RECORDINGS

LABEL: CLASSICAL MOMENTS
CATALOG NUMBER: UNKNOWN
UPC NUMBER: N/A
NUMBER OF DISCS: 2
RUNNING TIME: 1:09:26, 43:50
DATE RECORDED: 1959
RELEASE DATE: OCTOBER 20, 2010
CONDUCTOR: FRANCESCO MOLINARI-PRADELLI
ORCHESTRA: RAI SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA OF MILAN
CHOIR: UNKNOWN
SOPRANO: ANNA MOFFO
MEZZO-SOPRANO: GIOVANNA FLORONI
TENOR: HERBERT HANDT
BASS: IVO VINCO


AUDIO SAMPLES HIGHLIGHTS OTHER RELEASES


DISC ONE

1. Messiah: Part I, The Annunciation & Part IIa, The Passion 1:09:26
DISC TWO

 1. Messiah: Part IIb, The Passion & Part III, The Aftermath     43:50

SITE RATING:  3/10
SITE REVIEW:  Easily one of the worst-sounding Messiahs to ever be commercially released, this mp3-only album, a 1959 recording put out by the "Classical Moments" label, sounds as if it was taken from an old radio broadcast - with strident, compressed sound, loads of hiss and crackle, omnipresent audience noise (it's so loud that it seems as if the audience has been mic'ed along with the performers), and topped off by a ham-fisted performance that made me grind my teeth.  The recording is notable in being one of the very few Italian-language Messiah's ever captured, and is here presented by the RAI Symphony Orchestra of Milan, under the baton of Francesco Molinari Pradelli (1911-1996), a prominent Italian opera conductor.  Pradelli's greatest claim to fame is his 1966 recording of Puccini's Turandot with Birgit Nillson and Franco Corelli, and here, he conducts the RAI with all the might and force of grand opera, giving Messiah a thunderous weight that you simply won't find in modern recordings.  This occasionally gives unusual color to certain moments, as in the unexpected subito piano found at the close of "And The Glory Of The Lord"; but for the most part, Pradelli seems content to push the pedal all the way to the floor throughout, with the soloists, all drawn from the operatic sphere, giving accomplished, full-throated readings, and the unnamed choir powering their  ways through the choruses as if they were attempting to drill a hole through a brick wall by the sheer force of their sound. The recording is unfortunately hampered by the two discs being unsequenced, each half having only one long track to choose from.  That major inconvenience, along with the extremely poor recorded sound, make this a release I can recommend only to ardent collectors.


The Compleat Messiah All Content Copyright 2015 Bret D. Wheadon
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