RECORDINGS

LABEL: ARABESQUE
CATALOG NUMBER: 6743
UPC NUMBER: 026724674327
NUMBER OF DISCS: 2
RUNNING TIME: 134:22
YEAR RECORDED: 1999
CD RELEASE DATE: APRIL 10, 2009
CONDUCTOR: ANDREW PARROTT
ORCHESTRA: HANDEL & HAYDN SOCIETY
CHOIR: HANDEL & HAYDN SOCIETY
SOPRANO: KARINA GAUVIN
MEZZO-SOPRANO: JENNIFER LANE
TENOR: JOHN ELWES
BASS: BRETT POLEGATO


AUDIO SAMPLES HIGHLIGHTS OTHER RELEASES



DISC ONE

1 Overture     03:56
2 "Comfort Ye"     03:01
3 "Ev'ry valley..."     03:30
4 "And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed"     02:46
5 "Thus saith the Lord of Hosts..."     01:22
6 "But who may abide the day of His coming..."     04:24
7 "And He shall purify the sons of Levi..."     02:37
8 "Behold, a Virgin shall conceive"     00:
9 "O thou that tellest good tidings to Zion..."     04:15
10 "O thou that tellest good tidings to Zion..."     01:49
11 "For behold, darkness shall cover the Earth..."     01:59
12 "The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light"     03:53
13 "For unto us a Child is born..."     04:04
14 Pifa     03:10
15 "There were shepherds abiding in the field..."     00:
16 "And the angel said unto them..."     00:34
17 "And suddenly there was with the angel..."     00:
18 "Glory to God in the highest..."     01:59
19 "Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion!..."     04:14
20 "Then shall the eyes of the blind be open'd..."     00:
21 "He shall feed his flock like a shepherd..."     05:14
22 "His yoke is easy..."     02:31
23 "Behold the Lamb of God..."     03:10
24 "He was despised and rejected of men..."     11:23
DISC TWO

1 "Surely He hath borne our griefs..."     02:07
2 "And with His stripes we are healed"     01:56
3 "All we like sheep, have gone astray..."     04:00
4 "All they that see Him..."     00:41
5 "He trusted in God that He would deliver Him..."     02:24
6 "Thy rebuke hath broken His heart..."     01:29
7 "Behold, and see if there be any sorrow..."     01:21
8 "He was cut out of the land of the living..."     00:
9 "But thou didst not leave His soul in hell..."     02:39
10 "Lift up your heads..."     03:06
11 "Unto which of the angels said He at any time..."     00:
12 "The Lord gave the word..."     01:09
13 "How beautiful are the feet..."     02:28
14 "Their sound is gone out into all lands..."     01:23
15 "Why do the nations so furiously rage together..."     04:48
16 "Let us break their bonds asunder..."     01:53
17 "He that dwelleth.../Thou shalt break them..."     02:16
18 Hallelujah     04:08
19 "I know that my redeemer liveth..."     06:37
20 "Since by man came death..."     02:04
21 "Behold I tell you a mystery..."     00:30
22 "The trumpet shall sound..."     02:17
23 "Then shall be brought to pass..."     00:
24 "O Death, where is thy sting?"     02:02
25 "But thanks be to God..."     02:17
26 "If God be for us..."     01:07
27 "Worthy is the Lamb that was slain..."     03:27
28 "Amen"     03:59

SITE RATING:  4/10
SITE REVIEW:  I'm afraid that part of this rating is due to the manufacture of this set.  Certain companies are being allowed to market and sell inferior products like the Parrott "Messiah" to customers who don't realize what they're purchasing. Reissued on Arabesque, it's sold cheap, (much cheaper than the high-priced originals being hawked by CD by opportunists), but you get what you pay for: CD-R's instead of properly-pressed CDs, stripped-down packaging that completely omits the second disc's track listing, no timings for any tracks, and no notes.

Now, about this performance - I've heard much better renditions of Mozart's Messiah than this one - the chorus sounds muted, the tempos are ponderous, and the soloists are too 'operatic' for my tastes. In fact, this entire performance hearkens back to the "large" Messiahs of the past, slow-moving and dense.  Part of this is due to the nature of this being a live recording, with clarity and sparkle lacking in the sound, but part is due to the languid tempos chosen by Parrott, and the performers themselves.

I would recommend passing this one by - if you want a fine English-speaking Messiah-cum-Mozart, check out the Harry Christophers/Huddersfield Choral Society discs released by BBC.



The Compleat Messiah All Content Copyright 2015 Bret D. Wheadon
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