RECORDINGS

LABEL: RCA RED SEAL
CATALOG NUMBER: 62317
UPC NUMBER: 828766231724
NUMBER OF DISCS: 2
RUNNING TIME: 2:29
YEAR RECORDED: 1966
CD RELEASE DATE: OCTOBER 12, 2004
CONDUCTOR: ROBERT SHAW
ORCHESTRA: THE ROBERT SHAW ORCHESTRA
CHOIR: THE ROBERT SHAW CHORALE
SOPRANO: JUDITH RASKIN
ALTO: FLORENCE KOPLEFF
TENOR: RICHARD LEWIS
BASS: THOMAS PAUL


AUDIO SAMPLES HIGHLIGHTS OTHER RELEASES

DISC ONE

1. Sinfonia (Overture)
2. Recitative. Comfort ye my people
3. Air. Every valley shall be exalted
4. Chorus. And the glory of the Lord
5. Recitative. Thus saith the Lord
6. Air. But who may abide the day of His coming?
7. Chorus. And He shall purify
8. Recitative. Behold, a virgin shall conceive    
9. Air and Chorus. O thou that tellest good tidings to Zion
10. Recitative. For behold, darkness shall cover the earth
11. Air. The people that walked in darkness
12. Chorus. For unto us a child is born
13. Pifa (Pastoral Symphony)
14. Recitative. There were shepherds abiding in the field / No. 14b. And lo, the angel
15. Recitative. And the angel said unto them
16. Recitative. And suddenly there was with the angel    
17. Chorus. Glory to God
18. Air. Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion
19. Recitative. Then shall the eyes of the blind    
20. Air. He shall feed his flock / Air. Come unto Him
21. Chorus. His yoke is easy, and His burthen is light
22. Chorus. Behold the Lamb of God
23. Air. He was despised
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. Recitative. All they that see Him laugh Him to scorn
5. Chorus. He trusted in God
6. Recitative. Thy rebuke hath broken His heart
7. Air. Behold, and see if there be any sorrow
8. Recitative. He was cut off out of the land of the living    
9. Air. But Thou didst not leave His soul in hell
10. Chorus. Lift up your heads, O ye gates
11. Recitative. Unto which of the angels said He at any time    
12. Chorus. Let all the angels of God worship Him
13. Air. Thou art gone up on high
14. Chorus. The Lord gave the word
15. Air. How beautiful are the feet
16. Air. Why do the nations so furiously rage together?
17. Chorus. Let us break their bonds asunder
18. Recitative. He that dwelleth in Heaven    
19. Air. Thou shalt break them
20. Chorus. Hallelujah
21. Air. I know that my Redeemer liveth
22. Chorus. Since by man came death
23. Recitative. Behold, I tell you a mystery
24. Air. The trumpet shall sound
25. Duet. O death, where is thy sting?
26. Chorus. But thanks be to God
27. Air. If God be for us
28. Chorus. Worthy is the Lamb that was slain

SITE RATING:  7/10
SITE REVIEW:  Robert Shaw's 1966 Messiah is a favorite of many Handel fans, for, much like Sir Colin Davis's Messiah of the same year, this recording eschewed the behemouth choirs and orchestras and slower tempos which had dominated the landscape for decades, in favor of smaller forces, lighter touches, and swifter tempi.  Directly comparing the two, I prefer Davis's recording over this one - Shaw's recording still seems heavy - the soloists are much throatier and older in voice than I like - and the tempos, although faster than, say, Beecham, are still weightier than Davis's.  "The People That Walked In Darkness" sounds more like a lumbering than a stride, and the recorded ambience is brighter on the Philips recording than here on the RCA - the choir in particular sounds as if they're placed rather far back from the microphones; while the soloists and orchestra are quite forward, clean and sharp.  That said, the choir sounds marvellous in their intonation and unity - a Shaw trademark - and if you have to have some Shaw Messiah in your collection, and don't mind about the rather ripe soloists voices, then this is the preferred disc over Shaw's 1984 Messiah, which lacks the youthful vigor of this one.


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