RECORDINGS

LABEL: BELLA VOCE
CATALOG NUMBER: UNKNOWN
UPC NUMBER: 641444124626
NUMBER OF DISCS: 1
RUNNING TIME: UNKNOWN
YEAR RECORDED: 2012
CD RELEASE DATE: 2012
CONDUCTOR: ANDREW LEWIS
ORCHESTRA: THE CALLIPYGIAN PLAYERS
CHOIR: BELLA VOCE
SOPRANO: LAURA LYNCH
CONTRALTO: LINDSEY ADAMS
TENOR: MICAH DINGLER
BASS: N/A
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AUDIO SAMPLES HIGHLIGHTS OTHER RELEASES

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DISC ONE

1. Part I: Sinfony    3:02
2. And the Glory of the Lord    2:50
3. And He Shall Purify    2:39
4. Behold, a Virgin Shall Conceive; O Thou That Tellest Good Tidings to Zion    5:40
5. For Unto Us a Child Is Born    4:02
6. Pifa (Version I); There Were Shepherds Abiding in the Field; and Lo, the Angel of the Lord; and the Angel Said Unto Them; and Suddenly There Was With the Angel; Glory to God    4:03
7. His Yoke Is Easy    2:21
8. Part II: Behold the Lamb of God    2:48
9. Surely He Hath Borne Our Griefs; and With His Stripes We Are Healed; All We Like Sheep Have Gone Astray    7:25   
10. All They That See Him Laugh Him to Scorn; He Trusted in God    2:56 
11. Lift Up Your Heads, O Ye Gates    2:57
12. Hallelujah    3:35
13. Since By Man Came Death    2:04
14. Part III: Worthy Is the Lamb; "Amen"    8:02

SITE RATING:  7/10
SITE REVIEW:  I've admired Chicago-based vocal group Bella Voce since their days as His Majestie's Clerkes, when they recorded a splendid Messiah highlights disc under Anne Heider for the Narada label in 1995.  Now, seventeen years later, under a new name and new director, the group has teamed with fellow Chicago artists The Callipygian Players to give us a new highlights disc, and although it lacks the recorded polish of their earlier Narada effort, shows them to be an expert vocal group who are worth seeking out.  Conductor Andrew Lewis keeps everything light and energized, with bright, razor-sharp playing from The Callipygian Players, and wonderful balance in evidence between all the forces.  Bella Voce is a young, passionate group of singers, and their choruses and solos show wonderful unity and a strong joie de vivre that shines through.  Among the soloists, soprano Laura Lynch is notable for her beautiful, bell-like tone and pure performance.  The main flaw with this recording is the live ambiance that bleeds through - audience noise, distance and muddiness to the recorded sound, and occasional disunity within the choir with parts and voices popping out, all of which would be overlooked by those in attendance, but as a listening experience, it's distracting.  I even heard an odd "crackling" sound during the "Pifa", which I could not account for.  Still, there are many striking moments, including one of the most moving renditions of "All We Like Sheep" which I have ever heard - this is surely a Messiah worth seeking out if you're in Chicago during the winter season, and while I wish that Bella Voce had seen fit to record and release a complete Messiah under more controlled circumstances, this is an excellent live "highlights" disc worth seeking out.


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