RECORDINGS

LABEL: LONDON
CATALOG NUMBER: 444824
UPC NUMBER: 028944482423
NUMBER OF DISCS: 2
RUNNING TIME: 160 min
YEAR RECORDED: 1976
CD RELEASE DATE: OCTOBER 17, 1995
CONDUCTOR: SIR NEVILLE MARRINER
ORCHESTRA: ACADEMY OF ST. MARTIN-IN-THE-FIELDS
CHOIR: CHORUS OF ST. MARTIN-IN-THE-FIELDS
SOPRANO: ELLY AMELING
CONTRALTO: ANNA REYNOLDS
TENOR: PHILIP LANGRIDGE
BASS: GWYNNE HOWELL

AUDIO SAMPLES HIGHLIGHTS OTHER RELEASES
highlights lparias choruses cd Original coverargo lplp box

DISC ONE

1. No. 1 Symphony
2. Nos. 2/3 Recitative & Tenor: Comfort Ye My People/Every Valley Shall Be Exalted
3. No. 4 Chorus: And The Glory Of The Lord
4. Nos. 5/6 Recitative & Bass: Thus Said The Lord/But Who May Abide
5. No. 7 Chorus: And He Shall Purify
6. Nos. 8/9 Recitative & Air Alto & Chorus: Behold, A Virgin Shall Conceive/O Thou That Tellest Good Tidings to Zion
7. Nos. 10/11 Recitative & Air Bass: For Behold, Darkness Shall Cover The Earth/The People That Walked  In Darkness
8. No. 12 Chorus: For Unto Us A Child Is Born
9. No. 13 Pifa
10. Nos. 14-16 Recitative Soprano: There Were Shepherds, Abiding In The Field/And Lo! The Angel Of The Lord  
11. No. 17 Chorus: Glory To God In The Highest
12. No. 18 Air Soprano: Rejoice Greatly, O Daughter Of Zion
13. No. 19/20 Recitative And Aria Alto: Then Shall The Eyes/He Shall Feed His Flock
14. No. 21 Chorus: His Yoke Is Easy
15. No. 22 Chorus: Behold The Lamb Of God
16. No.23 Air Alto: He Was Despised

DISC TWO

1. No. 24 Chorus: Surely He Hath Borne Our Griefs
2. No. 25 Chorus: And With His Stripes
3. No. 26 Chorus: All We Like Sheep
4. Nos. 27/28 Recitative Tenor & Chorus: All They That See Him/He Trusted In God
5. Nos. 29/30 Recitative & Arioso Soprano: Thy Rebuke Hath Broken His Heart/Behold And See
6. Nos. 31/32 Recitative & Air Tenor: He Was Cut Off Out Of The Land Of The Living/But Thou Didst Not    
7. No. 33 Chorus: Lift Up Your Heads
8. Nos. 34/35 Recitative Tenor & Chorus: Unto Which Of The Angels/Let All The Angels Of God Worship Hi    
9. No. 36 Air Bass: Thou Art Gone Up On High
10. No. 37 Chorus: The Lord Gave The Word
11. No. 38 Duet Soprano & Alto, Chorus: How Beautiful Are The Feet/Break Forth Into Joy
12. No. 39 Arioso Tenor: Their Sound Is Gone Out
13. Nos. 42/43 Recitative & Air Tenor: He That Dwelleth In Heaven/Thou Shalt Break Them
14. No.44 Chorus: Hallelujah
15. No. 45 Air Soprano: I Know That My Redeemer Liveth
16. No. 46 Chorus: Since By Man Came Death
17. Nos. 47/48 Recitative & Air Bass: Behold, I Tell You A Mystery/The Trumpet Shall Sound
18. Nos. 49-51 Recitative Alto, Duet Alto & Tenor, Chorus: Then Shall Be Brought To Pass/O Death, Where    
19. No. 52 Air Alto: If God Be For Us
20. No. 53 Chorus: Worthy Is The Lamb/Amen


SITE RATING:  9/10
SITE REVIEW:  There is little to fault and much to praise in Sir Neville Marriner's 1976 recording of Messiah.  Based on the first performed 1742 "Dublin" version, there are small changes which first-time listeners may not be familiar with, but the performance is so finely finessed that I suspect most won't mind.  This recording consistently rates very highly with purchasers every year, and upon listening, it's easy to understand why: The Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields plays with great vigor, yet restraint; and despite preceding the period-instrument revival of the mid-eighties by several years, Sir Neville uses smaller forces, much like the period instrumentalists, and Marriner's tempi are more in-line with later "revivalist" performances, eschewing the then-dominant largess.  But unlike Hogwood's recording, the Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields uses modern instruments, giving this Messiah a far fuller, richer sound than can be found in period instrumentation.  In a way, it's this performance that can be looked at as the progenitor to Christopher Hogwood's 1980 recording, and in many ways, it is to be preferred, with the recording simply one of the finest balanced and most pleasing overall.  Sir Neville avoids the pitfalls of over-stylization, preferring to give a clean, delineated performance which manages to hit all the bases.  The soloists are uniformly fine, sounding neither affected or diffident; rich, without sounding heavy or forced, or alternately too clean and bright; in fact, it's difficult to pick out any singular performance - it's such a "whole cloth" Messiah that every piece of the ensemble fits neatly into the unity of the musical fabric.  My only criticism would be that the performance is so neat, so well-mannered, and so perfect, that it feels at times a little unreal.  Highly recommended. ~ BDW

The Compleat Messiah All Content Copyright © 2009 Bret D. Wheadon
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