RECORDINGS

LABEL: ERATO
CATALOG NUMBER: 2564 69283-5
UPC NUMBER: 825646928354
NUMBER OF DISCS: 2
RUNNING TIME: 78:44, 78:37
YEAR RECORDED: 1974
CD RELEASE DATE: APRIL 6, 2009
CONDUCTOR: RAYMOND LEPPARD
ORCHESTRA: ENGLISH CHAMBER ORCHESTRA
CHOIR: ENGLISH CHAMBER CHORUS
SOPRANO: FELICITY PALMER
ALTO: HELEN WATTS
TENOR: RYLAND DAVIES
BASS: JOHN SHIRLEY-QUIRK


AUDIO SAMPLES HIGHLIGHTS OTHER RELEASES

NONE
1987 highlights (UK) Erato ERA-2144

DISC ONE

Part One

01 No. l Sinfony (Overture)    3.11
02 No.2 Recitative: Comfort ye my people tenor    3.36
03 No.3 Air: Ev'ry valley shall be exalted tenor    3.37
04 No.4 Chorus: And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed    2.39
05 No.5 Recitative: Thus saith the Lord bass    1.37
06 No.6 Air: But who may abide the day of his coming? alto    4.44
07 No.7 Chorus: And he shall purify the sons of Levi    2.51
08 No.8 Recitative: Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son alto    0.27
09 No.9 Air: O thou that tellest good tidings to Zion alto    3.49
10 No.9 Chorus: O thou that tellest good tidings to Zion    1.41
11 No. 10 Recitative: For behold, darkness shall cover the earth bass    2.54
12 No. l l Air: The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light bass    4.11
13 No. 12 Chorus: For unto us a child is born    4.17
14 No.13 Pifa (Pastoral Symphony)    3.23
15 No.14a Recitative: There were shepherds abiding in the field soprano
No. 14b Recitative: And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them soprano
No. 15 Recitative: And the angel said unto them: Fear not soprano
No. 16 Recitative: And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heav'nly host soprano
16 No. 17 Chorus: Glory to God in the highest    1.54
17 No. 18 Air: Rejoice greatly, o daughter of Zion soprano    4.06
18 No.19 Recitative: Then shall the eyes of the blind be opened alto    0.26
19 No.20 Air: He shall feed his flock like a shepherd soprano, alto    6.04
20 No.21 Chorus: His yoke is easy

Part Two

21 No.22 Chorus: Behold the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sin of the world    4.05
22 No.23 Air: He was despised and rejected of men alto    11.44
23 No.24 Chorus: Surely he hath borne our griefs and carried our sorrows    2.25

DISC TWO

01 No.25 Chorus: And with his stripes we are healed    2.09
02 No.26 Chorus: All we like sheep have gone astray    4.26
03 No.27 Recitative: All they that see him laugh him to scorn tenor    0.55
04 No.28 Chorus: He trusted in God that he would deliver him    2.39
05 No.29 Recitative: Thy rebuke hath broken his heart tenor    1.54
06 No.30 Air: Behold, and see if there be any sorrow like unto his sorrow tenor    1.53
07 No.31 Recitative: He was cut off out of the land of the living tenor    0.20
08 No.32 Air: But thou didst not leave his soul in hell tenor    2.32
09 No.33 Chorus: Lift up your heads, o ye gates    3.28
10 No.34 Recitative: Unto which of the angels said he at any time tenor    0.19
11 No.35 Chorus: Let all the angels of God worship him    1.45
12 No.36 Air: Thou art gone up on high, thou hast led captivity captive bass    3.37
13 No.37 Chorus: The Lord gave the word: great was the company of the preachers    1.20
14 No.38 Air: How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace soprano    2.29
15 No.39 Air: Their sound is gone out into all lands tenor    1.10
16 No.40 Air: Why do the nations so furiously rage together bass    2.40
17 No.41 Chorus: Let us break their bonds asunder    2.12
18 No.42 Recitative: He that dwelleth in heaven shall laugh them to scorn tenor    0.18
19 No.43 Air: Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron tenor    2.17
20 No.44 Chorus: Hallelujah    4.06

Part Three

21 No.45 Air: I know that my Redeemer liveth soprano    6.38
22 No.46 Chorus: Since by man came death    2.19
23 No.47 Recitative: Behold, I tell you a mystery bass    0.43
24 No.48 Air: The trumpet shall sound bass    8.11
25 No.49 Recitative: Then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written alto    0.21
26 No.50 Duet: O death, where is thy sting? alto, tenor    1.42
27 No.51 Chorus: But thanks be to God, who giveth us the victory    3.31
28 No.52 Air: If God be for us, who can be against us? soprano    4.32
29 No.53 Chorus: Worthy is the Lamb that was slain    3.51
30 [No.53 Chorus:] Amen    4.24


SITE RATING:  8/10
SITE REVIEW:  Raymond Leppard's 1974 recording of Messiah ranks nearly as highly as other great Messiahs of the same era, such as Colin Davis's and Neville Marriner's.  Bright, light, dancing tempos, excellent performances by the English Chamber Orchestra and Chorus, and generally fine soloists, with the exception of bass John Shirley-Quirk, who seems out of step here, bringing great weight and force to his melismas, offsetting the otherwise baroque feel of the piece.  Alto Helen Watts brings great warmth to her readings, while Felicity Palmer is almost unsurpassed in her ability to bring a wonderful drama to all her pieces, sung with equal warmth and emotion.  Tenor Ryland Davies is technically good, but sounds young and peacock-ish in his presentation, with a bit of nasalness to his tone.  The recorded tone is not as brilliant as you'll find on today's recordings, but the 2008 remastering is very good, a bit distant, but warm and natural.  A very enjoyable, natural Messiah, exhibiting the kind of warmth and humanity lacking on many other recordings, and worth seeking out.


The Compleat Messiah All Content Copyright 2015 Bret D. Wheadon
All Rights Reserved.