RECORDINGS

LABEL: MMG
CATALOG NUMBER: CBC D-MMG-113
UPC NUMBER: N/A
NUMBER OF DISCS: 1
RUNNING TIME: 37:36
DATE RECORDED: 1981
RELEASE DATE: 1982
CONDUCTOR: ELMER ISELER
ORCHESTRA: "SYNTHESCOPE" DIGITAL SYNTHESIZER ENSEMBLE
CHOIR: THE ELMER ISELER SINGERS
SOPRANO: N/A
CONTRALTO: N/A
TENOR: N/A
BASS: N/A


AUDIO SAMPLES HIGHLIGHTS OTHER RELEASES

NONE

NONE
Musical Heritage Society MHS
                                912058A LP

DISC ONE

Side 1 (18:55 minutes)
1. Sinfonia (Overture) (3:41)
2. And The Glory of the Lord (2:43)
3. For Unto Us a Child is Born (3:56)
4. Pifa (Pastoral Symphony) (3:01)
5. Glory to God (1:49)
6. Behold the Lamb of God (3:25)

Side 2 (18:41 minutes)
1. Surely He Hath Borne Our Griefs
    And With His Stripes
    All We Like Sheep (7:42)
2. Hallelujah (3:54)
3. Worthy is the Lamb
    Blessing and Honor
    Amen (6:56)

SITE RATING:  6/10
SITE REVIEW:  This recording, made in 1981 as a joint production of the Canadian Broadcasting Company and Synthescope Productions promises in its liner notes that "though electronic, the instrumental aspects of this recording are not sterile, but offer a warm and sparkling series of textures which fit well with the human voice" - but in reality (and with the benefit of hindsight), this recording sounds EXACTLY as if it were Handel's Messiah as performed on an episode of the cheesy Eighties-era television show Buck Rogers in the 25th Century.  Synthesizer technology has come a long with in the decades since this recording was made, and the chirpy, unnatural accompaniment here sounds exactly very cold and of-its-time - and instrumental-only pieces such as the "Sinfonia (Overture)" and "Pifa" end up sounding like the an outtake from the soundtrack to Weird Science. Fortunately, The Elmer Iseler Singers, a twenty-voice chamber group which is still performing as of this writing, sings with great aplomb and feeling, injecting a welcome amount of humanity into what would otherwise be a tedious listening experience. Tempos are kept bright, and when the choir and synthesizers are performing together, such as on a tasteful "Behold the Lamb of God", the ringing disparity between them is not as obvious.  A curious recording, not without its pleasures, but only recommended for the ardent collector.


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