RECORDINGS

LABEL: BR KLASSIK
CATALOG NUMBER: 900510
UPC NUMBER: 4035719005103
NUMBER OF DISCS: 2
RUNNING TIME: 135:58
YEAR RECORDED: 2015
CD RELEASE DATE: NOVEMBER 13, 2015
CONDUCTOR: PETER DIJKSTRA
ORCHESTRA: B'ROCK BELGIAN BAROQUE ORCHESTRA GHENT
CHOIR: CHOR DES BAYERISCHEN RUNDFUNKS
SOPRANO: JULIA DOYLE
COUNTERTENOR: LAWRENCE ZAZZO
TENOR: STEVE DAVISLIM
BASS/BARITONE: NEAL DAVIES


AUDIO SAMPLES HIGHLIGHTS OTHER RELEASES

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DISC ONE

Part I
1. Sinfony (instrumental)
2. Comfort ye my people (tenor)
3. Ev'ry valley shall be exalted (tenor)
4. And the glory of the Lord (chorus)
5. Thus saith the Lord of hosts (bass)
6. But who may abide the day of His coming (soprano, alto or bass)
7. And he shall purify the sons of Levi (chorus)
8. Behold, a virgin shall conceive (alto)
9. O thou that tellest good tidings to Zion (alto and chorus)
10. For behold, darkness shall cover the earth (bass)
11. The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light (bass)
12. For unto us a child is born (chorus)
13. Pifa ("pastoral symphony": instrumental)
14a. There were shepherds abiding in the fields (soprano)
14b. And lo, the angel of the Lord (soprano)
15. And the angel said unto them (soprano)
16. And suddenly there was with the angel (soprano)
17. Glory to God in the highest (chorus)
18. Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion (soprano)
19. Then shall the eyes of the blind be opened (soprano or alto)
20. He shall feed his flock like a shepherd (alto and/or soprano)
21. His yoke is easy (chorus)

Part II
22. Behold the Lamb of God (chorus)
23. He was despised and rejected of men (alto)
24. Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows (chorus)
25. And with his stripes we are healed (chorus)
26. All we like sheep have gone astray (chorus)

DISC TWO

27. All they that see him laugh him to scorn (tenor)
28. He trusted in God that he would deliver him (chorus)
29. Thy rebuke hath broken his heart (tenor or soprano)
30. Behold and see if there be any sorrow (tenor or soprano)
31. He was cut off (tenor or soprano)
32. But thou didst not leave his soul in hell (tenor or soprano)
33. Lift up your heads, O ye gates (chorus)
34. Unto which of the angels (tenor)
35. Let all the angels of God worship Him (chorus)
36. Thou art gone up on high (soprano, alto, or bass)
37. The Lord gave the word (chorus)
38. How beautiful are the feet (soprano, alto, or chorus)
39. Their sound is gone out (tenor or chorus)
40. Why do the nations so furiously rage together (bass)
41. Let us break their bonds asunder (chorus)
42. He that dwelleth in heaven (tenor)
43. Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron (tenor)
44. Hallelujah (chorus)

Part III
45. I know that my Redeemer liveth (soprano)
46. Since by man came death (chorus)
47. Behold, I tell you a mystery (bass)
48. The trumpet shall sound (bass)
49. Then shall be brought to pass (alto)
50. O death, where is thy sting (alto and tenor)
51. But thanks be to God (chorus)
52. If God be for us, who can be against us (soprano)
53. Worthy is the Lamb (chorus)
Amen (chorus)


SITE RATING:  8/10
SITE REVIEW:  The sole Messiah to be released in 2015, this impressive set by director Peter Dijkstra, featuring the B'Rock Belgian Baroque Orchestra Ghent and Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks has several thrilling moments, and even without competition, it would rate as perhaps the best Messiah of the year.  Warmly recorded and performed, the B'Rock Belgian Baroque manages to bring real depth of sound to their instruments, and Dijkstra clearly enjoys searching for tender moments to bring to fore, eschewing the cold, clean "white" sound of most modern baroque ensembles, and infusing them with a touch of welcome 20th Century grandeur.  The Chor des Bayerischen also brings a soupçon more warmth and richness to their tone than has been typical of other modern interpretations.  Among the soloists, Julia Doyle exemplifies the sweetness of Dijkstra's reading, singing with great emotional depth and a pure, liquid tone.  Tenor Steve Davislim is a fine, heroic presence, a touch brighter in tone and interpretation than Doyle, but never shrill or piercing.  Countertenor Lawerence Zazzo is fine, although I confess I would have preferred an alto in the role - simply due to the feeling that a warm alto tone would have better fitted the overall fabric of the performance.  Bass/Baritone Neal Davies is the weak link here - his tone is the most aggressive, and his melismas can have a strident, punching quality that pops out of the speakers in an unpleasant way.  Dijkstra's tempos are noticeably subdued and easier than what has become the norm - but again, this fits the pleasant tenor this recording has - tonal colors are allowed to breathe in spacious moments, and in what appears to be a continuing trend among musicologists, the pendulum is swinging back to larger, more expansive readings.  I must say I enjoy it - this is a more contemplative, but equally memorable, Messiah, and worth hearing.


The Compleat Messiah All Content Copyright © 2015 Bret D. Wheadon
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