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Messiah [Complete]

George Frideric Handel Audio CD
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 132.95
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Way It Should be Played Feb. 7 2003
Format:Audio CD
Many years ago I bought some used records which included this recording. Having heard the Messiah many time before I was a little taken back by this version, as parts of it seemed to be off speed or tempo. What I found out later was that this recording was based upon the original score as written by Handel and not the more modern version performed by most orchestras and choirs today. The funny thing was, the more I played these records the more I liked them compared to the newer version. When the records wore out, I search the Internet and to my surprise it had been reissued on CD. I was truly elated! This verison takes a little getting use to because of the tempo, but if you play it a little loud, like you are in front of the orchestra, it is truly wonderful. The piece is so nice it is hard to do other things while it is playing. I find it so interesting that some pieces of music are so moving that one really transcends the music, you don't hear it you just experience it. This CD is as close to that feeling as one can get listening to recorded music.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not the best Scherchen June 14 2002
Format:Audio CD
I've had this one since 1957 when it came out on LP. Scherchen's 1954 mono recording was revolutionary in that it used Handel's original orchestration (fortunately with modern instruments) and had a true baroque conception as opposed to the pseudo-Romantic approach everyone else was using. Tenor William Herbert and trumpeter George Eskdale were outstanding; baritone Richard Standen and alto Constance Shacklock also had a lot of good moments.
This 1957 recording was apparently motivated by the need to "do it in stereo." But it's not as good as the original. The Viennese chorus does not sing English as it should be sung, and the soloists are undistiguished. Standen, who sings on both, is better in the earlier recording. The only really fine part of this recording is the opening of the Amen chorus.
So I hope there will soon be a re-issue of the better 1954.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not the best Scherchen June 14 2002
Format:Audio CD
I've had this one since 1957 when it came out on LP. Scherchen's 1954 mono recording was revolutionary in that it used Handel's original orchestration (fortunately with modern instruments) and had a true baroque conception as opposed to the pseudo-Romantic approach everyone else was using. Tenor William Herbert and trumpeter George Eskdale were outstanding; baritone Richard Standen and alto Constance Shacklock also had a lot of good moments.
This 1957 recording was apparently motivated by the need to "do it in stereo." But it's not as good as the original. The Viennese chorus does not sing English as it should be sung, and the soloists are undistiguished. Standen, who sings on both, is better in the earlier recording. The only really fine part of this recording is the opening of the Amen chorus.
So I hope there will soon be a re-issue of the better 1954.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally on CD!! May 18 2002
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
Although I have no critical musical training beyond years of listening to and enjoying music, I particularly enjoy the baroque. This CD remastering of the old Westminster recording exceeds all my expectations for this work. The Scherchen interpretation has always been the standard by which I have judged other performances. As I listen now, it continues to be my Gold Standard. Thank you Westminster!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally on CD!! May 18 2002
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
Although I have no critical musical training beyond years of listening to and enjoying music, I particularly enjoy the baroque. This CD remastering of the old Westminster recording exceeds all my expectations for this work. The Scherchen interpretation has always been the standard by which I have judged other performances. As I listen now, it continues to be my Gold Standard. Thank you Westminster!
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