RECORDINGS

LABEL: HOLIDAYFAVES / NORTHSOUND GIFT
CATALOG NUMBER: 40392
UPC NUMBER: 718236403921
NUMBER OF DISCS: 1
RUNNING TIME: 61:00
YEAR RECORDED: 1997
CD RELEASE DATE: MAY 22, 2001
CONDUCTOR: JAMES PEASE
ORCHESTRA: JAMES PEASE
CHOIR: N/A
SOPRANO: N/A
CONTRALTO: N/A
TENOR: N/A
BASS: N/A


AUDIO SAMPLES HIGHLIGHTS OTHER RELEASES



DISC ONE

1. PART ONE (10:33)
Sinfony
Comfort ye
Every valley
And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed

2. PART TWO (10:13)
But who  may abide the day of His coming
And He shall purify
O thou that tellest good tidings to Zion
For unto us a Child is born

3. PART THREE (3:55)
Pifa
And suddenly there was with the angel
Glory to God

4. PART FOUR (6:14)
Behold the Lamb of God
He was despised
He trusted in God that He would deliver Him
All we like sheep have gone astray (coda)



5. PART FIVE (10:40)
Thou art gone up on high
Lift up your heads, O ye gates
Why do the nations so furiously rage
Let us break their bonds asunder
Thou shalt break them
Hallelujah

6. PART SIX (8:59)
I know that my Redeemer liveth
Since by man came death
The trumpet shall sound

7. PART SEVEN (10:08)
Oh death, where is thy sting - But thanks be to God
Worthy is the Lamb - (Amen)

SITE RATING:  6/10
SITE REVIEW:  Marketed towards the new-age/gift-shop audience, this instrumental-only presentation of Handel's Messiah rated somewhat higher with me than I would have assumed, but my expectations were admittedly pretty low.  Although performed on synthesizers, great care has been taken to mimic the sound of actual instruments, and the performance sounds as if it is indeed being played, rather than simply programmed into existence.  Producer and performer James Pease begins the program with an improvisation on the opening "Sinfony" - slowing down the main melodic line and gradually building up steam towards an exciting climax.  Although the disc is split into only seven "parts" - each part is a suite of arias and choruses subtly rearranged by Pease, so as to blend movements together.  As such, this is more than just quiet background music; the music captures the original thrust and dancing motions of Handel's original, and becomes an active listening experience.  Thankfully, James Pease seems to have a real affection for the original, which translates into this adaption.  I don't think that this disc will replace anyone's top choice for a Messiah highlights disc, but as an alternative way of hearing Messiah, it's better than some of the other alternatives which are out there.  Besides this "instrumental orchestration" edition, there is also an alternate version, released by NatureQuest, which adds background "Nature Sounds" to ...uh, enhance the experience.  Or enhance the cheese factor.  Your call.


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