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4.4 out of 5 stars 34 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 10 1992)
  • SPARS Code: ADD
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Universal Music Canada
  • ASIN: B000004CXU
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 34 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #34,355 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Disc: 1
1. Messiah - Part I: Sinfony
2. Messiah - Part I: Recitative: Comfort Ye My People - Song: Every Valley Shall Be Exalted
3. Messiah - Part I: Chorus: And The Glory Of The Lord
4. Messiah - Part I: Recitative: Thus Saith The Lord - Song: But Who May Abide The Day Of His Coming?
5. Messiah - Part I: Chorus: And He Shall Purify
6. Messiah - Part I: Recitative: Behold, A Virgin Shall Conceive - Song: O Thou That Tellest Good Tidings To Zion
7. Messiah - Part I: Recitative: For Behold, Darkness Shall Cover The Earth - Song:The People That Walked In The Darkness
8. Messiah - Part I: Chorus: For Unto Us A Child Is Born
9. Messiah - Part I: Pifa
10. Messiah - Part I: Recitative: There Were Shepherds, Abinding In The Field - Recitative: And, Lo The Angel Of The Lord Came Upon Them - Recitative: And The Angel Said Unto Them - Recitative: And Suddenly There Was With The Angel
See all 15 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Messiah - Part II: Chorus: Surely He Hath Borne Our Griefs - Chorus: And With His Stripes We Are Healed
2. Messiah - Part II: Chorus: All We Like Sheep Have Gone Astray
3. Messiah - Part II: Recitative: All They That See Him Laugh Him To Scorn - Chorus: He Trusted In God
4. Messiah - Part II: Recitative: Thy Rebuke Hath Broken His Heart - Song: Behold And See If There Be Any Sorrow - Recitative: He Was Cut Off Out Of The Land Of The Living
5. Messiah - Part II: Song: But Thou Didst Not Leave His Soul In Hell
6. Messiah - Part II: Chorus: Lift Up Your Heads, O Ye Gates
7. Messiah - Part II: Recitative: Unto Which Of The Angels Said He At Any Time - Chorus: Let All The Angels Of God Worship Him
8. Messiah - Part II: Song: Thou Art Gone Up On High
9. Messiah - Part II: Chorus: The Lord Gave The Word
10. Messiah - Part II: Song: How Beautiful Are The Feet
See all 22 tracks on this disc

Product Description

La production de Georg Friedrich Haendel est immense. Passionné par la voix et le théâtre, le compositeur est l’objet de toutes les attentions de la part des plus grands interprètes. Christophe Rousset est allé pour nous rechercher une oeuvre rare voire quasi inconnue du maître anglais : Riccardo Primo. On retrouve ici le savoir-faire de Haendel dans la maîtrise orchestrale et le travail effectué sur les voix : tout est calculé au plus juste. La force de Haendel étant sans doute d’associer foisonnement instrumental et finesse des ornements vocaux. --Pierre Graveleau

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
I have read all of the reviews on this site, and noticed a great division of opinion on the merits of this performance/recording. People were either extremely moved, or practically repulsed by it. One brings to mind old notices from world premieres of Wagner works to come up with anything on a similar scale. That said, I place myself among the admirers of this historic recording. I have owned it since the mid 80's (on vinyl), and listened to it many times over the years. Neither have I found it wanting in colour and drama or intensity of expression, though I perceive the problem for many listeners is that its projection of these qualities is subtle without much of the "heart-on-the-sleeve" flavor of many other perfectly fine interpretations. The impetus for me buying this recording was an article in Stereo Review magazine, which read "This is the most moving performance of this work I have ever heard". He didn't say "the greatest" or the most "historically informed", he said "the most moving". I think he also included the word "joyful". That piqued my curiosity. I waited and thought, and finally plunked my hard-earned money down at the cashier station of my local record store, and took it home. I had heard other versions, courtesy of fellow record collectors, and I'd also seen television broadcasts, and even attended a performance or two, but this was the first recording of the entire work I'd ever purchased. I was not dissapointed. I found the playing AND singing throughout, to be very expressive and full of life.Read more ›
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Format: Audio CD
I must admit straight off to a little bias regarding this recording. One of the performers was one of my favourite professors in college. His name is Nicholas McGegan (harpsichord in this recording), and he later went on to record his own interpretation of Messiah with his much aclaimed Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, which is available on the Harmonia Mundi label. That recording is also worth a listen as it contains a number of alternate scorings, voicings, arias and recititives. If you have a programmable CD player it is possible to recreate just about any of the historic performances that took place during Handel's lifetime.
But without further digression I shall continue discussing the album at hand. In terms of musicality this must certainly be one of the best recordings of Messiah on the market today. It has definitely stood the test of time, as the original recording was performed in the 1980's. Even so, it is as vibrant and enjoyable a recording now as it was then.
The Academy's phrasing is particularly delightful. Notes and phrases are shaped rather than being played in a linear fashion with lots of vibrato as is the case with many modern interpretations. This makes the otherwise mechanical "sewing machine-like" Baroque writing sound quite lyrical and expressive.
The forces used are much smaller than those commonly used for Messiah performances these days, and the more muted sounds of the period instruments combined with the boy's choir give this performance a light airy quality not usually associated with modern performances of the piece. The work is weighty by it's nature and does not need gigantic numbers in order for it to be effective. The result is clarity where many other recordings may sound a bit muddy.
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Format: Audio CD
...for the musicians, not because it's worth any more than zero stars to me. I have heard snippets of a performance in an older style conducted by Sir Neville Mariner that deeply moved me. And, as previously mentioned, I have attended performances of Messiah accompanied by a piano, with a rather small chorus. No orchestra, no tape accompaniment, just an overworked pianist... and each time, it was an emotionally moving experience for me. I have heard Hogwood conduct this twice, and each time it made me wonder why I loved Handel's Messiah. In my opinion, Hogwood is a fine conductor, an excellent human being, an inestimable artist, and a musician who has done a wonderful job unearthing and popularizing older musical styles and idioms.
All of this is not only acknowledged by me, I applaud it... but I do not care for his interpretation of Handel's Messiah. That is not opinion, it is fact. Period. However, the fact that I think it's boring is my opinion. That I think most of the music is bled dry of its juices is my opinion. Maybe someone can point out the virtues that I am missing, so I can better see what this great conductor is getting at. I changed my mind about some aspects of Florence Foster Jenkins with the influx of a few previously unknown facts-I would gladly do so here....
BUT! Telling me `Gee, Rachel, this is the way they performed it in Handel's time!" will carry no weight with me. I will allow, for the sake of argument, that early music purists KNOW how music was performed three hundred, four hundred, and more years ago. (That is just for the sake of argument. I don't believe it for a second. Try and figure out how any musicians do what they do, with them right there in front of you, to get a slight idea, at the least, of what I am talking about.
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