RECORDINGS

LABEL: CAPRICCIO
CATALOG NUMBER: 60068-2
UPC NUMBER: 845221004471
NUMBER OF DISCS: 2
RUNNING TIME: 75:45, 44:56
YEAR RECORDED: 1994
CD RELEASE DATE: JANUARY 1, 1995
CONDUCTOR: PETER MARSCHIK
ORCHESTRA: ACADEMY OF LONDON
CHOIR: VIENNA BOYS' CHOIR
SOPRANO: MAX EMMANUEL CENCIC
COUNTERTENOR: CHARLES HUMPHRIES
TENOR: IVAN SHARPE
BASS: ROBERT TORDAY


AUDIO SAMPLES HIGHLIGHTS OTHER RELEASES


DISC ONE

1. Part 1. Sinfonia (Grave - Allegro moderato)
2. Part 1. No. 1. Accompagnato. Comfort ye, comfort ye my people
3. Part 1. No. 2. Aria. Ev'ry valley shall be exalted
4. Part 1. No. 3. Chorus. And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed
5. Part 1. No. 4. Accompagnato. Thus saith the Lord of Hosts
6. Part 1. No. 5. Aria. But who may abide the day of his coming
7. Part 1. No. 6. Chorus. And he shall purify
8. Part 1. No. 7. Recitative. Behold, a virgin shall conceive    
9. Part 1. No. 10. Accompagnato. For behold, darkness shall cover
10. Part 1. No. 11. Aria. The people that walked in darkness
11. Part 1. No. 12. Chorus. For unto us a Child is born
12. Part 1. No. 13. Pifa (Pastoral Symphony) (Larghetto e mezzo piano)
13. Part 1. No. 14. Recitative. There were shepherds abiding    
14. Part 1. No. 14. Accompagnato. And lo, the angel of the Lord    
15. Part 1. No. 14. Recitative. And the angel said unto them
16. Part 1. No. 14. Accompagnato. And suddenly there was    
17. Part 1. No. 15. Chorus. Glory to God in the highest
18. Part 1. No. 16. Aria. Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion
19. Part 1. No. 17. Recitative. Then shall the eyes of the blind    
20. Part 1. No. 18. Duet. He shall feed his flock
21. Part 1. No. 19. Chorus. His yoke is easy, his burthen is light
22. Part 2. No. 20. Chorus. Behold the Lamb of God
23. Part 2. No. 21. Aria. He was despised
24. Part 2. No. 22. Chorus. Surely, he hath borne our griefs
25. Part 2. No. 23. Chorus. And with his stripes we are healed
26. Part 2. No. 24. Chorus. All we like sheep have gone astray
27. Part 2. No. 25. Accompagnato. All they that see him
28. Part 2. No. 26. Chorus. He trusted in God

29. Part 2. No. 29. Accompagnato. He was cut off out of the land
30. Part 2. No. 30. Aria. But thou didst not leave his soul in hell
31. Part 2. No. 31. Chorus. Lift up your heads, O ye gates

DISC TWO

1. Part 2. No. 34. Aria. Thou art gone up on high
2. Part 2. No. 35. Chorus. The Lord gave the word
3. Part 2. No. 36. Aria. How beautiful are the feet
4. Part 2. No. 37. Chorus. Their sound is gone out
5. Part 2. No. 38. Aria. Why do the nations
6. Part 2. No. 39. Chorus. Let us break their bonds assunder
7. Part 2. No. 40. Recitative. He that dwelleth in heaven    
8. Part 2. No. 41. Aria. Thou shalt break them
9. Part 2. No. 42. Chorus. Hallelujah
10. Part 3. No. 43. Aria. I know that my Redeemer liveth
11. Part 3. No. 44. Chorus. Since by man came death
12. Part 3. No. 45. Accompagnato. Behold, I tell you a mystery
13. Part 3. No. 46. Aria. The trumpet shall sound
14. Part 3. No. 47. Recitative. Then shall be brought to pass    
15. Part 3. No. 48. Duet. O death, where is thy sting?
16. Part 3. No. 49. Chorus. But thanks be to God
17. Part 3. No. 50. Aria. If God be for us
18. Part 3. No. 51. Chorus. Worthy is the Lamb that was slain - Amen


SITE RATING:  6/10
SITE REVIEW:  This performance of Messiah, conducted by Peter Marschik and performed by the choir and soloists of the Vienna Boys Choir, was originally released on the Cappricio label, and has since been licensed by Laserlight and other budget labels at significantly reduced prices. I purchased the Laserlight edition while exploring several different Messiahs. This recording has a couple of pluses, especially in the expressive soloists: the fiery tenor Ivan Sharpe does a magnificent job with "Comfort Ye My People" and "Every Valley Shall Be Exalted" and the boy soprano Max Emmanuel Cencic is glorious on "There Were Shepherds Abiding" while Countertenor Charles Humphries is also fine, if not absolutely proficient, on his solos. This performance is definitely worth hearing for the soloists.

The troubles I have with this particular Messiah are the unaccountably slow tempos set on some of the choruses: "And He Shall Purify" and "For Unto Us A Child Is Born" seem unnecessarily languid, stripping them of any sense of joy or rejoicing, and paling in comparison to other Messiahs. The other big problem with this recording is the Vienna Boys' Choir, which is surprisingly ragged and dis-unified on most of their choruses. There is little precision or style in their singing, which leads me to believe this recording was put together with little rehearsal. There are a couple of moments as well where the choir goes noticeably out of tune. Not a first choice for a Messiah, but worth hearing for the tender, expressive soloists. ~ BDW



The Compleat Messiah All Content Copyright 2015 Bret D. Wheadon
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