RECORDINGS

LABEL: ANGEL / EMI
CATALOG NUMBER: 63621
UPC NUMBER: 077776362120
NUMBER OF DISCS: 3
RUNNING TIME: 146:00
YEAR RECORDED: 1965
CD RELEASE DATE: SEPTEMBER 20, 1990
CONDUCTOR: OTTO KLEMPERER
ORCHESTRA: LONDON PHILHARMONIA ORCHESTRA
CHOIR: LONDON PHILHARMONIA CHORUS
SOPRANO: ELISABETH SCHWARZKOPF
CONTRALTO: GRACE HOFFMAN
TENOR: NICHOLAI GEDDA
BASS: JEROME HINES


AUDIO SAMPLES HIGHLIGHTS OTHER RELEASES

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DISC ONE

Part the First
1. Sinfony 4:37
2. Recitative: Comfort ye my people 3:30
3. Air: Ev'ry valley shall be exalted 4:02
4. Chorus: And the glory of the Lord 3:22
5. Recitative: Thus saith the Lord 1:50
6. Air: But who may abide the day of his coming 5:34
7. Chorus: And he shall purify 2:49
8. Recitative: Behold, a virgin shall conceive 0:28
9. Air: O thou that tellest good tidings to Zion 5:35
10. Chorus: O thou that tellest good tidings to Zion 2:28
11. Recitative: For behold, darkness shall cover the earth 2:48
12. Air: The people that walked in darkness 4:26
13. Chorus: For unto us a child is born 4:39
14. Pifa (Pastoral Symphony) 3:57
15. Recitative: There were shepherd abiding in the fields 1:34
16. Chorus: Glory to God 2:15
17. Air: Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion 5:00
18. Recitative: Then shall the eyes of the blind be open'd 0:28
19. Air: He shall feed His flock like a shepherd 5:28
20. Chorus: His yoke is easy, His burthen is light 2:44

DISC TWO

Part the Second
1. Chorus: Behold the Lamb of God 3:31
2. Air: He was despised and rejected of men 10:07
3. Chorus: Surely, He hath borne our griefs 2:48
4. Chorus: And with His stripes we are healed 1:51
5. Chorus: All we like sheep have gone astray 4:13
6. Recitative: All they that see Him, laugh Him to scorn 1:03
7. Chorus: He trusted in God 2:44
8. Recitative: They rebuke hath broken His heart 1:44
9. Arioso: Behold and see if there be any sorrow 1:43
10. Recitative: He was cut off of the land of the living 0:28
11. Air: But thou didst not leave His soul in hell 2:55
12. Chorus: Lift up your heads, O ye gates 3:19
13. Chorus: The Lord gave the word 1:10
14. Air: How beautiful are the feet 2:23
15. Chorus: Their sound is gone out into all lands 1:36
16. Air: Why do the nations so furiously rage together 3:18
17. Chorus: Let us break their bonds together 2:01
18. Recitative: He that dwelleth in Heaven 0:16
19. Air: Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron 2:13
20. Chorus: Hallelujah, for the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth 4:14

Part the Third
21. Air: I know that my Redeemer liveth 6:06
22. Chorus: Since by man came death 1:56
23. Recitative: Behold, I tell you a mystery 0:31
24. Air: The trumpet shall sound 4:19
25. Chorus: Worthy is the Lamb 3:46
26. Chorus: Amen

SITE RATING:  9/10
SITE REVIEW:  Klemperer's 1965 Messiah is highly regarded among listeners who love the large, grand, slow-moving performances which dominated the 1970s and before.  And hearing it, it's easy to understand why - although I generally prefer the lighter, swifter performances, there is an undeniable pleasure in hearing Messiah performed with such majesty and grace - rather than dancing, this Messiah glides like a grand monarch, stately and refined.  To my ears, there are schools within schools among any of the styles of Messiah - comparing this one with Karl Richter's 1972 recording is illuminating - whereas Richter's Messiah was somewhat hard-edged and Germanic in its staunch rhythms and square-shouldered attitude, Klemperer's performance is much warmer, with a proud and stately manner that is still compelling.  The soloists are similarly grand and warm, although still with the full-throated operatic mannerisms that are so much of the past in Messiah's of today.  Bass Jerome Hines is truly Wagnerian in his arias, capturing the full range of drama, NIcholai Gedda is less memorable, but still potent, while Grace Hoffman and Elisabeth Schwarzkopf are both rich and dramatic in their readings.  The recorded ambience is very good for a 1965 recording, if muted by the technology of the times - I first heard the Klemperer on the Japan EMI Classics recording, (which is far cheaper than the collector's prices being asked in the States) and the power of the chorus is magnificent on the louder passages.  A beautiful, impressive Messiah, worthy of being in any collection.


The Compleat Messiah All Content Copyright 2015 Bret D. Wheadon
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