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Handel's Messiah: A Soulful Celebration CD

4.7 out of 5 stars 172 customer reviews

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Audio CD, CD, September 17, 1992
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Editorial Reviews

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Overture: A Partial History Of Black Music - Various Artists
  2. Comfort Ye My People - Vanessa Bell Armstrong
  3. Every Valley Shall Be Exalted - Chris Willis
  4. And The Glory Of The Lord - Diane Reeves
  5. But Who May Abide The Day Of His Coming - Patti Austin
  6. And He Shall Purify - Tramaine Hawkins
  7. Behold, A Virgin Shall Conceive - Howard Hewitt
  8. O Thou That Tellest Good Tidings To Zion - Stevie Wonder
  9. For Unto Us A Child Is Born - James Wright
  10. Glory To God - The Boys Choir Of Harlem
  11. Rejoice Greatly, O Daughter Of Zion - The Richard Smallwood Singers
  12. Behold The Lamb Of God (Instrumental) - The Yellowjackets
  13. Lift Up Your Heads, O Ye Gates - Commissioned
  14. Why Do The Nations So Furiously Rage? - Al Jarreau
  15. I Know That My Redeemer Liveth - Tevin Campbell
  16. Hallelujah! - Various Artists


Product Details

  • Performer: Dianne Reeves, Patti Austin, Stevie Wonder, George Duke, Take 6, et al.
  • Audio CD (September 17, 1992)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Word Entertainment
  • ASIN: B000002LUJ
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (172 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,021 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Eric V. Moye on December 13, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Another reviewer hit it on the head: This disc shows that even in these classic compositions, there is plenty of room for innovative interpretations.
Forget the ethnocentric nature of some resposes. ANYONE who is a lover of music will love this disc. Wonderful work is done here on some very familiar songs, such as the Boys Choir of Harlem's rendition of "Glory To God". "And The Glory of the Lord", "A Child Is Born", and "Every Valley Shall Be Exalted" are nothing short of contemporary masterpieces.
The best, however is the Hallelujah Chorus. It must be played loud, in the house, in the car, in the office, or anywhere else. It is the most inspiring music I have ever heard. Somewhere, Handel is smiling and marvelling at what has come from the wonder which he penned two centuries ago.
Everyone should own this disc!
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By A Customer on June 11, 2003
Format: Audio CD
This is an amazing re-take on Handel's inspired work, streets ahead of the very 80s-sounding version which came out before it (Handel's Young Messiah). It's such an effective collaboration of hot musicians and conglomeration of afro-american musical styles. Highlights as follows:
*The Overture (Track 1): a terrific hasty journey through the history of black music, including spiritual, ragtime, gospel, disco, hip-hop... and all using Handel's original tune!
*"But Who May Abide" (Track 5): the original alto/bass aria (depending on which edition you read from), but adapted by Patti Austin. Her vocals are outstanding - full of soul and integrity. The BV's are unbelievably good too.
*"O Thou that Tellest" (Track 8): the original alto aria, adapted by Take 6 and Stevie Wonder - so how could it possibly go wrong? Well, it doesn't! Close harmony and Stevie's classic voice - oh, yeah...
*"For Unto Us a Child is Born" (Track 9): the original opening chorus, shifted a little later into the work, and sung by Sounds of Blackness. Still very recognisable, but with more funky rhythms - and partly sung in Swahili!!
*"Why do the Nations So Furiously Rage Together?" (Track 14): The original bass aria, arranged by Mervyn Warren for big band (and WHAT A BIG BAND IT IS - Buddy Rich would be proud), with lead vocals by Al Jarreau. This one REALLY cooks!
If you have not yet seen the signs, there are some stunningly awesome muzos on this album, and the result is amazing! I have to add, as a great fan of the original work (preferably with Baroque period instruments), this CD is a great compliment to Handel - who (fortunately!) recognised the importance of his composition, and encouraged future composers to keep adapting it to suit the times. This succeeds - and then some!
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Format: Audio CD
It really doesn't get much better than this while still on earth. This cd proves that there is still new ground to be covered in traditional music; it's full of innovative twists to old favorites and new sensations. This is one of the bets collections of contemporary Christian Gospel music available anywhere; I give it the highest rating as it gives God the highest praise.
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Format: Audio CD
I bet when Handel wrote the "Messiah" he had no idea what other artist would contribute to his work. Mervyn Warren, the great music genius, has out done himself in the organization and the arrangement of this work. He gathered a host of secular and non-secualar artist to form what has beent the greatest adaptation of the Messiah to date. Although one can hear remnants of the original piece in the melodies, this is entirely a new master piece. Songs like "O Thou that Tellest" and "Every Valley" not only put you in the spirit of christmas, but also makes you want to shout. This will be a very essential element of your christmas experience.
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Format: Audio CD
This is our tree trimming music now- and has been ever since I found it quite by accident a few years ago while trying to learn the Rejoice solo. I must admit that THIS Rejoice is the best, and I know it enhanced my, definitely more traditional, performance. Methinks perhaps that the reviewer for Amazon was a tad proud of him/herself the day the review was written. After a couple of egg nogs that reviewer will be groovin' with the rest of us!
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Format: Audio CD
I've had this CD since it first came out, have bought and given many copies to friends (some even on cassette tape - remember those?), and play it year round. This is simply my favorite piece of Christmas music and is one of my top 5 favorite CD's of my entire music collection. I play it LOUDLY in the car and at home and have been known to break it down, measure by measure, in order to figure out the arrangements. I've performed the traditional Messiah more times than I can count and love it, yet I am delighted and astounded every time I listen to this fresh, innovative and dynamic piece of music (like I said, year round). Thank you, thank you to all the musicians, artists, engineers and technicians who put this piece together. I agree with a previous reviewer - I think Handel would be so very pleased that his work is standing the test of time. Open your mind and your ears and enjoy.
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By A Customer on April 30, 1998
Format: Audio CD
The various artists on this CD have taken Handel's already wonderful music and updated it to a modern style and rhythm. It's got style, class, beauty and a beat...What more can you ask? Oh, yes, and it keeps the reverence of Handel's original too.
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