RECORDINGS

LABEL: KOCH HISTORIC
CATALOG NUMBER: 3-7703-2Y6 X2
UPC NUMBER: 099923770329
NUMBER OF DISCS: 2
RUNNING TIME: 156:30
YEAR RECORDED: 1899-1930
CD RELEASE DATE: DECEMBER 12, 1994
CONDUCTOR: VARIOUS
ORCHESTRA: VARIOUS
CHOIR: VARIOUS
SOPRANO: VARIOUS
CONTRALTO: VARIOUS
TENOR: VARIOUS
BASS: VARIOUS


AUDIO SAMPLES HIGHLIGHTS OTHER RELEASES
NONE NONE NONE

DISC ONE

1. Judas Maccabaues: My Arms! Against This Gorgias Will I Go Sound An Alarm!
2. Messiah: The First Commercial Messiah Recording: Every Valley Shall Be Exalted
3. Messiah: The 1906 G & T Messiah: Comfort Ye, My People
4. Messiah: The 1906 G & T Messiah: Every Valley Shall Be Exalted
5. Messiah: The 1906 G & T Messiah: Thus Saith The Lord
6. Messiah: The 1906 G & T Messiah: But Who May Abide The Day Of His Coming
7. Messiah: The 1906 G & T Messiah: O Thou That Tellest Good Tidings To Zion
8. Messiah: The 1906 G & T Messiah: For, Behold, Darkness Shall Cover The Earth
9. Messiah: The 1906 G & T Messiah: Come Unto Him
10. Messiah: The 1906 G & T Messiah: But Thou Didst Not Leave His Soul In Hell
11. Messiah: The 1906 G & T Messiah: How Beautiful Are The Feet
12. Messiah: The 1906 G & T Messiah: Why Do The Nations So Furiously Rage Together?
13. Messiah: The 1906 G & T Messiah: Thou Shalt Break Them
14. Messiah: The 1906 G & T Messiah: I Know That My Redeemer Liveth
15. Messiah: The 1907 Leeds Festival Choir Recordings: And The Glory Of The Lord
16. Messiah: The 1907 Leeds Festival Choir Recordings: Hallelujah
17. Messiah: The 1926 Crystal Palace Handel Festival Recordings: And The Glory Of The Lord
18. Messiah: The 1926 Crystal Palace Handel Festival Recordings: Behold The Lamb Of God
19. Messiah: The 1926 Crystal Palace Handel Festival Recordings: He Trusted In God
20. Messiah: The 1926 Crystal Palace Handel Festival Recordings: Lift Up Your Heads
21. Messiah: The 1926 Crystal Palace Handel Festival Recordings: Let Us Break Their Bonds Asunder
22. Messiah: The 1930 Philharmonic Choir Recordings: For Unto Us A Child Is Born
23. Messiah: The 1930 Philharmonic Choir Recordings: There Were Shepherds Abiding In The Fields - And Lo! The Angel Of The Lord - And The Angel Said Unto Them - And Suddenly There Was With The Angel - Glory To God
DISC TWO

1. Messiah: Messiah In London In The 1920s: And The Glory Of The Lord
2. Messiah: Messiah In London In The 1920s: But Who May Abide The Day Of His Coming
3. Messiah: Messiah In London In The 1920s: Pifa
4. Messiah: Messiah In London In The 1920s: Then Shall The Eyes Of The Blind Be Opened
5. Messiah: Messiah In London In The 1920s: He Shall Feed His Flock
6. Messiah: Messiah In London In The 1920s: Come Unto Him
7. Messiah: Messiah In London In The 1920s: Behold The Lamb Of God
8. Messiah: Messiah In London In The 1920s: Surely He Hath Borne Our Griefs
9. Messiah: Messiah In London In The 1920s: All We Like Sheep
10. Messiah: Messiah In London In The 1920s: Lift Up Your Heads
11. Messiah: Messiah In London In The 1920s: Why Do The Nations So Furiously Rage Together?
12. Messiah: Messiah In London In The 1920s: Hallelujah
13. Messiah: Messiah In London In The 1920s: I Know That My Redeemer Liveth
14. Messiah: Messiah In London In The 1920s: Worthy Is The Lamb
15. Messiah: Messiah In London In The 1920s: Amen
16. Messiah: Messiah In America In 1910: Hallelujah
17. Messiah: Messiah In America In 1910: Comfort Ye, My People
18. Messiah: Messiah In America In 1910: Every Valley Shall Be Exalted
19. Messiah: Messiah In America In 1910: Thy Rebuke Hath Broken His Heart
20. Messiah: Messiah In America In 1910: Behold And See
21. Messiah: Messiah In America In 1910: Hallelujah
22. Messiah: Messiah In America In 1910: Worthy Is The Lamb


SITE RATING:  1/10
SITE REVIEW:   When reviewing a release like this one, which states quite plainly on its cover that it's mainly of interest to "Collector's" (a title which, in this instance, should be taken at face value), it's difficult to know which audience to speak to.  To the general audience, the casual audience, this release will hold no interest whatsoever.  These earliest-preserved recordings of Handel's Messiah are virtually unlistenable, with, by modern standards, extraordinarily poor performances and abominable audio fidelity.   Honestly - on the first recordings from 1906, it sounds as if Uncle Joe pulled together a local bar band consisting of a badly out-of-tune flutist, a couple of horn players, and a harmonium, and then pulled a couple of wanna-be singers off of street corners to sing some popular choruses from Messiah.  The 1907 Crystal Palace recordings are vitually washed out by white noise, and so distantly placed is the choir that it's as if they were recorded from inside a cardboard box across the street.  Tempos throughout are glacial, the bass on "Why Do The Nations" sounds as if he's being slapped around on his melismas, and the soprano singing "Come Unto Him" might as well be singing a funeral dirge.  From there, things generally don't improve.  I did enjoy the tenor singing "Thou Shalt Break Them" but that's a marginal recommendation.  For musical historians, this double-disc set is a treasure-trove of enlightenment, with actual live performances captured which shows how great and grand Messiah had grown in performance.  There are large, sweeping forces gathered for these choruses, and the tempi are very much entrenched on the slow side of things.  Listening to this it's little wonder the period-instrument craze of the mid-1980s-present has had such success.  No one need seek this out unless you absolutely have to have everything, and if that's the case, perhaps some personal therapy would be in order.  


The Compleat Messiah All Content Copyright 2015 Bret D. Wheadon
All Rights Reserved.