RECORDINGS

LABEL: ARTS MUSIC
CATALOG NUMBER: ARZ 47105
UPC NUMBER: 600554710525
NUMBER OF DISCS: 2
RUNNING TIME: 130:50
YEAR RECORDED: 1989
CD RELEASE DATE: SEPTEMBER 17, 1996
CONDUCTOR: CLAUDIO SCIMONE
ORCHESTRA: I SOLISTI VENITI
CHOIR: THE AMBROSIAN SINGERS
SOPRANO: PATRICIA SCHUMAN
CONTRALTO: LUCIA VALENTINI TERRANI
TENOR: BRUCE FORD
BASS: GWYNNE HOWELL


AUDIO SAMPLES HIGHLIGHTS OTHER RELEASES

DISC ONE

1. Sinfony. Grave - Allegro moderato
2. Accompagnato. Comfort ye, comfort ye my people
3. Air. Ev'ry valley shall be exalted
4. Chorus. And the glory of the Lord
5. Accompagnato. Thus saith the Lord of Hosts
6. Air. But who may abide the day
7. Chorus. And he shall purify
8. Recitative. Behold, a virgin shall conceive
9. Air & Chorus. O thou that tellest good tidings
10. Accompagnato. For behold, darkness shall cover
11. Air. The people that walked
12. Chorus. For unto us a Child is born
13. Pifa (Pastoral Symphony). Larghetto e mezzo piano
14. Recitative. There were shepherds / Accompagnato. And lo, the angel of the Lord / No
15. Chorus. Glory to God in the highest
16. Air. Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion
17. Recitative. Then shall the eyes
18. Air. He shall feed his flock
19. Chorus. His yoke is easy
20. Chorus. Behold the Lamb of God
21. Air. He was despised and rejected

DISC TWO

1. Chorus. Surely he hath borne our griefs
2. Chorus. And with his stripes we are healed
3. Chorus. All we like sheep have gone astray
4. Accompagnato. All they that see him
5. Chorus. He trusted in God
6. Accompagnato. Thy rebuke hath broken his heart
7. Arioso. Behold, and see if there
8. Accompagnato. He was cut off out of the land    
9. Messiah, oratorio, HWV 56: Part 2. No. 32. Air. But thou didst not leave
10. Chorus. Lift up your heads
11. Recitative. Unto which of the angels    
12. Chorus. Let all the angels of God
13. Air. Thou art gone up on high
14. Chorus. The Lord gave the word
15. Air. How beautiful are the feet
16. Chorus. Their sound is gone out
17. Air. Why do the nations so furiously
18. Recitative. He that dwelleth in heaven    
19. Air. Thou shalt break them
20. Chorus. Hallelujah
21. Air. I know that my Redeemer
22. Chorus. Since by man came death
23. Recitative. Behold, I tell you a mystery
24. Air. The trumpet shall sound
25. Recitative. Then shall be brought to pass    
26. Duet. O death, where is thy sting? / No. 51. Chorus. But thanks be to God
27. Chorus. Worthy is the Lamb

SITE RATING:  3/10
SITE REVIEW:  Claudio Scimone's 1989 Messiah seems neither fish nor fowl, with singers who all appear to be over-emoting, tempos that are often far too brisk, and a frenetic feel that makes this one of the more unsettled Messiahs to be available.  Of the soloists, Scimone has chosen from the world of opera, with wide vibratos and powerful (even overpowering) projections.  I enjoyed tenor Bruce Ford most of all of them - he has a lovely tone and maintains the least amount of vibrato of all the soloists; the Ambrosian Chorus isn't as effective here as on other recordings they've appeared on, with occasional over-singing and disunity; and the I Solisti Veniti orchestra plays admirably, with the caveat that under Scimone's highly idiosyncratic direction, they sound much worse than may be their due.  Scimone's tempos are all over the map - he often departs from a set tempo entirely, which in the right hands, can be an effective dramatic touch, but here, it simply sounds like a Messiah with a severe personality disorder. Scimone races, and jumps, and changes course too often, and with too little motivation, creating an effect simply for the effect's sake, rather than for textual or musical reasons.  The overall effect is of a heightened nervous compulsion, making this one of the least appealing Messiahs to be on the market.  


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