Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|George Frederick Handel, Neville Marriner, John Constable|
George Frideric Handel: Messiah
A voice teacher and early music fan
George Peabody | Planet Earth | 03/06/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"DOUBLE DECKER REISSUE OF SIR NEVILLE MARRINER'S FAMOUS 1992 PERFORMANCE IN DUBLIN OF THE 250TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE PREMEIRE OF HANDEL'S 'MESSIAH'AT A BARGAIN PRICE!
The 'Messiah' was composed by Handel at his London home in the late summer of 1741. Charles Jennens described his libretto for the 'Messiah' as a 'Scripture Collection', because it consists of a cleverly arranged selection of biblical texts.
In his Messiah Handel combines the sheer grandeur and power of his Germanic roots with the color of his Italian experience, joining with the unique flavor of the English language. His music can thus be powerful,like the tenor arioso 'Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron', or it can be colorful and skippy like the wonderful chorus 'For unto us a child is born',Or it can be stirring and majestic like the 'Hallalujah' and 'Amen' choruses.
Recordings of the Messiah are numerous. For a bargain recording, we have this Double Decca reissue featuring the Academy of St. Martin, conducted by Sir Neville Marriner with appealing soloists, a first-rate orchestra playing a balanced style between authentic and modern practises, and good recording, and all of this makes for a neat and attractive listening package.
Musically speaking, the Recitatives and Arias are definitely in a style derived from opera, supplemented by choruses of the type Handel has developed in his English odes and oratorios; the presentation of the story is unconventional. The work is divided into three acts or parts, but the narrative is largely confined to Part Two. Part One is mostly concerned with prophecy and its fullfilment and Part Three with commentary on the importance of the previous story. The Chorus and Orchestra of the Academy do a creditable job in the performance of this work. Personally, I miss the element of the boy sopranos and the male alto, but that's MY preference. However, I must say that the chorus at times did display a somewhat colorless sound, and the diction was not as crisp as I have heard on other recordings, such as that of Gardiner & the Monteverdi singers. The instrumentalists were excellent, and of them I have no complaint.
The soloists displayed good singing, and sometimes, as in the case of Sylvia McNair and Michael Chance, outstanding renditions. Von Otter was more than up to the task, but a bit lack-luster in the heart-rending solo "He was despised". Jerry Hadley was resonant, dramatic and quite good! Robert Lloyd has a most peculiar diction and sound at times, but dramatically outstanding.
Recorded in April 1992 in Dublin, it is therefore the 250th anniversary performance. There is also a DVD of this concert that includes and addendum 'Forever and Ever'.
IT WOULD BE TO YOUR ADVANTAGE TO CHECK THE OTHER LISTING OF THIS PERFORMANCE; IT HAS A DIFFERENT PICTURE AND IS ALMOST DOUBLE THE PRICE. I HAVE BOTH OF THESE DISCS, AND THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THEM!"