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Messiah Comp

George Frideric Handel Audio CD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 35.32 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Product Details

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

Product Description

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enough Carping, Already! May 5 2004
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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5.0 out of 5 stars A Fine and Scholarly Performance Jan. 12 2004
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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1.0 out of 5 stars You've got to be kidding! July 12 2002
Format:Audio CD
Read some books, look at some instruments in a museum, then try to re-create ancient performances. Great idea! Now, go ahead and claim that this is the way it actually sounded back then. How much of that kind of drivel would YOU believe? I think not!
For a period perfomance of this seminal opus, try Sir Neville Mariner's version. It's got what this one is missing- excitement!
Two times I've heard Hogwood conduct this masterpiece all the way through. Two times I wondered why I ever thought I liked it... the Messiah, that is.
And that is not right! There is a malais settling into modern classical performing styles- note perfect (Render unto me a break, PLEASE! Note perfect does not mean playing lifelessly! Fritz Reiner was famous, as was Toscanini, for wanting it done as the composer wrote it. Neither man, to my knowledge, let his forces turn in dead performances.) dead from the neck up, emotionless, colorless, distilled water tasting dreary monstrosities often seem to pass for great performances. Classical music is not bloodless, people. It's about and for real human beings, with wants and hatreds and loves and desires. Let's not continue with this trend, which renders so many works into bloodless cadavers. Does the spirit of Dracula roam freely now throughout the great venues? Is Hogwood a creative vampire of the soul? I hope not!
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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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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent!
One of the best Messiah recordings around. Soloist are first rate, the choir sounds great and the musicians top notch.
Published 20 months ago by Carlos Cabrero
5.0 out of 5 stars By Far the BEST Messiah Recording
This is by far the best recording of Handel's Messiah you could ever own. This was my first of many Academy of Ancient Music albums. Read more
Published on July 10 2003 by matt
5.0 out of 5 stars The Way Messiah Should Be Performed!
If you're used to hearing Handel's Messiah with the 19th-century baggage that accompanies most performances of that work, you will not like this recording. Read more
Published on Feb. 11 2003 by Randall Wilkens
3.0 out of 5 stars Great alto
Of my more than 30 complete Messiahs, I take this one off the shelf for Carolyn Watkinson's exceptionally clear, sincere, and musically ornamented ornamented "He Was... Read more
Published on May 14 2002 by Robert Sherman
5.0 out of 5 stars Many of the critics of this CD are missing the point
I've heard many versions of this work, like many others here, and
prefer this one for basically the reasons, so I won't waste
space by being redundant. Read more
Published on April 23 2002 by "snake@netmagic.net"
3.0 out of 5 stars OK, but not great
Normally, I'm a great fan of period performances. They sound agile and full of life - I like those qualities in music. Read more
Published on April 20 2002 by Pen Name
3.0 out of 5 stars Finest Messiah Recording?? - I think not!
Granted, the soloists ae impeccable (DT particularly), and I have great respect for Hogwood and the AAM, but I feel that the choir are lacking and tempi a little skewed in places... Read more
Published on March 29 2002 by Romeo
2.0 out of 5 stars The most boring music ever written.
At two and a half hours, this has got to be one of the most boring pieces of music ever written. It doesn't matter how talented the singers, how good the orchestra, how brilliant... Read more
Published on March 2 2002 by Penguin Egg
4.0 out of 5 stars Peculiar "mannered" boy soprano chorus sound
No doubt this is a very beautiful recording of this famous piece.
My only quibble is that the soprano chorus (boy sopranos) of Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford sing in a very... Read more
Published on Jan. 5 2002 by Anton Karidian
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