RECORDINGS

LABEL: AMSTERDAM CLASSICS
CATALOG NUMBER: AC20574
UPC NUMBER: 8710375990610
NUMBER OF DISCS: 3 [2CD+DVD]
RUNNING TIME: 2:13:43
YEAR RECORDED: 2013
CD RELEASE DATE: OCTOBER 2013
CONDUCTOR: PIETER JAN LEUSINK
ORCHESTRA: THE BACH ORCHESTRA OF THE NETHERLANDS
CHOIR: THE BACH CHOIR OF THE NETHERLANDS
SOPRANO: JANA MAMONOVA, OLGA ZINOVIEVA
COUNTERTENOR: SYTSE BULWALDA
TENOR: MARTINUS LEUSINK
BASS: ANDREW SLATER


AVAILABLE
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LEUSINK
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AUDIO SAMPLES HIGHLIGHTS OTHER RELEASES

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DISC ONE

Part 1
1. overture (orchestra)
2. comfort ye my people (tenor recitation)
3. every valley shall be exalted (air for tenor)
4. And the glory of the lord (chorus)
5. thus saith the lord (alto recitation)
6.  But who may abide (air for alto or soprano *version 1 for alto 2 for soprano)
7. And he shall purify (chorus)
8. Behold a Virgin shall conceive (alto recitation)
9. O thou that telleth good tidings to Zion (air for alto followed by chorus)
10. for behold, darkness shall cover the earth (soprano recitation)
11. the people that walked in darkness (air for soprano)
12. For unto us a child is born (chorus)
13. Pifa "pastoral symphony" (orchestra)
14. there were shepherds abiding in a field (soprano recitation)
15. and lo the angel of the lord came upon them (continued soprano recitation)
16. and the angel said unto them (continued)
17. and suddenly there was with the angel (continued)
18. Glory to God (chorus)
19. Rejoice greatly O daughter of Zion (air for soprano)
20. then shall the eyes of the blind (soprano recitation)
21. he shall feed his flock (air for alto)
22. His yoke is easy and his burthen is light (chorus)

Part 2
23. Behold the lamb of God (chorus)
24. He was despised (air for alto)
 
DISC TWO

1. Surely he hath born our griefs (Chorus)
2. And with his stripes (chorus)
3. All we like sheep (chorus)
4. All they that see him laugh him to scorn (bass recitation)
5. He trusted in God (chorus)
6. thy rebuke hath broken his heart (tenor or soprano recitation)
7. behold and see (tenor or soprano recitation)
8. he was cut off (tenor or soprano recitation)
9. but thou didst not leave his soul in hell (air for tenor or soprano)
10. Lift up your heads (chorus)
11. unto which of the angels said he at any time (tenor recitation)
12. let all the angels of God worship Him (chorus)
13. thou art gone up on high (air for alto or soprano *version 1 alto version 2 soprano)
14. the lord gave the word (chorus)
15. how beautiful are the feet (aria for soprano)
16. their sound is gone out (chorus)
17. why do the nations rage (air for bass)
18. let us break their bonds asunder (chorus)
19. He that dwelleth in heaven (tenor recitation)
20. thou shalt break them (air for tenor)
21. hallelujah (chorus)

Part 3
22. i know that my redeemer liveth (air for soprano)
23. since by man came death (chorus)
24. behold i tell you a mystery (bass recitation)
25. the trumpet shall sound (air for bassist)
26. then shall be brought to pass (alto recitative)
27. o death where is thy sting? (duet alto and tenor)
28. but thanks be to God (chorus)
29. if God be for us (air for soprano or alto *version 1 soprano version 2 alto)
30. worthy is the lamb that was slain (chorus)
31. Blessing and honor (chorus)
32. Amen (chorus)

SITE RATING:  7/10
SITE REVIEW:  After being delayed a couple of months, Pieter Jan Leusink's third Messiah on record with the Bach Choir &  Orchestra of the Netherlands, (but only the second I've been able to acquire) finally arrived in a handsomely-packaged double CD box set, along with a bonus 60-minute long DVD which features Leusink discussing each of the movements of Messiah while various live and studio performances weave in and out of the narrative.  As far as the performance, it's good, but not spectacular - on par with his previous performance, of which this recording mirrors nearly exactly - same conductor, same performers, with only a couple of substitutions in the soloists (namely, bass Andrew Slater and the two sopranos), all of whom are very good without being world-class.  Played on period instruments, Leusink doesn't wholeheartedly adopt the Baroque "faster, lighter" performance movement, but keeps everything moderately tempoed, light, but not electric, with emphasis placed more on taste and decorum than drama and passion.  Which means that this recording tended to fade from memory soon after I heard it - it is enjoyable on its own merits, but compared to more vigorous readings, it comes across as rote and perfunctory.  Adding to this problem is the Bach Choir, a 14-member chamber group, which has a lovely tone, and sparkles on the tight interplay found on "Let Us Break Their Bonds Asunder" but lacks power in the large choruses.  The bonus DVD is unfortunately PAL-encoded, so most U.S. players will not be able to read it, but small loss, as it's entirely in Dutch with no other vocal or subtitle tracks present for international audiences.  Not only that, but the conductor is actually intrusive in the program, his voice and image popping up "ghost-like" throughout, barging in on the performances, which I much would have rather heard without the commentary.   It would have suited the program much better to have Leusink's commentary as an optional language track, and allow the performers to have their moment.     


The Compleat Messiah All Content Copyright 2013 Bret D. Wheadon
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