RECORDINGS

LABEL: REALISTIC (RADIO SHACK)  / PICKWICK
CATALOG NUMBER: 50-1967
UPC NUMBER: N/A
NUMBER OF DISCS: 3
RUNNING TIME: UNKNOWN
DATE RECORDED: JANUARY 1960
CD RELEASE DATE: N/A
CONDUCTOR: DAVID RANDOLPH
ORGANIST: J. CLIFFORD WELSH
CHOIR: THE MASTERWORK CHORUS
SOPRANO: UNKNOWN
CONTRALTO: UNKNOWN
TENOR: UNKNOWN
BASS: UNKNOWN


AUDIO SAMPLES HIGHLIGHTS OTHER RELEASES

Design : SDLPX-21Allegro
                              Records ALL 754, UK pressed LP from 1965.
                              Black/gold label

DISC ONE

SIDE 1
Overture
Recit: Comfort ye my people (Tenor)
Air: Every valley shall be exalted (Tenor)
Chorus: And the glory of the Lord
Recit: Thus saith the Lord (Bass)
Air: But who may abide the day of His coming? (Bass)

SIDE 2
Chorus: And He shall purify
Recit: Behold, a virgin shall conceive (Alto)
Air: O thou that tellest good tidings to Zion (Alto and Chorus)
Chorus: For unto us a Child is bom
Pastoral Symphony
DISC TWO

SIDE 3
Recit: There were shepherds abiding in the field (Soprano)
Recit: And lo! the angel of the Lord came upon them (Soprano)
Recit: And the angel said unto them (Soprano)
Recit: And suddenly there was with the angel (Soprano)
Chorus: Glory to God
Recit: Then shall the eyes of the blind be opened (Alto)
Air: He shall feed His flock like a shepherd (Alto)
Chorus: His yoke is easy, and His burthen is light

SIDE 4
Chorus: Behold the Lamb of God
Air: He was despised (Alto)
Chorus: Surely He hath borne our griefs
Chorus: And with His stripes we are healed
Chorus: All we like sheep have gone astray
DISC THREE

SIDE 5
Recit: Thy rebuke hath broken His heart (Tenor)
Air: Behold, and see if there be any sorrow (Tenor)
Chorus: Lift up your heads, O ye gates
Air: Why do the nations so furiously rage (Bass)
Chorus: Let us break their bonds asunder
Recit: He that dwelleth in heaven (Tenor)
Air: Thou shalt break them (Tenor)
Chorus: Hallelujah!

SIDE 6
Air: I know that my Redeemer liveth (Soprano)
Chorus: Since by man came death
Recit: Behold, I tell you a mystery (Bass)
Air: The trumpet shall sound (Bass)
Chorus: Worthy is the Lamb
Chorus: Blessing and honor
Chorus: Amen

SITE RATING:  6/10
SITE REVIEW:  London-based Pickwick Records, a budget label which made "sound-alike" albums throughout the mid-to-late twentieth century, produced this stripped-down version of Handel's Messiah in the early part of 1960, and it was then marketed in the United States through Radio Shack's Realistic label.  Utilizing only organ accompaniment, I was initially impressed by the sensitivity of both J. Clifford Welsh's adept playing, and the unnamed tenor's opening aria - it completely surpassed expectations; the tenor has a lovely, warm tone, with a hint of a European accent that I can't place, and sings with complete mastery and feeling, only spreading a little thin in his uppermost register.  The Masterwork Chorus, based out of New Jersey, is a trifle soft - both in the recording and in their performance, with regional dialects and the singing manners of the time prevalent.  The bass soloist is equally proficient as his tenor counterpart, singing with a strong, vibrant tone, while the soprano possesses a natural, lovely, light tessitura; the unnamed Alto I would rank as similar to the chorus, having a natural, pleasant tone, but soft and a bit detached in her performance.  Conductor David Randolph, who, according to the notes, is "well known to music lovers ...as host on his award winning radio program, "Music for the Connoisseur", on WNYC" and other such accolades, keeps tempos smoothly romantic, bringing out a great deal of warmth to this Messiah.  Recorded at St. Peter's Episcopal Church in Morristown, New Jersey, the sound is rather thick and full of echo, but despite its shortcomings, I found this a charming performance from the period, and wouldn't object to seeing it restored and reissued on CD.


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