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Handel: Messiah (2009)

Ailish Tynan , Alice Coote  |  NR |  DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Ailish Tynan, Alice Coote, Allan Clayton, Matthew Rose, Stephen Cleobury
  • Writers: George Frideric Handel
  • Producers: King's College
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Classical, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.0), English (PCM Stereo)
  • Subtitles: English, French, German, Castilian, Italian
  • Dubbed: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Warner Classics
  • DVD Release Date: November 3, 2009
  • Run Time: 150 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002MX3T4C
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #230,703 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

About the Actor

A crowning glory of our civilisation - Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, Master of the Queen s Music

Founded in the fifteenth century the Choir of King s College, Cambridge, is undoubtedly one of the world s best known choral groups - every Christmas Eve millions of people worldwide tune into A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols that has been broadcast each year by the BBC since 1928.

While the choir exists primarily to sing at the daily church services of King s College Chapel, its worldwide fame and reputation has led to invitations to perform throughout the world. The Choir records for EMI Classics and in the Autumn of 2007 it released an early English music collaboration with the viol ensemble Fretwork I Heard a Voice music by Tudor composers.

Recent and future engagements for King s include the Beethovenfest in Bonn, the Royal Albert Hall in London, Tallinn International Organ Festival, Flanders Festival in Gent, Palace of the Arts in Budapest, Stresa Festival, Santa Cecilia in Rome and a return visit to the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. The Choir made its first ever visit to South America in December 07 and will follow its acclaimed tour of the United States in December 2005 with a return to the US in April 2008.

Stephen Cleobury Director of Music

March 2008

Product Description

Following the rush-release on CD of the live recording of Handel's Messiah earlier this year, EMI Classics is now proud to announce the release of the DVD of this extraordinary performance in the magnificent setting of the Chapel of King's College. The Choir of King's College, Cambridge, and the Academy of Ancient Music are conducted by Stephen Cleobury with soloists Ailish Tynan, Alice Coote, Allan Clayton and Matthew Rose. The DVD of the concert on Palm Sunday 2009 was filmed and produced by Opus Arte.This Messiah performance was at the heart of the fifth annual Easter at King's festival and commemorated both the 250th anniversary of the death of George Frideric Handel and the 800th anniversary of the University of Cambridge. The concert was carried via satellite - a first for a live choral concert - and was screened in over 85 cinemas across Europe and North America.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
39 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not only for the Xmas... November 27, 2001
This DVD is a nice surprise: a very good version of Handel's Messiah. Although here we don't see any pretensions of authenticity (like in some performances with no oboes/bassoons, or with the soloists forming part of the choir, etc.), is very authentic indeed. Using the 1752 version, we have a small orchestra, with period instruments (The Brandenburg Consort, including two trumpets, an organ and a harpsichord), and an all-male choir (King's College) - the sopranos are boys with beautiful voices. An excellent team of soloists: the bass (Alastair Miles) haves a strong voice, very adequate to this work; Hillary Summers is a true contralto, with an outstanding timbre, secure at low notes. John Mark Ainsley and Lynne Dawson completes the team - they sing very well, easily in the most difficult passages. Conducting, Stephen Cleobury, an specialist in this field.
The venue is an old church (twelfth century) at the Netherlands, with candle-lit interior: a very calm, pious atmosphere (but some people in the audience must be send to an hospital, to heal his coughing... thank God , they choose to cough only at the moments between the chapters). Camera work is good, with minor faults (like the passage of the trumpeters in front of the camera at the start of "Hallelujah" chorus). But technically speaking, the quality is excellent, as occurs with the sound Dolby 5.1(personally, I would prefer listen more the winds, and less the harpsichord, but the balance of this DVD don't bothered me ).
Unfortunately, there's not extras or subtitles, but you can easily find the chapters (it doesn't occurs in the Haydn's "Schoepfung" DVD, with Schreier conducting).
I'm very satisfied with my copy: the Messiah is a work that lives in my heart - the most wonderful music, the most beautiful message.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "For the Lord God omnipotent reigneth" January 24, 2001
By A Customer
The best performance currently available on VHS or DVD. Stephen Cleobury conducts an early music ensemble with a small orchestra and a choir of men and boys. This version is SATB (as opposed to SSATB). The soloists are very good, the bass is a profundo, and the alto is deep and rich, and the tenor and soprano handle the ornaments with great facility. The tenor's voice seems to have a baritonal quality to it. The soloists are also very telegenic, especially the tenor and soprano. This performance has been broadcast on PBS several times, so it may be familiar at first viewing. And of course the boy singers are beyond cute.
The only visual recording that can compete with it is the one by Christopher Hogwood, but that hasn't been available in any format for some years.
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32 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tops! September 16, 2002
By A Customer
No one would go wrong getting this DVD. And not just because the other one available on DVD is apparently poor (and Mozart's arrangement). Someone will have to go some to beat this one. My first recording of Messiah was the spritely Davis/Philips of many years back. I was imprinted by it, and it had remained my favorite. Of course, the DVD has the huge advantage of video, but even soundwise I think it has the edge (except for the boy choir -- not my fave). A Messiah is continuously a joy for me, but there are many jewels in addition. The centerpiece is usually considered the chorus "Hallelujah", but, as a trumpet player, I have to put "The Trumpet Shall Sound" in the spotlight also. This splendid piece (for bass and trumpet -- the only such I know of) is longish but thrilling. The trumpeter is Crispian Steele-Perkins, a world class Baroque trumpet player with impeccable technique. (He lost his hyphen and his final Steele "e" on the case notes.) He plays a natural trumpet (can't tell if it's a replica, but looks original) in D, with at least three tuning holes. These are closed by fingers of the right hand until some problem note needs one to be opened. A fair amount of this action is well caught by the camera. This was of considerable interest to me, and I've never seen it so clearly before. The bass, Alastair Miles, is outstanding, and the total effect is exceptional.
The vocal soloists are excellent. My ranking would put the bass and soprano (Lynne Dawson) on top, with the tenor (John Mark Ainsley) down a notch and the alto (Hillary Summers) half a head below that. I was most struck by Ms. Dawson. There's always somebody who doesn't get the word, and here that somebody is apparently I.
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Marvellous performance to watch, poor EMI DVD packaging January 11, 2010
By Yi-Peng
This EMI recording is the third Messiah that Cleobury and the King's College Choir have done, made during the 2009 Easter at King's season of concerts. I have reviewed the CD elsewhere, and I think my thoughts about the performance apply to this DVD version as well. As a fan of King's I find this an extremely satisfying recording of the work, and Cleobury and the King's Choir are in fine form as they have always been. Cleobury has the Academy of Ancient Music to play superbly for him, and his soloists are equally fine. However, I must admit there are some small shortcomings that I've noticed in this recording - and these shortcomings are technical weaknesses that have plagued many recent EMI recordings.

Cleobury has had a wonderful musical love affair of the King's College Choir since he started conducting them in 1982. In fact he has built on the superb work of Sir David Willcocks, who made a wonderful all-male King's Messiah for EMI in 1972. When one listens to this recording, one is struck by the consistency of Cleobury's approach. Yet he has also matured and mellowed in the way he conducts the work. Cleobury adopts brisk tempi like in his previous versions but yet he infuses his performance with slightly more gravitas. I'm struck by the stark seriousness of Behold the Lamb of God and He was despised, as they're quite effective at his chosen speeds. His Choir sings superbly, and this crop of choristers and choral scholars is arguably one of his best overall teams in recent years. The choruses are characterful, with wonderful, melodious and well-balanced singing. They are crisp, alert and dynamic especially in For unto us and the Hallelujah chorus, except that I would have liked there to be a faster tempo for And the glory of the Lord (i.e.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars (-) A wonderful performance marred by poor engineering.
I am reviewing the 2009 performance of Handel's Messiah, by the all-male Choir of King's College and the Academy of Ancient Music, conducted by Stephen Cleobury, with soloists... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Abert
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 1 month ago by Raymond Moses Chupp
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully done Inspirational recording.
I really enjoyed listening to this performance of Handel's Messiah. Not only is the music lovely, but the architecture of the chapel where it was performed is simply stunning. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Sweet16
5.0 out of 5 stars Handel Messiah an exceptional presentation!
You can see this on youtube in its entirety but I came to find my own copy on dvd! I just fell in love with the performance and the excellent presentation of this great music that... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Terie J. Carney
5.0 out of 5 stars A "Must See"
Strong presentation of Messiah by Handel. Pure Bible! Strong theology. Excellent music and singers (not the very best but very enjoyable!).
Published 6 months ago by Henry1922
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
This is the best Messiah I have seen--love the period instruments! The used DVD was in very good shape and came very fast.
Published 7 months ago by William A. Stewart
5.0 out of 5 stars THE BEST MESSIAH.
This DVD is the best Messiah I've ever seen, it used to be aired by BRAVO ( television) every year, and I had a VHS tape of it, then I found they had released it in DVD format (... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Licorice Dave
5.0 out of 5 stars dvd Handel's Messiah
This is the best version of Handel's Messiah that I have ever seen and heard.
The choir is superb. I watch and listen to it every morning. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Padme
4.0 out of 5 stars Lovely
Great production. Artists are awesome. My only complaint is the lighting could be better. Then again, I have low vision issues. Others might not notice this.
Published 17 months ago by Midwesterner
5.0 out of 5 stars Handel Messiah
Outstanding performance done by a choir of beautiful voices.The setting was great and the directions was great, especially when watching during Christmas Season.
Published 17 months ago by George O'Toole
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