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Handel: Messiah / Harwood, J. Baker, Esswood, Tear, Herincx; Mackerras

Ambrosian Singers , George Frideric Handel , English Chamber Orchestra , Sir Charles Mackerras , Elizabeth Harwood , Dame Janet Baker , Paul Esswood , Robert Tear , Raimund Herincx Audio CD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)


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MP3 Music, 58 Songs, 2006 $18.99  
Audio CD, 2000 --  

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         


Disc 1:

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
listen  1. Messiah, HWV 56 (1989 - Remaster): Sinfony (Grave - Allegro moderato)Elizabeth Harwood/Dame Janet Baker/Paul Esswood/Robert Tear/Raimund Herincx/Ambrosian Singers/English Chamber Orchestra/Sir Charles Mackerras 4:01$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Messiah, HWV 56 (1989 - Remaster), Part 1: Comfort ye my people (tenor accompagnato: Larghetto e piano)Elizabeth Harwood/Dame Janet Baker/Paul Esswood/Robert Tear/Raimund Herincx/Ambrosian Singers/English Chamber Orchestra/Sir Charles Mackerras 3:30$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Messiah, HWV 56 (1989 - Remaster), Part 1: Ev'ry valley shall be exalted (tenor air: Andante)Elizabeth Harwood/Dame Janet Baker/Paul Esswood/Robert Tear/Raimund Herincx/Ambrosian Singers/English Chamber Orchestra/Sir Charles Mackerras 3:42$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Messiah, HWV 56 (1989 - Remaster), Part 1: And the glory of the Lord (chorus: Andante)Elizabeth Harwood/Dame Janet Baker/Paul Esswood/Robert Tear/Raimund Herincx/Ambrosian Singers/English Chamber Orchestra/Sir Charles Mackerras 3:03$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Messiah, HWV 56 (1989 - Remaster), Part 1: Thus saith the Lord (bass accompagnato)Elizabeth Harwood/Dame Janet Baker/Paul Esswood/Robert Tear/Raimund Herincx/Ambrosian Singers/English Chamber Orchestra/Sir Charles Mackerras 1:39$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Messiah, HWV 56 (1989 - Remaster), Part 1: But who may abide? (alto air: Larghetto - Prestissimo)Elizabeth Harwood/Dame Janet Baker/Paul Esswood/Robert Tear/Raimund Herincx/Ambrosian Singers/English Chamber Orchestra/Sir Charles Mackerras 4:22$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Messiah, HWV 56 (1989 - Remaster), Part 1: And He shall purify (chorus)Elizabeth Harwood/Dame Janet Baker/Paul Esswood/Robert Tear/Raimund Herincx/Ambrosian Singers/English Chamber Orchestra/Sir Charles Mackerras 2:45$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Messiah, HWV 56 (1989 - Remaster), Part 1: Behold, a virgin shall conceive (alto recitative)Elizabeth Harwood/Dame Janet Baker/Paul Esswood/Robert Tear/Raimund Herincx/Ambrosian Singers/English Chamber Orchestra/Sir Charles Mackerras0:31$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Messiah, HWV 56 (1989 - Remaster), Part 1: O thou that tellest (alto air: Andante)Elizabeth Harwood/Dame Janet Baker/Paul Esswood/Robert Tear/Raimund Herincx/Ambrosian Singers/English Chamber Orchestra/Sir Charles Mackerras 5:40$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. Messiah, HWV 56 (1989 - Remaster), Part 1: For behold, darkness shall cover the earth (bass accompagnato: Andante larghetto)Elizabeth Harwood/Dame Janet Baker/Paul Esswood/Robert Tear/Raimund Herincx/Ambrosian Singers/English Chamber Orchestra/Sir Charles Mackerras 2:28$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. Messiah, HWV 56 (1989 - Remaster), Part 1: The people that walked in darkness (bass air: Larghetto)Elizabeth Harwood/Dame Janet Baker/Paul Esswood/Robert Tear/Raimund Herincx/Ambrosian Singers/English Chamber Orchestra/Sir Charles Mackerras 4:05$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen12. Messiah, HWV 56 (1989 - Remaster), Part 1: For unto us a child is born (chorus: Andante allegro)Elizabeth Harwood/Dame Janet Baker/Paul Esswood/Robert Tear/Raimund Herincx/Ambrosian Singers/English Chamber Orchestra/Sir Charles Mackerras 4:17$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen13. Messiah, HWV 56 (1989 - Remaster), Part 1: Pifa (Pastoral Symphony: Larghetto e mezzo piano)Elizabeth Harwood/Dame Janet Baker/Paul Esswood/Robert Tear/Raimund Herincx/Ambrosian Singers/English Chamber Orchestra/Sir Charles Mackerras 2:38$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen14. Messiah, HWV 56 (1989 - Remaster), Part 1: There were shepherds abiding in the field (soprano recitative)Elizabeth Harwood/Dame Janet Baker/Paul Esswood/Robert Tear/Raimund Herincx/Ambrosian Singers/English Chamber Orchestra/Sir Charles Mackerras0:25$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen15. Messiah, HWV 56 (1989 - Remaster), Part 1: And lo, the angel of the LordElizabeth Harwood/Dame Janet Baker/Paul Esswood/Robert Tear/Raimund Herincx/Ambrosian Singers/English Chamber Orchestra/Sir Charles Mackerras0:23$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen16. Messiah, HWV 56 (1989 - Remaster), Part 1: And the angel said unto themElizabeth Harwood/Dame Janet Baker/Paul Esswood/Robert Tear/Raimund Herincx/Ambrosian Singers/English Chamber Orchestra/Sir Charles Mackerras0:48$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen17. Messiah, HWV 56 (1989 - Remaster), Part 1: And suddenly there was with the angelElizabeth Harwood/Dame Janet Baker/Paul Esswood/Robert Tear/Raimund Herincx/Ambrosian Singers/English Chamber Orchestra/Sir Charles Mackerras0:19$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen18. Messiah, HWV 56 (1989 - Remaster), Part 1: Glory to God (chorus): Allegro, da lontano e un poco piano)Elizabeth Harwood/Dame Janet Baker/Paul Esswood/Robert Tear/Raimund Herincx/Ambrosian Singers/English Chamber Orchestra/Sir Charles Mackerras 1:48$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen19. Messiah, HWV 56 (1989 - Remaster), Part 1: Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion (soprano air: Allegro)Elizabeth Harwood/Dame Janet Baker/Paul Esswood/Robert Tear/Raimund Herincx/Ambrosian Singers/English Chamber Orchestra/Sir Charles Mackerras 4:32$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen20. Messiah, HWV 56 (1989 - Remaster), Part 1: Then shall the eyes of the blind (alto recitative)Elizabeth Harwood/Dame Janet Baker/Paul Esswood/Robert Tear/Raimund Herincx/Ambrosian Singers/English Chamber Orchestra/Sir Charles Mackerras0:32$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen21. Messiah, HWV 56 (1989 - Remaster), Part 1: He shall feed his flock ... Come unto Him all ye that labour (soprano & alto duet: Larghetto e piano)Elizabeth Harwood/Dame Janet Baker/Paul Esswood/Robert Tear/Raimund Herincx/Ambrosian Singers/English Chamber Orchestra/Sir Charles Mackerras 5:11$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen22. Messiah, HWV 56 (1989 - Remaster), Part 1: His yoke is easy (chorus: Allegro)Elizabeth Harwood/Dame Janet Baker/Paul Esswood/Robert Tear/Raimund Herincx/Ambrosian Singers/English Chamber Orchestra/Sir Charles Mackerras 2:44$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen23. Messiah, HWV 56 (1989 - Remaster), Part 2: Behold the lamb of God (chorus: Largo)Elizabeth Harwood/Dame Janet Baker/Paul Esswood/Robert Tear/Raimund Herincx/Ambrosian Singers/English Chamber Orchestra/Sir Charles Mackerras 2:22$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen24. Messiah, HWV 56 (1989 - Remaster), Part 2: He was despised (alto air: Largo)Elizabeth Harwood/Dame Janet Baker/Paul Esswood/Robert Tear/Raimund Herincx/Ambrosian Singers/English Chamber Orchestra/Sir Charles Mackerras12:33Album Only
listen25. Messiah, HWV 56 (1989 - Remaster), Part 2: Surely he hath borne our griefs (chorus: Largo e staccato)Elizabeth Harwood/Dame Janet Baker/Paul Esswood/Robert Tear/Raimund Herincx/Ambrosian Singers/English Chamber Orchestra/Sir Charles Mackerras 2:59$0.99  Buy MP3 


Disc 2:

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
listen  1. Messiah, HWV 56 (1989 - Remaster), Part 2: And with his stripes (chorus: Alla breve, moderato)Elizabeth Harwood/Dame Janet Baker/Paul Esswood/Robert Tear/Raimund Herincx/Ambrosian Singers/English Chamber Orchestra/Sir Charles Mackerras 2:07$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Messiah, HWV 56 (1989 - Remaster), Part 2: All we like sheep (chorus: Allegro moderato - Adagio)Elizabeth Harwood/Dame Janet Baker/Paul Esswood/Robert Tear/Raimund Herincx/Ambrosian Singers/English Chamber Orchestra/Sir Charles Mackerras 4:22$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Messiah, HWV 56 (1989 - Remaster), Part 2: All they that see him (tenor accompagnato: Larghetto)Elizabeth Harwood/Dame Janet Baker/Paul Esswood/Robert Tear/Raimund Herincx/Ambrosian Singers/English Chamber Orchestra/Sir Charles Mackerras0:51$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Messiah, HWV 56 (1989 - Remaster), Part 2: He trusted in God (chorus: Allegro)Elizabeth Harwood/Dame Janet Baker/Paul Esswood/Robert Tear/Raimund Herincx/Ambrosian Singers/English Chamber Orchestra/Sir Charles Mackerras 2:21$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Messiah, HWV 56 (1989 - Remaster), Part 2: Thy rebuke hath broken his heart (tenor accompagnato: Largo)Elizabeth Harwood/Dame Janet Baker/Paul Esswood/Robert Tear/Raimund Herincx/Ambrosian Singers/English Chamber Orchestra/Sir Charles Mackerras 2:00$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Messiah, HWV 56 (1989 - Remaster), Part 2: Behold, and see (tenor arioso: Largo e piano)Elizabeth Harwood/Dame Janet Baker/Paul Esswood/Robert Tear/Raimund Herincx/Ambrosian Singers/English Chamber Orchestra/Sir Charles Mackerras 1:45$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Messiah, HWV 56 (1989 - Remaster), Part 2: He was cut off (tenor recitative)Elizabeth Harwood/Dame Janet Baker/Paul Esswood/Robert Tear/Raimund Herincx/Ambrosian Singers/English Chamber Orchestra/Sir Charles Mackerras0:17$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Messiah, HWV 56 (1989 - Remaster), Part 2: But thou didst not leave (tenor air: Andante larghetto)Elizabeth Harwood/Dame Janet Baker/Paul Esswood/Robert Tear/Raimund Herincx/Ambrosian Singers/English Chamber Orchestra/Sir Charles Mackerras 2:31$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Messiah, HWV 56 (1989 - Remaster), Part 2: Lift up your heads (chorus: A tempo ordinario)Elizabeth Harwood/Dame Janet Baker/Paul Esswood/Robert Tear/Raimund Herincx/Ambrosian Singers/English Chamber Orchestra/Sir Charles Mackerras 3:02$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. Messiah, HWV 56 (1989 - Remaster), Part 2: Unto which of the angels (tenor recitative)Elizabeth Harwood/Dame Janet Baker/Paul Esswood/Robert Tear/Raimund Herincx/Ambrosian Singers/English Chamber Orchestra/Sir Charles Mackerras0:15$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. Messiah, HWV 56 (1989 - Remaster), Part 2: Let all the angels of God (chorus: Allegro)Elizabeth Harwood/Dame Janet Baker/Paul Esswood/Robert Tear/Raimund Herincx/Ambrosian Singers/English Chamber Orchestra/Sir Charles Mackerras 1:39$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen12. Messiah, HWV 56 (1989 - Remaster), Part 2: Thou art gone up on high (alto air: Allegro larghetto)Elizabeth Harwood/Dame Janet Baker/Paul Esswood/Robert Tear/Raimund Herincx/Ambrosian Singers/English Chamber Orchestra/Sir Charles Mackerras 3:19$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen13. Messiah, HWV 56 (1989 - Remaster), Part 2: The Lord gave the word (chorus: Andante allegro)Elizabeth Harwood/Dame Janet Baker/Paul Esswood/Robert Tear/Raimund Herincx/Ambrosian Singers/English Chamber Orchestra/Sir Charles Mackerras 1:23$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen14. Messiah, HWV 56 (1989 - Remaster), Part 2: How beautiful are the feet (soprano air: Larghetto)Elizabeth Harwood/Dame Janet Baker/Paul Esswood/Robert Tear/Raimund Herincx/Ambrosian Singers/English Chamber Orchestra/Sir Charles Mackerras 3:32$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen15. Messiah, HWV 56 (1989 - Remaster), Part 2: Their sound is gone out (chorus: A tempo ordinario)Elizabeth Harwood/Dame Janet Baker/Paul Esswood/Robert Tear/Raimund Herincx/Ambrosian Singers/English Chamber Orchestra/Sir Charles Mackerras 1:12$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen16. Messiah, HWV 56 (1989 - Remaster), Part 2: Why do the nations (bass air: Allegro)Elizabeth Harwood/Dame Janet Baker/Paul Esswood/Robert Tear/Raimund Herincx/Ambrosian Singers/English Chamber Orchestra/Sir Charles Mackerras 2:53$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen17. Messiah, HWV 56 (1989 - Remaster), Part 2: Let us break their bonds asunder (chorus: Allegro e staccato)Elizabeth Harwood/Dame Janet Baker/Paul Esswood/Robert Tear/Raimund Herincx/Ambrosian Singers/English Chamber Orchestra/Sir Charles Mackerras 1:52$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen18. Messiah, HWV 56 (1989 - Remaster), Part 2: He that dwelleth in Heaven (tenor recitative)Elizabeth Harwood/Dame Janet Baker/Paul Esswood/Robert Tear/Raimund Herincx/Ambrosian Singers/English Chamber Orchestra/Sir Charles Mackerras0:14$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen19. Messiah, HWV 56 (1989 - Remaster), Part 2: Thou shalt break them (tenor air: Andante)Elizabeth Harwood/Dame Janet Baker/Paul Esswood/Robert Tear/Raimund Herincx/Ambrosian Singers/English Chamber Orchestra/Sir Charles Mackerras 2:12$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen20. Messiah, HWV 56 (1989 - Remaster), Part 2: Hallelujah (chorus: Allegro)Elizabeth Harwood/Dame Janet Baker/Paul Esswood/Robert Tear/Raimund Herincx/Ambrosian Singers/English Chamber Orchestra/Sir Charles Mackerras 4:06$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen21. Messiah, HWV 56 (1989 - Remaster), Part 3: I know that my Redeemer liveth (soprano air: Larghetto)Elizabeth Harwood/Dame Janet Baker/Paul Esswood/Robert Tear/Raimund Herincx/Ambrosian Singers/English Chamber Orchestra/Sir Charles Mackerras 6:37$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen22. Messiah, HWV 56 (1989 - Remaster), Part 3: Since by man came death (chorus: Grave - Allegro)Elizabeth Harwood/Dame Janet Baker/Paul Esswood/Robert Tear/Raimund Herincx/Ambrosian Singers/English Chamber Orchestra/Sir Charles Mackerras0:42$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen23. Messiah, HWV 56 (1989 - Remaster), Part 3: By man came alsoElizabeth Harwood/Dame Janet Baker/Paul Esswood/Robert Tear/Raimund Herincx/Ambrosian Singers/English Chamber Orchestra/Sir Charles Mackerras0:24$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen24. Messiah, HWV 56 (1989 - Remaster), Part 3: For as in AdamElizabeth Harwood/Dame Janet Baker/Paul Esswood/Robert Tear/Raimund Herincx/Ambrosian Singers/English Chamber Orchestra/Sir Charles Mackerras0:47$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen25. Messiah, HWV 56 (1989 - Remaster), Part 3: Even so in ChristElizabeth Harwood/Dame Janet Baker/Paul Esswood/Robert Tear/Raimund Herincx/Ambrosian Singers/English Chamber Orchestra/Sir Charles Mackerras0:33$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen26. Messiah, HWV 56 (1989 - Remaster), Part 3: Behold I tell you a mystery (bass accompagnato)Elizabeth Harwood/Dame Janet Baker/Paul Esswood/Robert Tear/Raimund Herincx/Ambrosian Singers/English Chamber Orchestra/Sir Charles Mackerras0:32$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen27. Messiah, HWV 56 (1989 - Remaster), Part 3: The trumpet shall sound (bass air: Pomposo, ma non troppo)Elizabeth Harwood/Dame Janet Baker/Paul Esswood/Robert Tear/Raimund Herincx/Ambrosian Singers/English Chamber Orchestra/Sir Charles Mackerras 9:30$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen28. Messiah, HWV 56 (1989 - Remaster), Part 3: Then shall be brought to pass (alto recitative)Elizabeth Harwood/Dame Janet Baker/Paul Esswood/Robert Tear/Raimund Herincx/Ambrosian Singers/English Chamber Orchestra/Sir Charles Mackerras0:17$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen29. Messiah, HWV 56 (1989 - Remaster), Part 3: O death, where is thy sting (alto & tenor duet: Andante)Elizabeth Harwood/Dame Janet Baker/Paul Esswood/Robert Tear/Raimund Herincx/Ambrosian Singers/English Chamber Orchestra/Sir Charles Mackerras 1:18$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen30. Messiah, HWV 56 (1989 - Remaster), Part 3: But thanks be to God (chorus: Andante)Elizabeth Harwood/Dame Janet Baker/Paul Esswood/Robert Tear/Raimund Herincx/Ambrosian Singers/English Chamber Orchestra/Sir Charles Mackerras 2:44$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen31. Messiah, HWV 56 (1989 - Remaster), Part 3: If God is for us (soprano air: Larghetto)Elizabeth Harwood/Dame Janet Baker/Paul Esswood/Robert Tear/Raimund Herincx/Ambrosian Singers/English Chamber Orchestra/Sir Charles Mackerras 4:54$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen32. Messiah, HWV 56 (1989 - Remaster), Part 3: Worthy is the lamb (chorus: Largo - Andante - Laghetto)Elizabeth Harwood/Dame Janet Baker/Paul Esswood/Robert Tear/Raimund Herincx/Ambrosian Singers/English Chamber Orchestra/Sir Charles Mackerras 3:53$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen33. Messiah, HWV 56 (1989 - Remaster), Part 3: Amen (chorus: Allegro moderato)Elizabeth Harwood/Dame Janet Baker/Paul Esswood/Robert Tear/Raimund Herincx/Ambrosian Singers/English Chamber Orchestra/Sir Charles Mackerras 3:21$0.99  Buy MP3 


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Product Details

  • Performer: Sir Charles Mackerras, Elizabeth Harwood, Dame Janet Baker, Paul Esswood, Robert Tear, et al.
  • Orchestra: George Frideric Handel, English Chamber Orchestra
  • Conductor: Ambrosian Singers
  • Audio CD (October 3, 2000)
  • SPARS Code: ADD
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Angel Records
  • ASIN: B000006DES
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #304,874 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
(15)
4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Satisfaction - and Afterglow November 2, 2005
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I'll be thrilled to have this performance of "Messiah" back. I used to have it on vinyl, and only today saw it on my Wish List, once again available on CD. I know that the Lamb edition, on which it is based, includes more than a few alternative versions of numbers (that skipping "Rejoice, rejoice...," for example), but, having heard many other esteemed recorded performances, this is the one that gives me the most pleasure. It has flourishes that my ear hasn't found elsewhere, and, not finding them, misses.

One of the first attempts at baroque scale (along with the Colin Davis) in modern recordings of this work, Mackerras makes it both fleet and luscious (and what could be more baroque than that?). I love original instrumentation, but I haven't found such a marriage of soloists and conductor and edition that flies like this one. The esteemed commenter who has 30 recordings has to fill me in on the details.

Until he/she does (or until I find this CD edition full of flaws in the transfer), I can recommend it without reservation.

Talk about covering your bets (even with a straight-flush!)!
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Some real singing! December 7, 1998
Format:Audio CD
This recording is my favorite of the "Messiah" recordings. Recorded in the late sixties at the beginning of the 'early music' movement, it boasts very fine English singers offering full-throated, bel canto, all-out singing. The soloists embellish thier lines, but so also do the orchestra and chorus with none of that 'hooty' straight tone sound the English choruses serve up all too often now. Included in the line up of solos are versions that are not often heard today: "Rejoice Greatly" in the bouncing version in triple time, "Their Sound is gone out" for tenor, and "How Beautiful are the Feet: for contralto/counter-tenor duet. Baroque ornamentation is elegant and expressive all-round. The orchestra is comprised of modern instruments who play with elegance and marvelous sensitivity. If you're looking for an out-of the way recording that is well worth listening to more than once, this underrated recording is for you!
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Invigorating! January 6, 2000
Format:Audio CD
I have to say, Messiah is one work I have sung in so often I nearly have come to hate it. I have sung in very Victorian Pompous versions, Mozart Orchestration versions, authentic versions with modern instruments, and authentic with Baroque instruments. I have to admit, this is not a work I would walk very far to see or hear again. I have taken part in so many authentic versions with their *Hooty* vibratoless nazal screeches, boys choirs, etc that I thought I would never find a recording that I could stomach.
Well, was I surprised! I thoroughly enjoyed this recording. I loved the *new music* taken from Handel's many variations of the work ( and for those who don't know, he never did decide which version was his definitive version ). I loved the thoughtful reflection of the soloists, and the evident joy they are feeling singing the work. Like the other reviewer, this is a truly under-rated recording, and that really shouldn't be. It offers so much in the way of life, and so much in the way of expression. And if one thinks carefully about it, it is about a very moving and wonderful subject matter -- The Life of Christ. One is made to believe these performers actually care about That fact more than just doing Handel justice, and that is a nice thing to hear.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars True to the spirit December 20, 2003
Format:Audio CD
It is gratifying to read the glowing comments about this performance. I bought the LP when it came out in the late '60's and have constantly returned to it. Historically accurate performances abound, but this is the one which truly captures the Baroque spirit. Every aspect is outstanding: conductor, orchestra, chorus and soloists (mezzo Janet Baker and countertenor Paul Esswood unparalleled in my opinion). What particularly distinguishes this performance is a sense of spontaneity and freedom. A treasure...
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well worth it March 31, 2002
Format:Audio CD
I have 30 complete Messiahs and a bunch of excerpts. While Westenberg's is the only one I give five stars to, Mackerras (together with Scimone, Davis, Marriner, and the Shaw choruses) is close behind. Raimund Herincx is the best Messiah bass you'll hear anywhere: huge dark sound, glorious feeling for the music, fine ornamentation. Janet Baker is magnificent, frequently makes the other altos/mezzos sound like amateurs in comparison, although Minton w/Somary and von Otter w/Marriner also have fine moments. Strings and chorus are excellent, as is Mackerras' conception in most cases. Listen in particular to "For as in Adam all died." Overall, this beats the trendy dry-as-dust stuff too frequently recorded now. Recorded fidelity is adequate, although of course not as good as many of the newer ones. Transfer from vinyl to CD is fine, nothing lost that I can hear. On the downside, Philip Jones' thin harsh trumpet is a weak point.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best December 13, 2003
By Richard
Format:Audio CD
I have had an old LP version of the Mackerras Messiah with Ambrosian singers, for some time. It is a superb recording, using a smallish orchestra. It has always been my favorite. I will have to say, I recently picked up a version of the Messiah with Martin Pearlman and the Boston Baroque, which is as good or even better. I'll still give the Mackerras the top rating.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The best rendition of The Messiah I've ever heard
This recording has a wonderful zest to it. The ensemble is perfect. The Basil Lam performing edition is, I think, very good at producing an ensemble with the sound and balance that... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Illyrialady
5.0 out of 5 stars Really lovely
I am really enjoying this recording. The voices are beautiful. The interpretation of some pieces is a bit slower than what I have heard previously but it works well.
Published 8 months ago by sky
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb recording
Wow. What a great group of singers. Perfectly played by conductor, orchestra, and sung oh so beautifully. I highly recommend this recording.
Published 8 months ago by SWZ
5.0 out of 5 stars Early "period sensitive" performance nails it with great soloists
I've owned this LP since it came out. I have also sung the Messiah over many years and listened to directors telling me how particular choruses should go and this performance... Read more
Published 22 months ago by Keith C.
3.0 out of 5 stars This is okay
This is not at all a bad performance but it pales in comparison with the ones by Colin Davis and Richard Bonynge.
Published on February 10, 2009 by Rondine
4.0 out of 5 stars This is the version with which I replaced the unacceptable Beecham one
and what a difference! Almost everything is right in this performance, except perhaps some of the orchestral ornamentation, which is decidedly overdone. Read more
Published on January 10, 2009 by Laraine A. Barker
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent performance
This recording, done decades ago, remains the best performance of Handel's Messiah I have ever heard. The voices are beautiful, the orchestration modest and not overblown. Read more
Published on January 9, 2009 by D. R. Francis
5.0 out of 5 stars Without Rival or Equal
This is an extraordinary performance of Handel's inexhaustible masterpiece. The edition used (by Basil Lam) is like no other - in every way wonderfully over the top: banks of oboes... Read more
Published on December 17, 2006 by R. C. Ross
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, but sometimes dissapoints
This is a good recording of Handel's great oratorio. However, some moments dissapoint me and are against my taste. Read more
Published on April 30, 2005 by Robert Stefaniuk
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