RECORDINGS

LABEL: CLASSICS FOR PLEASURE
CATALOG NUMBER: 575776
UPC NUMBER: 724357577625
NUMBER OF DISCS: 2
RUNNING TIME: 144:07
YEAR RECORDED: 1959
CD RELEASE DATE: AUGUST 5, 2005
CONDUCTOR: SIR MALCOLM SARGENT
ORCHESTRA: ROYAL LIVERPOOL PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA
CHOIR: HUDDERSFIELD CHORAL SOCIETY
SOPRANO: ELSIE MORISON
CONTRALTO: MARJORIE THOMAS
TENOR: RICHARD LEWIS
BASS: JAMES MILLIGAN


AUDIO SAMPLES HIGHLIGHTS OTHER RELEASES

EMI Classics For Pleasure CD-CFP
                              9007

Angel 8048 -
                              Argentina

Angel 3510 C 35123-4-5

DISC ONE

1. Overture (Grave - Allegro moderato)
2. Comfort ye, my people
3. Every valley shall be exalted
4. And the glory of the Lord
5. Thus saith the Lord of Hosts
6. But who may abide
7. And he shall purify
8. Behold, a virgin shall conceive
9. O thou that tellest
10. For behold, darkness shall cover the earth
11. The people that walked in darkness
12. For unto us a child is born
13. Pastoral Symphony (Larghetto e mezzo piano)
14. There were shepherds abiding in the field... And lo, the angel of the Lord
15. And the angel said unto them
16. And suddenly there was with the angel    
17. Glory to God
18. Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion
19. Then shall the eyes of the blind be opened
20. He shall feed his flock
21. His yoke is easy
DISC TWO

1. Behold the lamb of God
2. He was despised
3. Surely he hath borne our griefs
4. And with his stripes we are healed
5. All we like sheep have gone astray
6. All they that see him
7. He trusted in God
8. Thy rebuke hath broken his heart
9. Behold, and see if there be any sorrow
10. He was cut off out of the land of the living    
11. But thou didst not leave his soul in hell
12. Lift up your heads, O ye gates
13. The Lord gave the word
14. How beautiful are the feet
15. Their sound is gone out into all lands
16. Why do the nations so furiously rage together
17. Let us break their bonds asunder
18. Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron
19. Hallelujah
20. I know that my Redeemer liveth
21. Since by man came death
22. Behold, I tell you a mystery
23. The trumpet shall sound
24. Worthy is the lamb
25. Amen 

SITE RATING:  10/10
SITE REVIEW:  Sargent's 1959 Messiah is easily the best of the trio which he recorded in his lifetime.  The tempos are moderate, the sound is brilliantly remastered and clear, the soloists are sparkling, and the Huddersfield Choral Society and Royal Liverpool Philharmonic are large and grand without being weighty, and best of all, everyone seems fully invested in the text.  The soloists are especially fine here, with Marjorie Thomas giving a thrilling vocal performance, not "technically" proficient, especially by today's high standards, but her tone and investment in the part is stunning; the same can be said of bass James Milligan, who has a wondrous tessitura, and tenor Richard Lewis is not behind him one whit.  Soprano Elsie Morison is equally invested, and sings the part as if it was written expressly for her.  This is a truly expansive recording, with the choir and orchestra sounding as if they were recording within a huge cathedral - there's a presence and vibrancy to the sound that is thrilling to hear.  The remastering here is beautiful, with great depth and warmth captured in the sound - this recording stands easily as one of my favorites of the large, old-school Messiahs.


The Compleat Messiah All Content Copyright 2016 Bret D. Wheadon
All Rights Reserved.