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Handel - Messiah (Excerpts)

Karl Richter, Carolyn Sampson, Emmanuelle HaimAudio Cassette
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)


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Handel - Messiah (Excerpts) + Handel:  Messiah + Handel - Messiah / Ameling · A. Reynolds · Langridge · Howell · Marriner
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Product Details

  • Audio Cassette
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Vox
  • ASIN: B000P4Y2RI
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,356,747 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

(SIDE ONE) 1. Every Valley Shall Be Exalted 2. And He Shall Purify 3. O Thou That Tellest Good Tidings To Zion 4. For Unto Us A Child Is Born 5. Rejoice Greatly O Daughter Of Zion 6. Behold The Lamb Of God

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Impeccable, not stuffy, from a landmark of early music September 12, 2008
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I had the extreme pleasure of working with Mr. Christophers less than a month after this recording was made when he came to Boston to work with the Handel & Haydn Society on our annual Messiah. What many of us in the choir were expecting was another "white" performance so typical of the early music movement with excellent technique and very little emotion. What we got instead was an almost Romantic performance that happened to use period instruments and a choir of 33.

Here the choir is only 19 members, with male altos, and an orchestra of 26 impeccable players. Christophers writes "As with all Handel oratorios, text is paramount" and indeed it is. There is impassioned singing from all, choir and soloists. Incredible precision, but never too dry.

The four soloists are uniformly excellent. Catherine Wyn-Rogers and Christopher Purves were our soloists in Boston and received great praise from all. The alto aria "He was despised" is often a dead point in a performance of Messiah, but each night held our attention for its nearly twelve minutes. Purves was excellent as well, as he is here, but in concert he ornamented his arias more and I was disappointed to hear less spontaneity in his recorded account. Mark Padmore and Carolyn Sampson are slightly less passionate but still excellent vocally.

What struck me most about Christophers' approach in Boston was that he wasn't stuffy and academic, though clearly he knew the historical context of this score extremely well. He was all about getting the point across to the audience, exciting them, making them sit up and take notice and perhaps shed a few tears. The only thing that could make this a better recording would be the energy of live performance instead of the comparatively lower intensity of the studio.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, with few reservations... September 11, 2008
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I own the previous Christophers/Sixteen Messiah on Hyperion, and was looking forward to this new interpretation. Overall, it's very good, especially the chorus, soprano, bass and tenor soloists. The tempi are generally on the slow side, (especially when compared with other recent "period" recordings) but not excessively so, and occasionally distracting ornamentation is displayed only in the soprano and alto lines. In the liner notes, Mr. Christophers mentions that each of the soloists have been associated with him for many years, and that this recording had a "family" atmosphere. Well and good, but I wish that a little more judiciousness had been taken with the choice of alto soloist, who sounds a bit past her prime here, with wide vibrati and occasional noticable gasps for breath. The Sixteen Choir and Orchestra are fantastic, as usual, peforming with much more depth and feeling than their earlier Messiah outing. Mr. Christophers mentions in his liner notes that he paid special attention to the text of Messiah during this performance, and it shows - the Hyperion Messiah glistened with good singing, but sounded detached, even vain at times; here the Choir sounds more involved in the performance, yet still attends to their pristine vocal talents. There are moments of pure beauty in the choruses, and for that, and for the generally fine soloists, I recommend this set as worth a listen.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The way The Messiah should sound December 15, 2007
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This is my all time favorite recording of The Messiah. It conveys the full glory and drama of Handel's work. Sir Colin's interpretation brings out the beauty, sacredness and majesty of The Messiah, without calling any undue attention to itself (something that mars many Messiahs). The balance between the singers and the orchestra is exceptional, and there is a strong narrative connection throughout, emphasizing repeating musical motifs
that gives the work an even greater wholeness. Another strong point is the orchestra, which is both crisp and sparkling. The choruses are rich and dramatic, but there are also many tender moments, most notably in the heartbreaking pathos of "He was despised." I absolutely love this recording.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This is a great recording! February 10, 2000
Format:Audio CD
I was really surprised with the new that the Messiah's New World premiere was held at Trinity Church in October 1770, twenty-eight years after it was written. This fact only will make one proud in having this CD among his collection.
Anyhow, this is nothing more than a historic detail and would not count if this recording had not an outstanding first-rate ensemble of singers. Without doubt there is no definitive version of Messiah. Each one has its own distinctive touch and feeling and exploring it is always a pleasant journey through imagination.
As stated by the conductor: "we must concede that performing Messiah with twenty singers and an appropriately balanced instrumental ensemble represents, at best, an imperfect comprimise", it will be easy to understand that this recording does not stand among the greatest and will probably carry some imperfections. I will mention two that kind of disppointed me a little bit. The Overture and the Chorus Worthy is the Lamb, for some reason misses the habitual vigor and strenght. Everything else is great and this is definitely a worth buying.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Messiah? YES! November 3, 2008
Format:Audio CD
I asked myself when I was buying this my Twelveth recording of Handel's Messiah, why did I want another one? First of all you have Harry Christophers and the Sixteen involved which means a really top notch performance is in store. Second an impressive line-up of soloists. Finally I have to admit I actually happen to really love listening to "Messiah" What we have here is a nice, simplly well sung and played
performance and recording of this work. No weak spots in the Sixteen, no weak links in the soloists, and Harry Christophers knows this work inside and out. This is his second commercial recording of the work, he did the
Mozart arr. for BBC Music Magazine a few years back, and it is a good one too. Its not too many conductors who get the chance to "have another go" at a recording, this recording is in my own humble opinion just as good if not better than many of the other ones out there in the marketplace, and there are plenty to choose from. A good first Messiah choice, or a good additional one to add to your collection. The bonus CD also shows that there is much more to Handel than this work. If you already own one recording or many this recording of Handel's Messiah will make a nice additon to any collection.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Historic but still old-stylish
If one had experience with early recordings of Handel's Messiah, one could appreciate the significance of this production. It's a collectible. Read more
Published 5 months ago by W. Wang
5.0 out of 5 stars Behold, and See Indeed
Colin Davis spectacularly conducts the most moving rendition of Handel's Messiah. The soloists are absolutely perfect and move among the octaves with ease. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Joel J Bradley
5.0 out of 5 stars Gorgeous!
Such a lush sound for a small choir! The orchestra is wonderful, and the whole production comes together absolutely perfectly.
Published 10 months ago by Emilie Hannon
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Value
Crisp and clear, with good timing and lovely orchestral and vocal performances; recommended. It doesn't hurt that it's about twelve dollars cheaper than most of the other... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Amazon Customer
1.0 out of 5 stars Which version of this version?!?!?
This has got to be the best repackaged album ever. Here is the same recording in different "packages" (and prices, too!):

B0017F5K0C $2.19
B006FPXSQC $5. Read more
Published 11 months ago by cammsav
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent product!
Records arrived in great shape and played great; it really brought me back to my childhood of listening to the Messiah and decorating the Christmas tree.
Published 11 months ago by Toby Wendtland
5.0 out of 5 stars How can you not love Handel's Messiah?
We were inspired to make this purchase after Easter worship. Too many offerings of Messiah are a "highlight reel" of a masterpiece. Read more
Published 17 months ago by mrb2563
5.0 out of 5 stars Very pleased!
This sounds exactly the same as my 1987 Audio Spectrum ASCD-201-2 CD set, part of which went bad.

Since I love it and was dismayed at discovering the bad parts while... Read more
Published 21 months ago by Gail Rhea
3.0 out of 5 stars *** 1/2 Superb choral singing, but the solo quartet is bland
The lead reviewer expresses surprise that Christophers leads a romantic Messiah that happens to use period instruments. Read more
Published 22 months ago by Santa Fe Listener
5.0 out of 5 stars A Slower and Grander Rendition
This Colin Davis conducted recording used a German orchestra and a German chorus. There are a few words that are somewhat differently enunciated by the German chorus but it's not... Read more
Published 23 months ago by B. D. Woods
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