RECORDINGS

LABEL: EMI
CATALOG NUMBER: 2176452
UPC NUMBER: 5099921764523
NUMBER OF DISCS: 2
RUNNING TIME: 146:02
YEAR RECORDED: 1987
CD RELEASE DATE: OCTOBER 25, 1990
CONDUCTOR: ANDREW DAVIS
ORCHESTRA: TORONTO SYMPHONY
CHOIR: TORONTO MENDELSSOHN CHOIR
SOPRANO: KATHLEEN BATTLE
ALTO: FLORENCE QUIVAR
TENOR: JOHN ALER
BASS: SAMUEL RAMEY


AUDIO SAMPLES HIGHLIGHTS OTHER RELEASES


DISC ONE

1. Part One: Sinfonia
2. Part One: Comfort ye my people
3. Part One: Ev'ry valley shall be exalted
4. Part One: And the glory, the glory of the Lord
5. Part One: Thus saith the Lord
6. Part One: But who may abide
7. Part One: And he shall purify
8. Part One: Behold a virgin shall conceive    
9. O thou that tellest
10. Part One: For behold, darkness shall cover the earth
11. Part One: The people that walked in darkness
12. Part One: For unto us a child is born
13. Part One: (Pastoral Symphony)
14. Part One: There were shepherds    
15. Part One: And lo, the Angel of the Lord    
16. Part One: And the Angel said unto them
17. Part One: And suddenly there was with the angel    
18. Part One: Glory to God in the highest
19. Part One: Rejoice greatly, o daughter of Zion
20. Part One: Then shall the eyes of the blind
21. Part One: He shall feed his flock
22. Part One: His yoke is easy
23. Part Two: Behold the Lamb of God
24. Part Two: He was depised
DISC TWO

1. Part Two: Surely he hath borne our griefs
2. Part Two: And with His stripes we are healed    
3. Part Two: All we like sheep    
4. Part Two: All they that see Him    
5. Part Two: He trusted in God
6. Part Two: Thy rebuke hath broken His heart
7. Part Two: Behold, and see if there be any sorrow
8. Part Two: He was cut off out of the land    
9. Part Two: But thou didst not leave
10. Part Two: Lift up your heads
11. Part Two: Unto which of the angels    
12. Part Two: Let all the angels of God worship Him
13. Part Two: Thou art gone up on high
14. Part Two: The Lord gave the word
15. Part Two: Their sound is gone out
16. Part Two: Why do the nations?
17. Part Two: Let us break their bonds asunder
18. Part Two: He that dwelleth in heaven    
19. Part Two: Thou shall break them
20. Part Two: Hallelujah
21. Part Three: I know that my Redeemer liveth
22. Part Three: Since by man came death
23. Part Three: Behold, I tell you a mystery
24. Part Three: Then shall be brought to pass    
25. Part Three: O death, where is thy sting?
26. Part Three: But thanks be to God
27. Part Three: If God be for us
28. Part Three: Worthy is the Lamb...Amen

SITE RATING:  5/10
SITE REVIEW:  I know many people prefer this recording over more modern interpretations, and in fact, this was the first Messiah I owned.  I purchased it on CD after having sung in Messiah with my father, and this seemed to be a good representation of my own experience, with a large chorus and orchestra thundering their way through the oratorio with little real style or differentiation between movements.  The soloists are, without exception, large voiced, coming from the world of opera, and Andrew Davis deliberately chose to shy away from the period-instrument movement, in what can only be described as a reactionary move against what he must have seen as a break with long-standing, "large forces" Messiah tradition.  The only thing I can say about his particular recording is that I listen to it perhaps least of all my recordings.  It sat on my shelf year after year gather dust, and when I took it down, I would listen to a few select cuts, and then, satisfied, back it would go on the shelf.  I eventually got rid of it, realizing that it didn't move me, or stir me emotionally in any way.   The largeness of this reading, the heavy gravitas with with the soloists approach each aria, (especially the throaty, dark tones of Samuel Ramey) and the bland dynamic range of the chorus simply faded in my memory, and for many years, I thought the thrill that I had felt when singing Messiah was an empty memory, a feeling reinforced by this recording.  I have since had my eyes opened by more recent recordings, and although I can say that this is fine recording for its time, I have little desire to recommend it to anyone. ~ BDW


The Compleat Messiah All Content Copyright 2015 Bret D. Wheadon
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