RECORDINGS

LABEL: ARGO
CATALOG NUMBER: 440 672-2
UPC NUMBER: 028944067224
NUMBER OF DISCS: 2
RUNNING TIME: 64:40, 69:37
YEAR RECORDED: 1993
CD RELEASE DATE: OCTOBER 11, 1994
CONDUCTOR: STEPHEN CLEOBURY
ORCHESTRA: BRANDENBURG CONSORT
CHOIR: THE CHOIR OF KING'S COLLEGE, CAMBRIDGE
SOPRANO: LYNNE DAWSON
CONTRALTO: HILLARY SUMMERS
TENOR: JOHN MARK AINSLEY
BASS: ALASTAIR MILES


AUDIO SAMPLES HIGHLIGHTS OTHER RELEASES




DISC ONE

1. Symphony - the Brandenburg Consort
2. 1. Accompagnato: Comfort Ye, My People - John Mark Ainsley
3. 2. Air: Ev'ry Valley Shall Be Exalted - John Mark Ainsley
4. 3. Chorus: And the Glory of the Lord - the Choir of King's College, Cambridge
5. 4. Accompagnato: Thus Saith the Lord - Alastair Miles
6. 5. Air: But Who May Abide the Day of His Coming - Hilary Summers
7. 6. Chorus: And He Shall Purify the Sons of Levi - the Choir of King's College, Cambridge
8. 7. Recitative: Behold, a Virgin Shall Conceive - Hilary Summers
9. 8. O Thou That Tellest Good Tidings to Zion - Hilary Summers
10. Chorus: O Thou That Tellest Good Tidings to Zion - the Choir of King's College
11. 10. Accompagnato: For Behold, Darkness Shall Cover - Alastair Miles
12. 11. Air: The People That Walked in Darkness - Alastair Miles
13. 12. Chorus: For Unto Us a Child Is Born - the Choir of King's College
14. 13. Pifa (Pastoral Symphony) - the Brandenburg Consort
15. 14. Recitative: There Were Shepherds - Accompagnato: And Lo, the Angel of the Lord - Recitative: And the Angel Said Unto Them - Accompagnato: And Suddenly - Lynne Dawson
16. 15. Chorus: Glory to God in the Highest - the Choir of King's College, Cambridge
17. 16. Air: Rejoice Greatly, O Daughter of Zion - Lynne Dawson
18. 17A. Recitative: Then Shall the Eyes of the Blind - Lynne Dawson
19. 18A. Duet: He Shall Feed His Flock - Lynne Dawson
20. 19. Chorus: His Yoke Is Easy - the Choir of King's College, Cambridge
21. 20. Chorus: Behold the Lamb of God - the Choir of King's College, Cambridge
22. 21. Air: He Was Despised - Hilary Summers
23. 22. Chorus: Surely He Hath Borne Our Griefs - the Choir of King's College, Cambridge
24. 23. Chorus: And with His Stripes We Are Healed - the Choir of King's College, Cambridge
25. 24. Chorus: All We Like Sheep Have Gone Astray - the Choir of King's College, Cambridge

DISC TWO

1. 25. Accompagnato: All They That See Him - John Mark Ainsley
2. 26. Chorus: He Trusted in God - the Choir of King's College, Cambridge
3. 27. Recit - Thy Rebuke Hath Broken His Heart - John Mark Ainsley
4. 28. Arioso: Behold and See - John Mark Ainsley
5. 29. Accompagnato: He Was Cut Off - Lynne Dawson
6. 30. Aria: But Thou Didst Not Leave - Lynne Dawson
7. 31. Chorus: Lift Up Your Heads - the Choir of King's College, Cambridge
8. 32. Recitative: Unto Which of the Angels - John Mark Ainsley
9. 33. Chorus: Let All the Angels of God - the Choir of King's College, Cambridge
10. 34A. Air: Thou Art Gone Up on High - Hilary Summers
11. 35. Chorus: The Lord Gave the Word - the Choir of King's College, Cambridge
12. 36. Air: How Beautiful Are the Feet - Lynne Dawson
13. 37A. Chorus: Their Sound Is Gone Out - the Choir of King's College
14. 38. Air: Why Do the Nations - Alastair Miles
15. 39. Chorus: Let Us Break Their Bonds Asunder - the Choir of King's College, Cambridge

16. 40. Recitative: He That Dwelleth in Heaven - John Mark Ainsley
17. 41. Air: Thou Shalt Break Them - John Mark Ainsley
18. 42. Chorus: Hallelujah - the Choir of King's College, Cambridge
19. 43. Air: I Know That My Redeemer Liveth - Lynne Dawson
20. 44. Chorus: Since By Man Came Death - the Choir of King's College
21. 45. Accompagnato: Behold, I Tell You a Mystery - Alastair Miles
22. 46. Air: The Trumpet Shall Sound - Alastair Miles
23. 47. Recitative: Then Shall Be Brought to Pass - Hilary Summers
24. 48. Duet: O Death Where Is Thy Sting? - Hilary Summers, John Mark Ainsley

25. 49. Chorus: But Thanks Be to God - the Choir of King's College, Cambridge
26. 50. Air: If God Be for Us - Lynne Dawson
27. 51. Worthy Is the Lamb - Blessing and Honour - - the Choir of King's College, Cambridge
28. Amen - the Choir of King's College, Cambridge


SITE RATING:  9/10
SITE REVIEW:  I must confess that for many years I was entirely mistaken about this specific recording.  I had lumped it together with a "live" performance of Messiah with the same forces (i.e., Cleobury, The King's College Cambridge Choir, the Brandenberg Consort, Dawson, Summers, Ainsley & Miles) which has been the basis for several releases on different labels.  But this recording, which came some months earlier, was recorded at the King's College chapel, and is a completely separate one than the later, Pieterskerk, Leiden performance of 1993.  In fact, I imagine that the filmed performance was a celebratory lap for this recording, as it duplicates the same finely-tuned performances captured just months earlier, with the soloists, Consort, and Choir each at their sterling best.  John Mark Ainsley is simply pristine in his solos, while the Brandenberg Consort and King's College Choir can only be faulted for sounding TOO perfect and proper, reveling in their immaculate blend and unity - the trebles of King's College are world class, and Cleobury polishes their performance to glass-like transparency.  Alastair Miles is tremendous - sounding absolutely authoritative on his solos, and quite frankly, unequaled among other Messiah basses.  Hillary Summers is perhaps a touch too hollow sounding, she seems to be channeling the tone of a counter-tenor, lacking a natural alto warmth and richness.   Lynne Dawson brings a shiny brilliance to her solos, reveling in the melismas and sounding effortless in her mastery of the role.  It's hard to find fault in such a carefully crafted and expertly performed Messiah; Cleobury's tempos are all very carefully controlled, and occasionally too slow, but if you desire to hear an absolutely astounding performance of Messiah, this one certainly impresses on many levels.


The Compleat Messiah All Content Copyright 2016 Bret D. Wheadon
All Rights Reserved.