RECORDINGS

LABEL: LONDON
CATALOG NUMBER: 414 396-2
UPC NUMBER: 028941439628
NUMBER OF DISCS: 2
RUNNING TIME: 140:41
YEAR RECORDED: 1985
CD RELEASE DATE: OCTOBER 25, 1990
CONDUCTOR: SIR GEORG SOLTI
ORCHESTRA: CHICAGO SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
CHOIR: CHICAGO SYMPHONY CHORUS
SOPRANO: KIRI TE KANAWA
ALTO: ANNE GJEVANG
TENOR: KEITH LEWIS
BASS: GWYNNE HOWELL


AUDIO SAMPLES HIGHLIGHTS OTHER RELEASES



DISC ONE

1. Part 1. No. 1: Symphony
2. Part 1. No. 2. Recitative: Comfort ye my people/No. 3. Air: Every valley shall be exalted"
3. Part 1. No. 4. Chorus: And the glory of the Lord
4. Part 1. No. 5. Recitative: Thus saith the Lord/No. 6. Air: But who may abide
5. Part 1. No. 7. Chorus: And he shall purify
6. Part 1. Recitative: Behold, a virgin shall concieve/No. 8. Air and Chorus: O thou that tellest good
7. Part 1. No. 9. Recitative: For behold, darkness shall cover the earth/No. 10. Air. The people that
8. Part 1. No. 11. Chorus: For unto us a child is born
9. Part 1. No. 12: Pastoral Symphony
10. Part 1. Recitative: And the angel said unto them/No. 14. Recitative: And suddenly there was...
11. Part 1. No. 16. Air: Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion
12. Part 1. Recitative: Then shall the eyes of the blind/No. 17. Duet: He shall feed his flock
13. Part 1. No. 18. Chorus: His yoke is easy
14. Part 2. No. 19. Chorus: Behold the Lamb of God
15. Part 2. No. 20. Air: He was despised/No. 21. Chorus: Surely he hath borne our griefs

DISC TWO

1. Part 2. No. 22. Chorus: And with his stripes/No. 23. Chorus: All we like sheep
2. Part 2. No. 24. Recitative: All they that see him/No. 25. Chorus: He trusted in God
3. Part 2. No. 26. Recitative: Thy rebuke hath broken his heart/No. 27. Arioso: Behold and see if...
4. Part 2. No. 30. Chorus: Lift up your heads/Recitative: Unto which of the angels/No. 31. Chorus: Let
5. Part 2. No. 32. Air: Thou art gone up on high
6. Part 2. No. 33. Chorus: The Lord gave the word
7. Part 2. No. 34a. Air: How beautiful are the feet/No. 35a. Chorus: Their sound is gone out
8. Part 2. No. 36. Air: Why do the nations so furiously rage together?/No. 37. Chorus: Let us break...
9. Part 2. No. 39. Chorus: Hallelujah
10. Part 3. No. 40. Air: I know that my Redeemer liveth
11. Part 3. No. 41. Chorus: Since by man came death
12. Part 3. No. 42. Recitative: Behold, I tell you a mystery/No. 43. Air: The trumpet shall sound
13. Part 3. Recitative: Then shall be brought to pass/No. 44. Duet: O Death, where is thy sting?/No. 45
14. Part 3. No. 47. Chorus: Worthy is the Lamb that was slain


SITE RATING:  8/10
SITE REVIEW:  Another solid Messiah, this one with an operatic flair, thanks to it's conductor, Sir Georg Solti, and its stars, all of whom hail from the vaulted halls of international opera.  Thankfully, Sir Solti doesn't direct Handel as if it were the second coming of Verdi, or Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen - rather, he lets the music dance, in a very baroque manner, even if the instrumentation is modern.  Much like Neville Marriner's 1976 Messiah, this recording benefited from the sure touch of a master's hand, even if, as in Solti's case, the baroque era wasn't his forte.  That said, a great deal on how listeners enjoy this Messiah depends on how well you tolerate operatic singing - baroque revivalist interpretations tend to prefer clear, bell-like tones from their sopranos and tenors, but Dame te Kanawa and Keith Lewis are from the other side of the playground, giving gorgeously-hued, full-throated tessaturas and vocal colors that veer far from current recordings, but will be familiar to older audiences who grew up listening to Messiah on long-playing records.  One stickler for me about this disc, (and it's a nagging one) is that the arias and choruses are tied together without any breaks between them, meaning that in order to hear a favorite chorus, you often have to listen to the preceding aria as well - which is completely unnecessary in the digital age.  But, if you're looking for a first choice for a Messiah, Solti isn't a bad choice; the playing is sure and passionate, the singing is expert, if a little over-the-top, and the early digital sound is surprisingly warm and full. ~ BDW


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