RECORDINGS

LABEL: NIGHTPRO
CATALOG NUMBER: NP-1001
UPC NUMBER: 602127000125
NUMBER OF DISCS: 2 (WITH LIMITED EDITION 3RD BONUS DISC)
RUNNING TIME:
YEAR RECORDED: 1995
CD RELEASE DATE: AUGUST 27, 1996
CONDUCTOR: SIR DAVID WILLCOCKS
ORCHESTRA: NIGHTPRO SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
CHOIR: THE MORMON TABERNACLE CHOIR
SOPRANO: LORNA ANDERSON
COUNTERTENOR: PAUL ESSWOOD
TENOR: NEIL MACKIE
BASS: STEPHEN ROBERTS


AUDIO SAMPLES HIGHLIGHTS OTHER RELEASES

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(WILL OPEN IN NEW WINDOW)

DISC ONE

1. Sinfony
2. Comfort ye my people...Accompagnato (Tenor)
3. Ev'ry valley shall be exalted...Air (Tenor)
4. And the glory of the Lord...Chorus
5. Thus saith the Lord of Hosts...Accompagnato (Bass)
6. But who may abide...Air (Counter-Tenor)
7. And He shall purify...Chorus
8. Behold a virgin...Recitative(Counter-Tenor), Air (Alto) & Chorus
9. For behold, darkness shall cover...Accompagnato (Bass)
10. The people that walked...Air (Bass)
11. For unto us a Child is born...Chorus
12. Pastoral Symphony
13. There were shepherds...Recitative & Accompagnato (Soprano)
14. Glory to God in the highest...Chorus
15. Rejoice greatly...Air (Soprano)
16. Then shall the eyes of the blind...Recitative (Counter-Tenor)
17. He shall feed His flock...Air (Alto)
18. His yoke is easy...Chorus
19. Behold the Lamb of God...Chorus
20. He was despised...Air (Counter-Tenor)

DISC TWO

1. Surely, He hath borne...Chorus
2. And with His stripes...Chorus
3. All we like sheep...Chorus
4. All they that see Him...Accompagnato (Tenor)
5. He trusted in God...Chorus
6. Thy rebuke hath broken His heart...Accompagnato & Air (Tenor)
7. Lift up your heads...Chorus
8. Unto which of the angels...Recitative (Tenor)
9. Let all the angels of God worship Him. Chorus
10. Thou art gone up on high...Air (Counter-Tenor)
11. The Lord gave the world...Chorus
12. How beautiful are the feet...Air (Soprano)
13. Their sound is gone out...Chorus
14. Why do the nations so furiously rage...Air (Bass)
15. Let us break their bonds...Chorus
16. He that dwelleth in heaven...Recitative & Air (Tenor)
17. Hallelujah...Chorus
18. I know that my Redeemer liveth...Air (Soprano)

19. Since by man came death...Chorus
20. Behold, I tell you a mystery...Accompagnato & Air (Bass)
21. Then shall be brought to pass..Air (Counter-Tenor)
22. O death, where is thy sting...Duet (Counter-Tenor, Tenor)
23. But thanks be to God...Chorus
24. If God be for us who can be against us...Air (Soprano)
25. Worthy is the Lamb...Chorus

DISC THREE (LIMITED EDITION BONUS)

1. Sir David Willcocks greet the choir and orchestra
2. Instructions for the first sections of the night
3. "Organ A" tune up
4. Instructions for a "retake"
5. Sir David's style and humor are evident as he rehearses the choir
6. Continued practice on a very difficult section for the men
7. "Worthy is the Lamb," take one.
8. Working on "Worthy is the Lamb."
9. Preparing for another take.
10. Compliments to the choir for their concentration
11. Preparing for a new section, "For unto us..."
12. Further preparation and rehearsal
13. Sir David on the phone with John Mosely
14. Preparing for a new take
15. "Are you ready, John?" The Hallelujah Chorus

SITE RATING:  4/10
SITE REVIEW:  I always get a little worried when a recording trumpets it's achievements in high-fidelity audio over the actual content of the album; there's a niggling feeling in the back of my mind that the producers are pulling a smoke-and-mirrors act - that the actual product is dreck, but hey, at least it's dreck in HIGH PERFORMANCE SOUND.  Not that I would ever assume that these talented artists would ever create something unworthy of their craft, but this performance, with such luminaries as Sir David Willcocks and The Mormon Tabernacle Choir joining forces, is something less than the sum of their parts, not more.  Of course, the choice of Willcocks as a conductor for this recording is a head-scratcher; his EMI Messiah is one of the most cold, proper, British Messiahs I've ever heard, and The Mormon Tabernacle Choir is an organization known for the tremendous warmth of their sound.  And just who is the NightPro Symphony Orchestra?  Apparently they were a "house band' put together just for this recording, which tells you something right there about how calculated this Messiah is.  The performance is a disappointment from all concerned, with Willcocks and the Choir struggling against each other's natural instincts about how to perform this oratorio - Willcocks takes everything at a leisurely pace, and the choir seems far too sedate considering it's potential for vocal fireworks on the large choruses.  The soloists are obscure, with soprano Lorna Anderson trilling her notes and rolling her 'R's' as if she's the second coming of Maria Callas (she's not), and the rest of the soloists offering far more style than substance to their arias.  As to the NTI EQ3 High-Definition Recording System used to plug this disc, well, let's just say that the company who designed and promoted this "incredible" system went out of business.  One curious addendum to this set was a limited edition "bonus" disc which presented behind-the-scenes outtakes from the recording sessions.


The Compleat Messiah All Content Copyright 2015 Bret D. Wheadon
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