RECORDINGS

LABEL: SIGNUM CLASSICS
CATALOG NUMBER: SIGCD074
UPC NUMBER: 635212007426
NUMBER OF DISCS: 2
RUNNING TIME: 56:56, 70:01
YEAR RECORDED: 1988
CD RELEASE DATE: APRIL 25, 2006
CONDUCTOR: SIR CHARLES MACKERRAS
ORCHESTRA: ROYAL PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA
CHOIR: THE HUDDERSFIELD CHORAL SOCIETY
SOPRANO: FELICITY LOTT
CONTRALTO: FELICITY PALMER
TENOR: PHILIP LANGRIDGE
BASS: ROBERT LLOYD


AUDIO SAMPLES HIGHLIGHTS OTHER RELEASES

RCA Victor RD87786(2)RPO RPD001R
                              2LP (UK)

DISC ONE

1. Part 1. Overture
2. Part 1. Allegro moderato
3. Part 1. Recitative. Comfort ye
4. Part 1. Aria. Every Valley
5. Part 1. Chorus. And the Glory of the Lord
6. Part 1. Recitative. Thus saith the Lord
7. Part 1. Aria. But who may abide
8. Part 1. Chorus. And He shall purify
9. Part 1. Recitative. Behold! A Virgin    
10. Part 1. Aria. O thou that tellest good tidings to Zion
11. Part 1. Recitative. For behold, darkness shall cover the earth
12. Part 1. Aria. The people that walked in darkness
13. Part 1. Chorus. For unto us a Child is born
14. Part 1. Pastoral Symphony / Recitative. There were shepherds
15. Part 1. Accompagnato. And lo!, the Angel    
16. Part 1. Recitative. And the Angel said unto them
17. Part 1. Accompagnato. And suddenly there was with the Angel    
18. Part 1. Chorus. Glory to God
19. Part 1. Aria. Rejoice greatly
20. Part 1. Recitative. Then shall the eyes of the blind    
21. Part 1. Aria. He shall feed His flock / Aria. Come unto him
22. Part 1. Chorus. His yoke is easy
DISC TWO

1. Part 2. Chorus. Behold the Lamb of God
2. Part 2. Aria. He was despised
3. Part 2. Chorus. Surely, He hath borne our griefs
4. Part 2. Chorus. And with his Stripes
5. Part 2. Chorus. All we like sheep have gone astray
6. Part 2. Recitative. All they that see Him
7. Part 2. Chorus. He trusted in God
8. Part 2. Recitative. Thy rebuke hath broken His heart
9. Part 2. Aria. Behold, and see
10. Part 2. Recitative. He was cut off    
11. Part 2. Aria. But Thou didst not leave
12. Part 2. Chorus. Lift up your heads
13. Part 2. Chorus. The Lord gave the Word
14. Part 2. Aria. How beautiful are the feet of them
15. Part 2. Aria. Why do the nations
16. Part 2. Chorus. Let us break their bonds asunder
17. Part 2. Aria. Thou shalt break them
18. Part 2. Chorus. Hallelujah!
19. Part 3. Aria. I know that my Redeemer liveth
20. Part 3. Chorus. Since by man came death
21. Part 3. Recitative. Behold, I tell you a mystery
22. Part 3. Aria. The trumpet shall sound
23. Part 3. Chorus. Worthy is the Lamb
24. Part 3. Chorus. Amen

SITE RATING:  7/10
SITE REVIEW:  Mackerras's 1988 recording of the Mozart arr. of Messiah is a strange, many-headed beast.  It can be viewed on one hand as a "traditional" recording of Messiah - with the Mozartian German transcribed into English, a harpsichord continuo added throughout, and Mozart's vocal re-assignments re-RE-assigned to their Handel origins.  In fact, about the only thing retained in this Mozart arrangement is the added horn parts, which add weight and depth to the orchestral forces, otherwise, this can almost be ascribed as the "Ebenezer Prout edition of Mozart's arrangement of Handel's Messiah".  When compared with Mackerras's 1974 Messiah, this one sounds much less vital.  Eschewing the Teutonic feeling of his earlier recording, this one sounds relatively bloodless and safe, with tempos and playing that are much more moderate, and yet also much less arresting.  The Huddersfield Choral Society sings warmly, but without passion, the Royal Philharmonic plays much the same, with long, sweeping phrases, and little electricity.  The largest stumbling block are the soloists; tenor Philip Langridge sounds a bit demented in his solos, using far too much vibrato and nearly shaking right out of his melismas; bass Robert Lloyd's tone is very swallowed, while the "dueling Felicitys" alto Felicity Palmer's and soprano Felicity Lott's rich tones are both too fruity for my tastes.  It's a good recording overall, but after hearing Mackerras's earlier recording, this one pales in comparison.


The Compleat Messiah All Content Copyright 2015 Bret D. Wheadon
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