RECORDINGS

LABEL: MADACY ENTERTAINMENT
CATALOG NUMBER: HMX-2-0420
UPC NUMBER: 056775042028
NUMBER OF DISCS: 2
RUNNING TIME: 39:41, 41:26
YEAR RECORDED: 1995
CD RELEASE DATE: SEPTEMBER 15, 1998
CONDUCTOR: ANDREW LANE
ORCHESTRA: ORLANDO POPS ORCHESTRA
CHOIR: ORLANDO POPS CHORUS?
SOPRANO: HEIDI HOLCOMBE
CONTRALTO: MARGUERITE KRULL
TENOR: WILLIAM ADAMS
BASS: JUSTIN WHITE


AUDIO SAMPLES HIGHLIGHTS OTHER RELEASES

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DISC ONE

1. Sinfony Overture - 3:34
2. Co[m]fort Ye - 2:54
3. Every Valley - 3:17
4. And The Glory of the Lord Shall Be Revealed - 3:02
5. Thus Saith The Lord - 1:24
6. But who My Abide The Day of His Coming 4:33
7. Behold, A Virgin Shall Conceive - :24
8. O Thou That Tellest Good Tidings To Zion - 5:34
9. For Behold, Darkness Shall Cover The Earth - 3:45
10. The People That Walked In Darkness - 3:45
11. For Unto Us A Child Is Born 3:50
12. Pifa (Pastoral Symphony) - 1:17
13. There Were Shepherds Abiding In The Field - :15
14. And Lo, The Angel of the Lord - :23
15. And The Angel Said Unto Them - :42
16. And Suddenly There Was With The Angel/Glory To God - 2:14
DISC TWO

1. Rejoice Greatly, O Daughter Of Zion - 4:30
2. Then Shall The Eyes of the Blind be Opened - :24
3. And He Shall Feed His Flock Like A Shepherd - 5:38
4. Behold The Lamb Of God - 2:57
5. Thou Art Gone Up On High - 3:05
6. He That Dwelleth In Heaven - :14
7. Thou Shalt Break Them - 2:11
8. Hallelujah - 3:34
9. I Know That My Redeemer Liveth - 5:25
10. Since By Man Came Death 1:52
11. Behold I Tell You A Mystery / The Trumpet(s) Shall Sound - 4:24
12. Worthy Is The Lamb / Amen [Chorus] - 6:56

SITE RATING:  0/10
SITE REVIEW:  Madacy Entertainment, the purveyors of cheap, disposable, music-for-the-masses, muddied the waters of their already bloated Messiah output with this Orlando Pops recording, which, in appearance, is nearly-identical to the omnipresent Susskind Messiah. In fact, outwardly this release appears so nearly identical to the Susskind release, that for a long time I thought it was the same performance.  And despite the fact that several deluded individuals are attempting to sell this album for upwards of $100.00 in some online marketplaces - it is in reality a severely truncated, cheaply-produced and indifferently performed set. Whether its the horrifically tacky hot-pink and blue silk-screened nativity scene imprinted on the CDs (which looks like something out of Dante's Inferno, rather than the birth of the Christ child), or the ineptly-proofed track listing which is riddled with errors, the shoddiness and disdain Madacy shows for their product is astounding.

As to the performance, Madacy makes the statement on the packaging that this is a "Christmas" (read: half of the oratorio has been cut out) version of Messiah for Chamber Choir and Orchestra, so despite the statement that this is the Orlando Pops, it's more like the Orlando string quartet with harpsichord, accompanied with a 20-voice Choir (in a nice touch, each of the Choir members are listed by name).  So it's a very small ensemble, recorded very closely, leaving little room for ambiance - the entire recording has a piercing, harsh tone to the sound which is somewhat painful to listen to.  Tenor William Adams similarly cuts through the speakers with his strident, bright tone, which, although in tune, sounds rote and muscled.  The chamber choir is top-heavy in its sound and disunified.  Bass Justin White has a resplendent tone, but is unequal to the technical requirements of the melismas. Alto Marguerite Krull sounds dull and disinterested, and worst of all, soprano Heidi Holcombe is horrific - alternately piercing and fluttery her manic delivery has the effect of sounding shrill and somewhat demented.  Conductor Andrew Lane's direction is totally mechanical - a painful going-through-the-motions effort that defies any attempt to impart life or meaning to this immortal work.  In short, this is easily one of the worst Messiahs to ever hit the market.  A sad and pathetic performance and release.



The Compleat Messiah All Content Copyright 2015 Bret D. Wheadon
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