RECORDINGS

LABEL: DELOS
CATALOG NUMBER: DE 3360
UPC NUMBER: 013491336022
NUMBER OF DISCS: 2
RUNNING TIME: 72:43, 64:57
YEAR RECORDED: 2004
CD RELEASE DATE: OCTOBER 25, 2005
CONDUCTOR: JEFFREY THOMAS
ORCHESTRA: AMERICAN BACH SOLOISTS
CHOIR: AMERICAN BACH SOLOISTS
SOPRANO: ARIANNA ZUKERMAN
COUNTERTENOR: DANIEL TAYLOR
TENOR: STEVEN THARP
BASS: WILLIAM SHARP
NONE

AUDIO SAMPLES HIGHLIGHTS OTHER RELEASES

NONE

NONE

DISC ONE

1. Sinfonia
2. Comfort ye
3. Ev'ry Valley shall be exalted
4. And the Glory of the Lord
5. Thus saith the Lord
6. But who may abide the Day of his coming
7. And he shall purify the Sons of Levi
8. Behold, a Virgin shall conceive. O thou that tellest good Tidings to Zion
9. For behold, Darkness shall cover the Earth
10. The People that walked in Darkness
11. For unto us a Child is born
12. Pifa (Pastoral Symphony)
13. There were Shepherds abiding in the Filed. And lo, the Angel of the Lord came upon them
14. And the Angel said unto them. And suddenly there was with the Angel
15. Glory to God
16. Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion
17. Then shall the Eyes of the Blind be open'd. He shall feed his Flock
18. His Yoke is easy
19. Behold the Lamb of God
20. He was despised and rejected of Men
21. Surely he hath borne our Griefs and carried our Sorrows
22. And with His Stripes we are healed
23. All we, like Sheep, have gone astray
DISC TWO

1. All they that see him laugh him to scorn
2. He trusted in God
3. Thy Rebuke hath broken his Heart
4. Behold, and see
5. He was cut off out of the Land of the Living    
6. But Thou didst not leave his Soul in Hell
7. Lift up your Heads
8. Unto which of the Angels said He at any time. Let all the Angels of God worship Him
9. Thou art gone up on High
10. The Lord gave the Word
11. How beautiful are the Feet
12. Why do the Nations so furiously rage together
13. Let us break their Bonds asunder
14. He that dwelleth in Heaven. Thou shalt break them with a Rod of Iron
15. Hallelujah!
16. Since by Man came Death
17. Behold, I tell you a Mystery
18. The trumpet shall sound
19. Then shall be brought to pass. O Death, where is thy Sting?
20. But Thanks be to God
21. If God be for us
22. Worthy is the Lamb. Amen

SITE RATING:  7/10
SITE REVIEW:  The American Bach Soloists entry into the Messiah oeuvre is difficult to judge, since on one hand, it is a beautifully recorded, expertly performed, and generally well-regarded release.  On the other hand, it left me feeling quite unmoved.  There is much to admire, yet not much to love with this recording - director Jeffrey Thomas has opted to perform the 1741 "Autograph Score" version, which has numerous, small changes which will catch the ear of long-time Messiah listeners, and Thomas's tempi often feel rushed, pushed beyond the needs of the song.  What makes this recording truly special is two-fold: the clarity of the recorded sound - for a live performance, this is easily one of the cleanest, most separated Messiah's I've ever heard.  Everything is quite close and balanced.  Secondly, the choir, orchestra and soloists sound absolutely unified and at ease with the demands of the swift tempi and melismas.  But the director appears to have given the soloists a very free hand with their ornamentation, which some find admirable, but I often found distracting and vain.  The entire ensemble has a preening, proud manner about it, as if to say: "Handel never sounded THIS good."   Again, hard to quantify, but a feeling I could not shake.  The American Bach Soloists Messiah has all the qualities of a stunningly beautiful, icy, Diva - lovely to look at, but cold, hard, and unapprochable.


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