RECORDINGS

LABEL: ARCHIV
CATALOG NUMBER: 453-464-2
UPC NUMBER: 028945346427
NUMBER OF DISCS: 2
RUNNING TIME: 79:57, 52:22
YEAR RECORDED: 1997
CD RELEASE DATE: AUGUST 1, 1997
CONDUCTOR: PAUL MCCREESH
ORCHESTRA: GABRIELI CONSORT & PLAYERS
CHOIR: GABRIELI CONSORT & PLAYERS
SOPRANO I: DOROTHEA RÖSCHMANN
SOPRANO II: SUSAN GRITTON
CONTRALTO: BERNARDA FINK
TENOR: CHARLES DANIELS
BASS: NEAL DAVIES


AUDIO SAMPLES HIGHLIGHTS OTHER RELEASES


DISC ONE

1. Symphony    Gabrieli Players     3:22
2. "Comfort ye, My people"    Charles Daniels    3:35
3. "Ev'ry Valley shall be exalted"    Charles Daniels    3:04
4. "And the glory of the Lord"    Gabrieli Players    2:50
5. "Thus saith the Lord"    Neal Davies    1:19
6. "But who may abide the day of his coming"    Susan Gritton    3:51
7. "And He shall purify the sons of Levi"    Gabrieli Players    2:22
8. "Behold, a virgin shall conceive"    Bernarda Fink    0:26
9. "O thou that tellest good tidings to Zion"    Bernarda Fink    4:47
10. "For behold, darkness shall cover"    Neal Davies    2:14
11. "The people that walked in darkness"    Neal Davies    3:58
12. "For unto us a Child is born"    Gabrieli Players    3:36
13. Pifa (Pastoral Symphony)    Gabrieli Players    0:38
14. "There were shepherds... And lo, the angel of the Lord...And the angel said unto them...And suddenly"    Dorothea Röschmann    1:02
15. "Glory to God in the highest"    Gabrieli Players    1:41
16. "Rejoice greatly, o daughter of Zion"    Dorothea Röschmann    3:46
17. "Then shall the eyes of the blind"    Susan Gritton    0:20
18. "He shall feed his Flock"    Susan Gritton    4:18
19. "His yoke is easy"    Gabrieli Players    2:03
20. "Behold the Lamb of God"    Gabrieli Players    3:09
21. "He was despised"    Bernarda Fink    12:11
22. "Surely He hath borne our griefs"    Gabrieli Players    1:38
23. "And with His stripes we are healed"    Gabrieli Players    1:44
24. "All we like sheep have gone astray"    Gabrieli Players    3:20
25. "All they that see Him"    Charles Daniels    0:39
26. "He trusted in God"    Gabrieli Players    2:03
27. "Thy rebuke hath broken His heart"    Charles Daniels    2:03
28. "Behold and see"    Charles Daniels    1:30
29. "He was cut off"    Susan Gritton    0:14
30. "But thou didst not leave his soul in Hell"    Susan Gritton    2:03

DISC TWO

1. "Lift up your heads"    Gabrieli Players    2:47
2. "Unto which of the angels"    Charles Daniels    0:15
3. "Let all the angels of God"    Gabrieli Players    1:21
4. "Thou art gone up on high"    Dorothea Röschmann    2:46
5. "The Lord gave the word"    Gabrieli Players    1:05
6. "How beautiful are the feet"    Susan Gritton    2:00
7. "Their sound is gone out"    Gabrieli Players    1:17
8. "Why do the nations so furiously rage together?"    Neal Davies    1:14
9. "Let us break their bonds asunder"    Gabrieli Players    1:37
10. "He that dwelleth in heaven...Thou shalt break them"    Charles Daniels    2:06
11. "Hallelujah"    Gabrieli Players    3:34
12. "I know that my Redeemer liveth"    Susan Gritton    6:23
13. "Since by man came death"    Gabrieli Players    2:03
14. "Behold, I tell you a mystery"    Neal Davies    0:32
15. "The trumpet shall sound"    Neal Davies    8:19
16. "Then shall be brought to pass"    Bernarda Fink    0:14
17. "O death where is thy sting?"    Bernarda Fink    0:53
18. "But thanks be to God"    Gabrieli Players    1:56
19. "If God be for us"    Dorothea Röschmann    4:13
20. "Worthy is the Lamb... Amen"    Gabrieli Players    7:34


SITE RATING:  6/10
SITE REVIEW:  Paul McCreesh made a huge splash with his period-performances of Handel's Saul, Solomon, and Theodora; his readings were extraordinary - bright, electrifying, and reinvigorating.  So, when Messiah was announced as his next project, expectations were naturally very high, and the pre-publicity heralded the new recording as a benchmark in baroque interpretation.  However, the recording, when released, instead of generating the high praise that was expected, was decidedly mixed.  Yes, this recording is technically brilliant, the Gabrieli Consort & Players bringing their "A" game, with stunningly precise attacks and dynamics - the singing especially is brilliant and effortless.  But the recording is also cold, brittle, and even clinical in its tempos and spirit.   You could argue that this recording is a prime example of the greatest pitfall of the so-called "period-instrument" movement among Handellians - it sacrifices pure emotion for artistry - style over substance, head for heart.  McCreesh's swift tempos take liberties that the text doesn't call for - the soloists engage in ornate ornamentation that detracts from the lyric, and the entire oratorio takes on an icy beauty that is again, admirable, but unengaging.  A small admission - after my disallusionment with the Carl Davis Messiah, this was the second Messiah that I purchased, and at the time I thought it was a revelation, but further listening has greatly tempered that impression - there are other period instrument Messiahs that manage to capture the emotion as well as technical brilliance, that I much prefer to this one.


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