- Audio CD (Mar 17 2008)
- Number of Discs: 2
- Label: Universal Music Group
- ASIN: B000003CT7
- Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #60,153 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
|2. 2. Comfort Ye, My People/3. Every Valley Shall Be Exalted|
|3. 4. And The Glory Of The Lord|
|4. 5. Thus Saith The Lord/6. But Who May Abide /7. And He Shall Purify|
|5. 8. Behold, A Virgin Shall Conceive/9. O Thou That Tellest Good Tidings To Zion|
|6. Messiah: Part One: 10. For Behold, Darkness Shall Cover The Earth - Bass Recitative; 11. The People That Walked In Darkness - Bass Air|
|7. 12. For Unto Us A Child Is Born|
|8. 13. Pifa - 'Pastoral Symphony'/14a. There Were Shepherds/14b. And Lo, The Angel Of The Lord Came Upon Them/15. And The Angel Said Unto Them/16. And Suddenly There Was With The Angel/17. Glory To God|
|9. 18. Rejoice Greatly, O Daughter Of Zion|
|10. 19. Then Shall The Eyes Of The Blind|
See all 15 tracks on this disc
|1. 25. And With His Stripes We Are Healed/26. All We Like Sheep|
|2. 27. All They That See Him/28. He Trusted In God|
|3. 29. Thy Rebuke Hath Broken His Heart/30. Behold, And See If There Be Any Sorrow/31. He Was Cut Off Out Of The Land Of The Living/32. But Thou Didst Not Leave|
|4. 33. Lift Up Your Heads|
|5. 34. Unto Which Of The Angels/35. Let All The Angels Of God Worship Him|
|6. 36. Thou Art Gone Up On High|
|7. 37. The Lord Gave The Word|
|8. 38. How Beautiful Are The Feet|
|9. 39. Their Sound Is Gone Out|
|10. 40. Why Do The Nations?/41. Let Us Break Their Bonds Asunder|
See all 18 tracks on this disc
The recording sounds as if he simply picked up on the latest Baroque scholarship, and simply plodded along unquestioningly without any real musical judgement/discernment of his own.
What really surprises me is the ghastly (sorry, I can't find a more proper term!) diction at several spots: In "For Unto Us a Child is Born", we hear "Forrrr-runto wussa-chil-dis-bo-horn" (words and music terribly slurred together), and "The mighty God, the-yeaverlasting Father, the Princ-suv Peace"" - This is quite disappointing coming from a supposed master expert on choral singing.
Admittedly, Shaw's soloists are good - Richard Stilwell's singing of "Why Do the Nations?" is splendid, but he deserves a better accompaniment than the tinkling, underplayed effect that Shaw provides - compare this to the fiery, blazing rendition that Karl Richter gives on his London Philharmonic recording of 1972!
And most disturbing of all: after an entire 2, 1/2 hours of very legato choral singing, the final chorus on "Amen", suddenly breaks into a detached Baroque style (I was also very surprised to hear the chorus "Blessing and Honor" begin at a one tempo, and then slow down about 4 metronome degrees at mid-bar!).
As with any artist for which I do not feel a particular affinity, I keep going back to see if there is any merit in their performances; unfortunately, I can find little to recommend to this recording. The above mentioned Richter recording is vastly superior, and reflects a conductor not only with the technical mastery of both choral and orchestral forces, but also a profound stylistic sense which gives coherence to the work as a whole.