RECORDINGS

LABEL: OEHMS CLASSICS
CATALOG NUMBER: OC884
UPC NUMBER: 4260034868847
NUMBER OF DISCS: 1
RUNNING TIME: 54:18
YEAR RECORDED: 2013?
CD RELEASE DATE: OCTOBER 29, 2013
CONDUCTOR: MICHAEL HOFSTETTER
ORCHESTRA: NEUMEYER CONSORT
CHOIR: BAROCK VOKAL, MAINZ
SOPRANO: N/A
CONTRALTO: N/A
TENOR: N/A
BASS: N/A


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DISC ONE

1.  Sinfonia 00:02:48
2.  Part I: And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed 00:02:31
3.  Part I: And He shall purify 00:02:21
4.  Part I: For unto a child is born 00:03:54
5.  Part I: Glory to God in the highest 00:01:51
6.  Part I: His yoke is easy, his burthen is light 00:02:18
7.  Part II: Behold the Lamb of God 00:02:44
8.  Part II: Surely, He hath borne our griefs and carried our sorrows 00:01:41
9.  Part II: And with His stripes we are healed 00:01:49
10. Part II: All we like sheep have gone astray 00:03:45
11. Part II: He trusted in God that He would deliver Him 00:02:13
12. Part II: Lift up your heads, O ye gates 00:03:02
13. Part II: Let all the angels of God worship Him 00:01:25
14. Part II: The Lord gave the word 00:01:07
15. Part II: How beautiful are the feet 00:03:23
16. Part II: Let us break their bonds asunder 00:01:47
17. Part II: Hallelujah 00:05:32
18. Part III: O death, where is thy sting 00:01:20
19. Part III: But thanks be to God 00:02:14
20. Part III: Worthy is the Lamb that was slain 00:03:13
21. Part III: Amen 00:03:20

SITE RATING:  8/10
SITE REVIEW:  This new "choral highlights" CD from director Michael Hofstetter and the Nuemeyer Consort is easily the cheeriest, most florid reading I've heard from any conductor since Richard Bonynge's 1969 Messiah.  Bursting with joie de vivre, both the orchestra and chorus (the resplendent Barok Vokal, Mainz) give a performance much more in the style of a Bellini opera than a strictly baroque Handellian reading.  They freely indulge in unapologetically curly ornamentation throughout, which has both its adherents and detractors among baroque purists.  If you're up for hearing such an interpretation, you will find much to enjoy here - not only for the richly idiosyncratic performance, but for the effervescent tone which the combined forces adopt - it's literally as if they're singing and playing with pure joy.  The baroque choir is tiny - only one or two voices per part - which lends itself to a clean, highly-defined sound, but conversely lacks power on the more majestic choruses.  And it needs to be said that the choice of making this a "happy" Messiah has its own drawbacks, most notably in the outright avoidance of some of the more lovely, somber moments,  instead reveling exclusively in the brighter choruses, which perfectly suit the bubbly take on the material.  For my part, it's a little tiring hearing such a relentlessly upbeat program; I prefer having some variety from moment to moment - some emotional ebbs and flows - it's a bit like having a chatty person talk your ear off when you really just want to be alone.  But if you're in the mood for a determinedly cheerful, highly professional and polished selection of choruses, you should definitely check this out.


The Compleat Messiah All Content Copyright 2013 Bret D. Wheadon
All Rights Reserved.