Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Felix Mendelssohn, Richard Hickox, Jeremy Budd|
Felix Mendelssohn: Elijah, Op. 70 / Hickox, White, Plowright, Finnie, Davies, London Symphony (Sung in English)
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A terrible recording of a great piece
Jonathan Toren | New York, NY United States | 01/31/2001
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Mendelssohn's Elijah is a great piece of music, but this recording does not do it justice. The problem starts at the top, with Willard White's wobbly Elijah. He constantly attacks his notes from below. The sound is mediocre at best, and the tempos are annoyingly slow. Instead, try the new Bryn Terfel recording."
Romantic, Epic, Powerful, and Spiritually Moving
composer | Bloomington, IN | 01/05/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"It is true that if you like lean, fleet, "classical" (and perhaps I might add; rather dry and uninvolving) performances of Mendelssohn, then this is not the recording for you. But if you like a powerfully grand, epic, and emotionally potent performance of this masterwork, then please do not hesitate. Hickox and his team of soloists and the LSO give a very profoundly Romantic view of the work, one that is in fact much more "authentic" than the increasingly common trend of "lean", "light", and swift recordings of the work (for example the Masur and the Paul Daniel one mentioned by a previous reviewer.) In fact the first performance of the work in Birmingham, England was an affair that included literally hundreds in the chorus (somewhere around 250 if memory serves). This recording surely does not utilize that many, but the effect is one of grandeur, and the biblical story of Elijah is conveyed in all its truthfulness and spiritual impact. The tempi that one reviewer found "annoyingly slow" are actually just right for a work of these dimensions and meaning. In my view, this is one of the very best recordings of the work in English. If you are looking for the best one in German, I humbly recommend the recording by Rilling. The tempi are somtimes faster, but there is no loss of the sense of meaning or in the overall sweep of the work."
Shoot The Engineers
John Triplett | Meridian, MS United States | 12/19/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This has got to be the single most difficult piece to get recorded properly: either the interpretation by the conductor and performers is lame and the recording is brilliant, or vice versa. The latter is the case here. This has got to be the single best interpretation of this work ever attempted for reproduction. Hickox nailed it. Tempos and dynamics are definitive. Probably the most thrilling piece in this recording is 'Then did Elijah' the tempo is significantly faster than any other i have heard, and it makes all the difference. The general effect brought about by the orchestral work and pipe organ is simply stunning. Yes, you do wash out some of the fine harmony details, but, again, undeniably unforgetable. The one gripe on this side of the aisle is the tenor soloist: unbearable. Waaaaaaaaay overly melodramatic. I skip every one of his solos - except for 'Then Shall the Righteous'. That one is actually quite nice. And now, I shall explain the title of this review. This is one of the worst recordings i have ever heard. The engineers that mic'd, mix'd, and manufactur'd this should be drug out into the street and shot. Darn near ruined Hickox's marvelous effort. It sounds like you are out in the hall listening to the performance through a thick wooden door with a glass tumbler between it and your ear. Truly disappointing. That said, it is still worth straining yourself into a headache through the miserable audio to hear this landmark rendition. 10 stars for Hickox and his gang of merry mistrels, and a death-by-hanging sentence for the engineers. Weird, huh."