RECORDINGS

LABEL: DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON
CATALOG NUMBER: 413 967-2
UPC NUMBER: 028941396723
NUMBER OF DISCS: 3
RUNNING TIME: 52:18, 56:02, 49:55
YEAR RECORDED: 1965
CD RELEASE DATE: SEPTEMBER 4, 1989
CONDUCTOR: KARL RICHTER
ORCHESTRA: MÜNCHENER BACH-ORCHESTER
CHOIR: MÜNCHESNER BACH-CHOR
SOPRANO: GUNDULA JANOWITZ
ALTO: MARGA HÖEFFGEN
TENOR: ERNST HAEFLIGER
BASS: FRANZ CRASS


AUDIO SAMPLES HIGHLIGHTS OTHER RELEASES

DISC ONE

1. Sinfonia. Grave - Allegro moderato [4:20]
2. Arioso (Tenor) "Tröste dich, mein Volk" [2:34]
3. Arie (Tenor) "Alle Tale macht hoch erhaben" [4:05]
4. Chor: "Denn die Herrlichkeit Gottes" [3:21]
5. Rezitativ (Baß) "So spricht der Herr, Gott Zebaoth" [1:36]
6. Arie (Alt) "Doch wer wird ertragen den Tag.." [5:34]
7. Chor "Und er wird reinigen und läutern das Volk.." [2:47]
8. Rezitiativ (Alt) "Denn sieh, der Verheißene ..." [0:31]
9. Arie (Alt) "O du, die Wonne verkündet in Zion" [5:25]
10. Chor "O du, die Wonne verkündet in Zion" [2:20]
11. Rezitiativ (Baß) "Denn blick auf: Finsternis ..." [1:31]
12. Arie (Baß) "Das Volk, das da wandelt im Dunkel" [4:22]
13. Chor "Denn es ist uns ein Kind geboren" [4:21]
14. Hirtenmusik. Larghetto e mezzo piano [3:07]
15. Rezitativ (Sopran) "Es waren Hirten beisammen.." [2:04]
16. Chor "Ehre sei Gott in der Höhe" [2:14]

DISC TWO

1. Arie (Sopran) "Erwach, frohlocke, o Tochter.." [4:53]
2. Rezitativ (Alt) "Dann wird das Auge des Blinden sich auftun" [0:29]
3. Duett (Sopran, Alt) "Er weidet seine Herde" [5:30]
4. Chor "Sein Joch ist sanft" [2:40]
5. Chor "Seht an das Gotteslamm" [2:57]
6. Arie (Alt) "Er ward verschmähet und verachtet" [12:23]
7. Chor "Wahrlich, er trug unsere Qual" [2:40]
8. Chor "Durch seine Wunden sind wir geheilt" [2:12]
9. Chor "Der Herde gleich, vom Hirten fern" [4:06]
10. Rezitativ (Tenor) "Und alle, die ihn sehen, .." [0:49]
11. Chor "Er traute Gott, daß er würd' erretten ihn" [2:50]
12. Rezitativ (Tenor) "Diese Schmach brach ihm das Herz" [2:07]
13. Arioso (Tenor) "Schau hin und sieh" [1:40]
14. Rezitativ (Tenor) "Er ist dahin aus dem Lande..." [0:32]
15. Arie (Tenor) "Doch du ließest ihn im Grabe nicht" [2:27]
16. Chor "Hoch tut euch auf" [3:26]
17. Rezitativ (Tenor) "Zu welchen von den Engeln" [0:25]
18. Chor "Laßt alle Engel des Herrn preisen ihn" [1:37]

DISC THREE

1. Arie (Baß) "Du fuhrest in die Höh'" [3:49]
2. Chor "Der Herr gab das Wort" [1:17]
3. Arie (Sopran) "Wie lieblich ist der Boten Schritt" [3:19]
4. Arioso (Tenor)"Ihr Schall gehet aus in jedes Land" [1:19]
5. Arie (Baß) "Warum denn rasen und toben die Heiden" [3:23]
6. Rezitativ (Tenor) "Der da thronet im Himmel" [0:13]
7. Arie (Tenor) "Du zerschlägst sie mit dem eisernen Zepter" [2:11]
8. Chor "Halleluja" [4:12]
9. Arie (Sopran) "Ich weiß, daß mein Erlöser lebet" [6:25]
10. Chor "Wie durch Einen der Tod" [2:17]
11. Rezitativ (Baß) "Vernehmt, ich künd' ein Geheimnis an" [0:47]
12. Arie (Baß) "Sie schallt, die Posaun'" [10:11]
13. Rezitativ (Alt) "Dann wird erfüllt, was da .." [0:27]
14. Chor "Würdig ist das Lamm" [4:20]
15. Chor "Amen" [3:29]

SITE RATING:  4/10
SITE REVIEW:  Not being an admirer of Karl Richter's 1972 Messiah (also on Deutsche Grammophon), I wasn't expecting much from this earlier, 1965 recording, and my expectations were sadly met - even exceeded.  Richter's style is very much rooted in the slower-is-better school of thought, but unlike some of his contemporaries, who knew how to bring out the richness and colour in more romantic readings of Messiah, Richter's direction simply is far less vital.  The Münchesner Orchestra & Bach-Choir's playing and singing are pleasant enough; and the soloists are good-to-middling, with soprano Gundula Janowitz posessing a lovely tone, alto Marga Höeffgen a bit rich and heavy in her tone, tenor Ernst Haefliger has a similarly lovely tone, but is reduced to lurching through his arias, and bass Franz Crass hollow and blustery. The feel of Richter's direction here is extremely mechanical - there is a lurching (there's that word again) stop-and-start punctuation to the playing and singing that reminded me of rusty gears meshing together poorly.  For all the talent in the orchestra and choir, everything here sounds like an old motor trying to start on a cold morning - there's no forward motion, or dancing tempos, lightness or easiness.  One of the most thudding, unpleasant Messiahs I've heard - and another strike in my book against Karl Richter.


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