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Handel - Messiah / Gritton, Mingardo, Padmore, Miles, Tenebrae Choir, LSO, Sir Colin Davis [includes DVD] [Live, Hybrid SACD - DSD, Import]

George Frideric Handel , Colin Davis , London Symphony Orchestra , Susan Gritton , Sara Mingardo , Mark Padmore , Alastair Miles , Tenebrae Choir Audio CD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Mark Padmore was born in London and grew up in Canterbury. After beginning his musical studies on the clarinet he gained a choral scholarship to King’s College, Cambridge and graduated with an honours degree in music.
He has established a flourishing career in opera, concert and recital. His performances in Bach’s Passions have gained particular notice throughout the ... Read more in Amazon's Mark Padmore Store

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Frequently Bought Together

Handel - Messiah / Gritton, Mingardo, Padmore, Miles, Tenebrae Choir, LSO, Sir Colin Davis [includes DVD] + Handel: Messiah (Dublin Version, 1742)
Price for both: $48.41

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  • Handel: Messiah (Dublin Version, 1742) $21.20

Product Details

  • Performer: Susan Gritton, Sara Mingardo, Mark Padmore, Alastair Miles, Tenebrae Choir
  • Orchestra: London Symphony Orchestra
  • Conductor: Colin Davis
  • Composer: George Frideric Handel
  • Audio CD (October 9, 2007)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Live, Hybrid SACD - DSD, Import
  • Label: LSO Live (UK)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #220,913 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Sinfonia (Overture)
2. Comfort ye My People (Tenor)
3. Ev'ry valley shall be exalted (Tenor)
4. And the glory of the Lord (chorus)
5. Thus saith the Lord (Bass)
6. But who may abide the day of His coming? (Alto)
7. And He shall purify (chorus)
8. Behold, a virgin shall conceive (alto)
9. O thou that tellest good tidings to Zion (alto)
10. O thou that tellest good tidings to Zion (chorus)
See all 25 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. All they that see Him laugh Him to scorn (tenor)
2. He trusted in God (chorus)
3. Thy rebuke hath broken His heart (tenor)
4. Behold, and see if there be any sorrow (tenor)
5. He was cut off out of the land of the living (tenor)
6. But Thou didst not leave His soul in hell (tenor)
7. Lift up your heads, O ye gates (chorus)
8. Unto which of the angels said He at any time (tenor)
9. Let all the angels of God worship Him (chorus)
10. Thour art gone up on high (bass)
See all 28 tracks on this disc

Editorial Reviews

With an outstanding solo quartet and a great chorus and orchestra, Davis leads a sterling performance that challenges the supremacy of his 1966 Philips recording of Messiah. Davis leads a dramatic performance; the famous "Hallelujah" chorus appropriately grand, the final "Amen" bristling with brazen energy, both sung with extraordinary tonal coloring and precise articulation by the chorus, which also shines in a lithe "He shall purify" and a vividly virtuoso "For unto us a child is born." Soprano Susan Gritton's solos are a delight, whether in the measured "Behold, a virgin shall conceive" or her exuberant "Rejoice greatly." The vocal purity of her "I know my redeemer liveth" makes this track a highlight. Alto Sara Mingardo's darker tones are especially moving in her arias and dramatic in "He was despised." The men are almost as good; Alistair Miles sonorous in the bass arias and Mark Padmore recovering nicely after a somewhat mannered "Evr'y valley." The LSO is in excellent form too, the strings expressive in the orchestral interludes and the brass shining brightly in the big choruses of Part III, where the tympani thwacks are startling in their power. --Dan Davis

Product Description

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must be seen and heard with a surround sound system April 6, 2008
By Wohoho
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I have never written a review of any recording, but reading the 2-star review by RENS made me feel compelled to cast a strong vote of yes to balance things out somewhat. From his description of how headphone sounded better than 3 sets of speakers he tried, it makes me wonder if he listened to this multi-channel recording in plain old 2-ch stereo mode. Although many hybrid SACDs can be played in 2-ch SACD or CD mode, something is inevitably lost in the down-mixing. A complex piece like the Messiah with 4 soloists, a chorus and an orchestra really benefits from the new technology.

Like other reviewers, I'm a fan of the 1966 Colin Davis recording, own both the original vinyl LPs and the 1993 2-CD reissue. I also have the 1984 Colin Davis/Bavarian Radio Sym. Orch. 3-CD version. This new SACD has become my favorite. It has the spirited performance like the 1966 version and the audio quality is far superior when played on a good quality surround sound system that is properly set up. I would consider this a reference recording in the sense that if it doesn't sound great on your system then you might want to do something about your hardware. The full-body sound of the bass strings and tympani are incredibly clear and rich, the 5.1 ch set-up creates a 3D sound stage that's unmatched by any stereo recording, voices soar and linger in the air. Watching and listening to the companion DVD alone is worth the price of the entire set. I was glued to my couch and wish that there was a DVD release for the entire performance, not just the highlights. If it comes out in Blu-ray, that will be enough reason for me run out to buy a Blu-ray disc player.

I almost skipped over this SACD when I saw the lowly 3-star average, until I realized it's just due to one bad rating.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Stick With Philips, 1966 December 18, 2008
Format:Audio CD
I found a used copy of this set for peanuts, so I thought I'd give it a try. Personally, I don't think it comes close to Davis' 1966 effort for Philips. That set, along with the roughly contemporaneous Charles Mackerras (EMI) and Robert Shaw (RCA) sets taught my generation a new way of listening to this warhorse. It is, however, better than Davis' early digital era set with Bavarian forces (also Philips).

I do not care for some of the conductor's interpretive decisions - the crooning of the choruses "Behold the lamb of God," "And with His stripes we are healed (which seemed to be sung unaccompanied)," and to an extent, the final "Amen". "Worthy is the Lamb" displays some odd articulation silences that interfere with the musical flow. The conductor also deletes the orchestral ritornello from the repeat of the "A" section of "He was despised" converting the only full da capo air in the oratorio to dal segno.

The soloists are ok, but no paragons. Susan Gritton sounds edgy and sometimes breaks the line to take a breath. Sara Mingardo has a nice contralto voice, but I don't care for the accent. Mark Padmore sang better for Christie on Harmonia Mundi a number of years back. Here he is more effortful and overemphatic. Alastair Miles compares unfavorably with his younger self with Cleobury on Argo.

The chorus acquits itself pretty well, but the sections don't blend very well and individual voices seem to stick out from the overall texture. The sopranos show a tendency to yelp - in "All we like sheep" for example. I can't fault their enthusiasm, though.

The London Symphony Orchestra plays well, but the recorded sound doesn't show them to the best advantage.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Glorious Performance December 16, 2009
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I have had this disc for over a year and continued to be moved by the dramatic and inspired performance of the orchestra, soloists and chorus. I highly recommend it for anyone who enjoys listening to music in the surround format.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Handelian Masterpiece December 22, 2007
Format:Audio CD
Sir Colin caps a brilliant career with a beautifully performed Messiah. The soloists are near perfect. Sara Mingardo's deep contralto voice is sublime and beautiful. Susan Gritton's coloratura passages are accurate and flowing. The chorus is first rate and sharp. The large powerful LSO gives Messiah the energy it needs. The recording is technically excellent with great spatial imaging, particularly when played back in SACD with surround sound. Tempos are perfect, rivaled by Andrew Parrott's recording with Emma Kirkby.

For a fascinating "spin" on Messiah, listen to the Mozart version.
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