory" 2:03
24. Air. "If God Be for Us, Who Can Be Against US?" 4:44
25. Chorus. "Worthy is the Lamb That Was Slain" 3:06
26. Chorus. "Amen" 4:24

SITE RATING:  6/10
SITE REVIEW:  Having heard many styles of performances over the past several years, it's always interesting to me to hear how trends develop and spread throughout various eras.  And although I cannot be certain, this latest release by the Handel + Haydn Society, under the direction of the renowned Harry Christophers, is another link in what appears to be a decided turn towards more Romantic-style Messiahs, breaking with a decades-long Baroque trend, which began in the late Seventies.  Not to say that this is a complete turnaround; we're not talking about a glacial Scherchen performance, but Christopher's latest Messiah is a far cry from his light touch evidenced on this, his fourth recording of this score.  Everything is more deliberate, and yes, slower than what I'm accustomed to.  And the performance difference isn't limited to the tempos alone - the performers, without exception, completely eschew the clean "white" Baroque sound, embracing richer tones, heavy vibratos, and grander, more extravagant readings of their arias and choruses.  I cannot honestly say that I'm a fan of any of the soloists here - Daniel Taylor, Tom Randle, and Sumner Thompson all possess tones which are far too throaty and ripe for my tastes - and while soprano Gillian Keith claims a cleaner, brighter tone, it has hints of brittleness which left me cool.  Christophers seems to have encouraged more excessive ornamentation in each of the soloists melismas, giving everything an affected, self-conscious air.  There are certainly bright moments throughout - the Handel + Haydn society play very well, the recorded sound is clean and brilliant, and there are moments that dance - a wonderful "For Unto Us A Child Is Born" sprung out, as well as a finely delineated "Since By Man Came Death" with its alternately grave and brilliant sections nicely juxtaposed.  But on the whole, this recording, with its era-defying performance, sounds as if it belongs to a time fifty years past, appearing uneasily in the the 21st Century.


The Compleat Messiah All Content Copyright 2014 Bret D. Wheadon
All Rights Reserved.