RECORDINGS

LABEL: SONY
CATALOG NUMBER: 607
UPC NUMBER: 074640060724
NUMBER OF DISCS: 2
RUNNING TIME: 1:47:03
YEAR RECORDED: 1958-1959
CD RELEASE DATE: JULY 16, 1991
CONDUCTOR: EUGUNE ORMANDY
ORCHESTRA: THE PHILADELPHIA ORCHESTRA
CHOIR: THE MORMON TABERNACLE CHOIR
SOPRANO: EILEEN FARRELL
CONTRALTO: MARTHA LIPTON
TENOR: DAVIS CUNNINGHAM
BASS: WILLIAM WARFIELD


AUDIO SAMPLES HIGHLIGHTS OTHER RELEASES

japan highlights

DISC ONE

1. No. 1: Overture 4:27      
2. No. 2: Comfort Ye, My People 3:29      
3. No. 3: Every Valley Shall Be Exalted 3:53      
4. No. 4: And the Glory of the Lord 3:19      
5. No. 5: Thus Saith the Lord 1:31      
6. No. 6: But Who May Abide 4:33      
7. No. 7: And He Shall Purify 2:41      
8. No. 8: Behold a Virgin Shall Conceive 0:36    
9. No. 9: O Thou That Tellest Good Tidings to Zion 7:02      
10. No. 12: For Unto Us a Child Is Born 4:14      
11. No. 13: Pastoral Symphony 3:59      
12. No. 14: There Were Shepherds 0:52      
13. No. 15: And the Angel Said Unto Them 1:11
14. No. 16: And Suddenly There Was With the Angel 0:28      
15. No. 17: Glory to God 1:53      
16. No. 19: Then Shall the Eyes of the Blind Be Opened 0:35      
17. No. 20: He Shall Feed His Flock 7:04      

DISC TWO

18. No. 21: His Yoke Is Easy 2:47      
19. No. 22: Behold the Lamb of God 3:50      
20. No. 23: He Was Despised 5:17      
21. No. 24: Surely He Hath Borne Our Griefs 3:04      
22. No. 25: And With His Stripes We Are Healed 2:19      
23. No. 26: All We Like Sheep Have Gone Astray 4:17      
24. No. 33: Lift Up Your Heads 3:05      
25. No. 40: Why Do the Nations? 2:41      
26. No. 42: He That Dwelleth in Heaven 0:23    
27. No. 43: Thou Shalt Break Them 2:16      
28. No. 44: Hallelujah! 3:56      
29. No. 45: I Know That My Redeemer Liveth 7:07      
30. No. 47: Behold, I Tell You a Mystery 0:47    
31. No. 48: The Trumpet Shall Sound 6:53      
32. No. 53: Worthy Is the Lamb 6:32


SITE RATING:  6/10
SITE REVIEW:  A populist Messiah sung with all the gravitas of "Old Man River", the behemoth Mormon Tabernacle Choir and thunderous Philadelphia Orchestra power through under the baton of Eugene Ormandy.  There seems to be little middle ground among listeners with this recording, they either love it, or dismiss it out of hand.  It was a raging best-seller during its day, and has never been out of print since it's release, continuing to place among the top five best-selling Messiah's.  Ormandy embraces all of the American largess that had crept into Handel's work in the previous decades, without succumbing to the revisionist extremes of Thomas Beecham's even more expansive reading.  Of the soloists, William Warfield is the star of the recording, giving his solos an evangelical passion that's extraordinarily stirring, even now.  Tenor Davis Cunningham gives a natural, unstudied reading that I find quite compelling.  Matha Lipton emotes everything within sight with her rich, overly ripe contralto, while Eileen Farrell is given little to do, but makes a strong statement with "His Yoke Is Easy" and "I Know That My Redeemer Liveth".  The Choir is also remarkable here, singing with, if not great technique, then great spirit and power, giving an unreserved punch to the great choruses, and a celestial serenity to the slower passages.  It almost makes up for their overpowering western American consonant-chewing.  Buyers must also be aware that despite being a double-disc set, it's actually far from complete, with almost half of the oratorio cut, and nary a baroque instrument or ornamentation to be heard.  Possibly the most earnest, sincere Messiah ever captured.


The Compleat Messiah All Content Copyright 2015 Bret D. Wheadon
All Rights Reserved.