RECORDINGS

LABEL: EMI
CATALOG NUMBER: CDMB 49801
UPC NUMBER: 077774980128
NUMBER OF DISCS: 2
RUNNING TIME: 78:38, 67:37
YEAR RECORDED: 1989
CD RELEASE DATE: APRIL 10, 1990
CONDUCTOR: ANDREW PARROTT
ORCHESTRA: TAVERNER PLAYERS
CHOIR: TAVERNER CHOIR
SOPRANO I: EMMA KIRKBY
SOPRANO II: EMILY VAN EVERA
ALTO: MARGARET CABLE
COUNTERTENOR: JAMES BOWMAN
TENOR: JOSEPH CORNWELL
BASS: DAVID THOMAS


AUDIO SAMPLES HIGHLIGHTS OTHER RELEASES

DISC ONE

1. Sinfony. Grave - Allegro moderato
2. Accompagnato. Comfort ye my people
3. Air. Ev'ry valley shall be exalted
4. Chorus. And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed
5. Accompagnato. Thus saith the Lord of Hosts
6. Air. But who may abide the day of His coming
7. Chorus. And he shall purify
8. Recitative. Behold, a virgin shall conceive    
9. Air. O thou that tellest good tidings to Zion
10. Accompagnato. For behold, darkness shall cover the earth
11. Air. The people tha walked in darkness
12. Chorus. For unto us a child is born
13. Pifa. Larghetto e mezzo piano
14. Recitative & Accompagnato. There were shepherds / Recitative. And the angel said unto them
15. Chorus. Glory to God in the highest
16. Air. Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion
17. Recitative. Then shall the eyes of the blind be open'd    
18. Air. He shall feed His flock like a shepherd
19. Chorus. His yoke is easy, his burthen is light
20. Chorus. Behold, the Lamb of God
21. Air. He was despised
22. Chorus. Surely, He hath borne our griefs
23. Chorus. And with His stripes we are healed
24. Chorus. All we like sheep have gone astray
DISC TWO

1. Accompagnato. All they that see Him, laugh Him to scorn
2. Chorus. He trusted in God
3. Accompagnato. Thy rebuke hath broken His heart
4. Arioso. Behold, and see if there be any sorrow
5. Accompagnato. He was cut off out of the land of the living    
6. Air. But Thou didst not leave His Soul in hell
7. Chorus. Lift up your heads, O ye gates
8. Recitative. Unto which of the angels    
9. Chorus. Let all the angels of God worship Him
10. Air. Thou art gone up on high
11. Chorus. The Lord gave the word
12. Air. How beautiful are the feet
13. Chorus. Their sound is gone out into all lands
14. Air. Why do the nations so furiously rage together
15. Recitative. He that dwelleth in heaven    
16. Air. Thou shalt break them
17. Chorus. Hallelujah!
18. Air. I know that my redeemer liveth
19. Chorus. Since by man came death
20. Accompagnato. Behold, I tell you a mystery
21. Air. The trumpet shall sound
22. Recitative. Then shall be brought to pass the saying    
23. Duet. O death, where is thy sting
24. Air. If God be for us
25. Chorus. Worthy is the Lamb that was slain... Amen

SITE RATING:  9/10
SITE REVIEW:  I purchased this performance of Messiah as part of a boxed set (paired with Israel In Egypt) and found the interpretation to be completely masterful. Besides the crystal clear intonation of the chorus and orchestra, the spot-on tempos (neither racing fast nor ponderously slow), there is the delicious Emma Kirkby on soprano, the pitch-perfect James Bowman as countertenor, David Thomas as an authoritative Bass, Joseph Cornwell singing a heroic, passionate tenor, and Margaret Cable's creamy, moving Alto solos. But the true heroes of this rendition of Messiah are the Taverner Choir and Players, who, under the sure direction of Andrew Parrott, play and sing as one united unit. The sound is remarkably balanced and the performance clean and nuanced. This is a "historically-informed" recording, with period instruments and baroque mannerisms intact. It's lovely in every detail; and of my twenty-odd recordings of Messiah, it ranks in the top three. Essential - and without reservation can be recommended by me as a first choice for buyers looking for a complete Messiah.


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