RECORDINGS

LABEL: THE INTERNATIONAL MUSIC COMPANY
CATALOG NUMBER: 220856-304
EUN NUMBER: 401122220836
NUMBER OF DISCS: 2
RUNNING TIME: 141:52
YEAR RECORDED: 1946
CD RELEASE DATE: APRIL 26, 2006
CONDUCTOR: MALCOLM SARGENT
ORCHESTRA: LIVERPOOL PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA
CHOIR: HUDDERSFIELD CHORAL SOCIETY
SOPRANO: ISOBEL BAILLIE
CONTRALTO: GLADYS RIPLEY
TENOR: JAMES JOHNSTON
BASS: NORMAN WALKER


SOUND SAMPLES HIGHLIGHTS OTHER RELEASES

DISC ONE

1. Overture
2. Comfort Ye, My People
3. Ev' Ry Valley Shall Be Exalted
4. And The Glory Of The Lord
5. Thus Saith The Lord
6. But Who May Abide
7. And He Shall Purify
8. Behold, A Virgin Shall Conceive
9. O Thou That Tellest Good Tidings To Zion
10. For Behold, Darknes Shall Cover The Earth
11. People That Walked In Darkness
12. For Unto Us A Child Is Born
13. Pifa
14. There Were Shepherds
15. And Lo, The Angel Of The Lord
16. And The Angel Said Unto Them
17. For Unto You Is Born This Day
18. And Suddenly There Was With The Angel
19. Glory To God
20. Rejoice Greatly
21. Then Shall The Eyes Of The Blind
22. He Shall Feed His Flock
23. His yoke is easy
DISC TWO

24. Behold The Lamb Of God
25. He Was Despised
26. Surely He Hath Borne Our Griefs
27. And With His Stripes
28. All We, Like Sheep, Have Gone Astray
29. All They That See Him
30. He Trusted In God
31. Thy Rebuke Hath Broken His Heart
32. Behold, And See
33. He Was Cut Off
34. But Thou Didst Not Leave His Soul In Hell
35. Lift Up Your Heads
36. Lord Gave The Word
37. How Beautiful Are The Feet
38. Their Sound Is Gone Out
39. Why Do The Nations?
40. Let Us Break Their Bounds Asunder
41. He That Dwelleth In Heaven
42. Thou Shalt Break Them
43. Hallelujah
44. I Know That My Redeemer Liveth
45. Since By Man Came Death
46. Behold, I Tell You A Mystery
47. Trumpet Shall Sound
48. Worthy Is The Lamb
49. Amen

SITE RATING:  4/10
SITE REVIEW:  Malcolm Sargent's first Messiah recording for Columbia Records from 1946 is another performance very much of its times, with full-throated, unrestrained singing and playing from the soloists, orchestra, and choir, revealing not so much their lack of finesse, as the challenges of capturing such large forces in the mid-1940s.  Everyone had to project strongly in order to achieve the balance necessary with still relatively primitive equipment.  Sargent's first Messiah uses much the same forces as his later outstanding 1959 recording, with the Liverpool Philharmonic and Huddersfield Choral Society taking the ensemble duties, and sounding much worse here than their latter collaboration, with some of the blame shared equally between Sargent's tempos, which take on the characteristics of drying paint, and the poor sound, with the mono recording sounding very muddy and thick.  Add to that the choir's flat, strident vowels, and the orchestra sounding as if it was recorded inside a cardboard box, and you have a frustrating listening experience.  The soloists leave much to be desired, with Gladys Ripley's fluttery alto and tenor James Johnston's overheated arias too much for me; bass Norman Walker has a pleasant tone and general delivery, but falters against better latter-day choices, and soprano Isobel Baillie posessing a flutey, quavering tone that was extremely curious, but also ill-matched with the material.  Out of print in the United States, but cheaply available through the German TIM Company, this is a Messiah that will only be of interest to historic musicologists.


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