RECORDINGS

LABEL: CASTLE COMMUNICATIONS
CATALOG NUMBER: CRS CD 221
UPC NUMBER: 5017615022124
NUMBER OF DISCS: 2
RUNNING TIME: 2:26:00
YEAR RECORDED: 1992
CD RELEASE DATE: 1993
CONDUCTOR: GEORGI ROBEV
ORCHESTRA: BULGARIAN NATIONAL RADIO ORCHESTRA
CHOIR: BULGARIAN NATIONAL CHOIR
SOPRANO: NADIA DOBRIYANOVA
MEZZO-SOPRANO: ALEXANDRIA MILCHEVA
TENOR: SVETOSLAV OBRETENOV
BASS: UNKNOWN


AUDIO SAMPLES HIGHLIGHTS OTHER RELEASES

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN

(WILL OPEN IN NEW WINDOW)
BALKANTON,
                              Stereo BXA 1863-66 4 individual Lps (WHITE
                              label)Rondo
                              Classics RON CD 221 (1995)

DISC ONE

1. Overture - Sinfony    5.43
2. Comfort ye my people    3.28
3. Ev'ry valley shall be exalted     4.01
4. And the glory of the Lord    3.46
5. Thus saith the Lord     1.46
6. But who may abide the day of His coming?    5.17
7. And He shall purify    2.51
8. Behold, a Virgin shall conceive     0.33
9. O thou that tellest good tidings    4.55 
10. O thou that tellest good tidings    2.10
11. For behold, darkness shall cover    2.45
12. The people that walked in darkness     3.30
13. For unto us a Child is born    4.51
14. Pastoral Symphony - Pifa    5.06
15. There were shepherds abiding in the fields    1.58
16. Glory to God In the highest    2.07
17. Rejoice greatly O daughter of Zion    5.04
18. Then shall the eyes     0.32
19. He shall feed His flock 7.38
20. His yoke is easy, and His burthen is light 2.36
DISC TWO

1. Behold the Lamb of God    4.32   
2. He was despised and rejected    5.03   
3. Surely, He hath borne our griefs     2.37   
4. And with His stripes     3.22   
5. All we like sheep have gone astray   4.3S   
6. All they that see Him, laugh Him to scorn    0.49   
7. He trusted in God    2.24     
8. Thy rebuke hath broken His heart   2.06     
9. Behold, and see    2.11     
10. He was cut off    0.25   
11. But Thou didst not leave his soul in hell   2.26     
12. Lift up your heads, O ye gates    3.35     
13. How beautiful are the feet    2.59     
14. Their sound Is gone out    1.39     
15. Why do the nations?    3.10     
16. Let us break their bonds    1.45     
17. He that dwelleth in heaven    0.16     
18. Thou shall break them     2.36   
19. Hallelujah!    4.58     
20. I know that my Redeemer liveth  7.40      
21. Since by man came death    2.29      
22. Behold, I tell you a mystery     0.37    
23. The trumpet shall sound    5.00      
24. Worthy Is the Lamb    4.27      
25. Amen     4.39

SITE RATING:  2/10
SITE REVIEW:  Originally released in Great Britain under the label Castle Communications, this performance has since been snatched up by budget reissue labels and marketed under a variety of monikers.  And whenever I see a classical masterwork like Messiah being marketed by a fly-by-night company that goes by the name "Happy Holidays" I usually don't get my hopes up. Further, when I see that the orchestra and choir are from Bulgaria (the same country that produced the inferior Naidenov Messiah), and that the credits on the back cover omit to mention the identities of the tenor and bass soloists, despite them both having a presence on the recording, I know I'm not looking at a quality recording.  Indeed, this Messiah, a 1992 production under the baton of Georgi Robev, is sub-standard on every level.  The tenor soloist (I'm going to assume that it's Svetoslav Obretenov, as his name is listed beneath the mezzo-soprano) is teeth-grindingly bad, with a sharp, nasal delivery that could cut glass.  The bass soloist, unnamed in the credits, sings as if he's chewing gum while singing at the same time.  The tempos are molasses-like, the chorus is heavily accented and poorly mic'ed, and the orchestra plays with all the enthusiasm of a prisoner waiting for the firing squad. Mezzo-soprano Alexandrina Milcheva is achingly operatic, and the soprano, Nadia Dobriyanova, mangles her English to such a degree that I needed an English/Bulgarian dictionary to make out her text (actually, it's not just her - it's everyone).  So why am I giving this recording two stars?  First, it's really cheap, and second, it's light years better than Messiah Rocks!   


The Compleat Messiah All Content Copyright 2010 Bret D. Wheadon
All Rights Reserved.