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Handel: Messiah CD


Price: £11.48 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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£11.48 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details In stock. Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

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Handel: Messiah + G.F. Handel: Choral Edition: Messiah (Watkins Shaw) - Paperback Edition Vocal Score
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Product details

  • Performer: Heather Harper, Helen Watts, John Wakefield, John Shirley-Quirk
  • Orchestra: London Symphony Chorus, London Symphony Orchestra
  • Conductor: Sir Colin Davis
  • Composer: Georg Friederich Handel
  • Audio CD (11 Aug 2009)
  • SPARS Code: ADD
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Duo
  • ASIN: B00000416H
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,682 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Symphony - London Symphony Orchestra, Colin Davis
2. 1. Accompagnato: Comfort ye, My people - John Wakefield, London Symphony Orchestra, Colin Davis
3. 2. Air: Ev'ry Valley shall be exalted - John Wakefield, London Symphony Orchestra, Colin Davis
4. 3. Chorus: And the glory of the Lord - London Symphony Chorus, London Symphony Orchestra, Colin Davis
5. 4. Accompagnato: Thus saith the Lord - John Shirley-Quirk, London Symphony Orchestra, Colin Davis
6. 5. Air: "But who may abide the day of his coming" - Helen Watts, London Symphony Orchestra, Colin Davis
7. 6. Chorus: And He shall purify the sons of Levi - London Symphony Chorus, London Symphony Orchestra, Colin Davis
8. 7. Recit: Behold, a Virgin shall conceive 8. Aria:O thou that tellest good tidings to Zion 9. Coro - Helen Watts, London Symphony Chorus, London Symphony Orchestra, Colin Davis
9. 10. Accompagnato: For behold, darkness shall cover the earth 11. Aria: The people that walked in darkness - John Shirley-Quirk, London Symphony Orchestra, Colin Davis
10. 12. Chorus: "For unto us a Child is born" - London Symphony Chorus, London Symphony Orchestra, Colin Davis
See all 19 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Chorus: Surely He hath borne - And with His stripes - All we like sheep - London Symphony Chorus, London Symphony Orchestra, Colin Davis
2. 25. Accompagnato: All they that see Him - John Wakefield, London Symphony Orchestra, Colin Davis
3. 26. Chorus: He trusted in God - London Symphony Chorus, London Symphony Orchestra, Colin Davis
4. 27. Accompagnato: Thy rebuke hath broken His heart - John Wakefield, London Symphony Orchestra, Colin Davis
5. 28. Arioso: Behold and see - John Wakefield, London Symphony Orchestra, Colin Davis
6. Recitativo accompagnato: He was cut off - Air: But Thou didst not leave - Heather Harper, London Symphony Orchestra, Colin Davis, John Wakefield
7. 31. Chorus: Lift up your heads - London Symphony Chorus, London Symphony Orchestra, Colin Davis
8. Recitativo: Unto which of the angels - Chorus: Let all the Angels - John Wakefield, London Symphony Orchestra, Colin Davis, London Symphony Chorus
9. 34a. Air: "Thou art gone up on high" - Helen Watts, London Symphony Orchestra, Colin Davis, John Shirley-Quirk
10. 36. Air: How beautiful are the feet - Heather Harper, London Symphony Orchestra, Colin Davis
See all 23 tracks on this disc

Product Description

Messiah

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

83 of 84 people found the following review helpful By Papageno on 7 Dec 2007
Format: Audio CD
This recording was made in 1966, so is all the more remarkable, considering the plethera of recordings to date. John Wakefield is an unsual choice, with a suitable heroic ring to the voice. John Shirley-Quirk, as ever, brilliant, with Helen Watts a smooth and sonorous Contralto. The final soloist, Heather Harper is fresh and brilliant of sound. The whole direction by Sir Colin Davis, with the LSO is captivating. Do not miss this chance to own.
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166 of 169 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 10 Dec 2004
Format: Audio CD
This is a CD version of an 80's recording which is so good I've stuck with it rather than going for a newer one. The LSO chorus are excellent, light-footed and accurate; Colin Davis takes them through some of the numbers at high speed but they make it sound easy (it isn't, as anyone who's sung Messiah will know). Helen Watts is a beautiful and moving alto soloist and John Shirley-Quirk is also outstanding.
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105 of 108 people found the following review helpful By Beatrice Nano on 30 Oct 2007
Format: Audio CD
Don't be put off by the fact that the original recording was made in the 1980s. It's been re-engineered and is simply top notch! This is by far the best recording I've ever come across. The fact that it's on a Phillips label doesn't hurt either. The orchestra (LSO)is just right--not too heavy, not too light, and the interpretations are superb. Can't go wrong with the label, the orchestra, or the composer.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Teemacs TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 27 Sep 2010
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I bought this because it was cheap. Overall, I got what I paid for.

I confess I like the more recent, smaller ensemble versions of "Messiah", my particular favourite being the Pinnock/English Concert version. For an older recording, I've always liked the Mackerras/ECO recording, which was a sort of half-way house (modern instruments, but smaller ensemble and counter-tenor (memorably Paul Esswood)) between Pinnock and this recording .

Generally, this was very well played and sung. However, I found some of the tempi much too slow and elephantine (such as that of the opening Overture), but this was the traditional approach. The soloists are generally very good, handling the Handel repeating "Sha-hay-hay-hay-hay-hay-hay" enunciations well, without slurring them into a continuous moan, as can happen. The "Rejoice greatly" is the 4/4 version, and is, I think, the best of that version I've heard. The orchestra is first-class.

This is not a version to which I would return often, but it is high up in the second division, and a perfect recommendation for those who prefer the traditional approach.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Gordon on 15 Jan 2011
Format: Audio CD
My mother used to own a copy of the Messiah on Record. It went in a classic "clear out" of records and she's been asking for it for a few years so.. I brought this CD version for her for Christmas and she loved it! Now, I'm no expert with classical music but she knows Handel's messiah well. Anything with the London symphony and Sir Colin Davies will be great as far as I have heard. The singing is also top-class. This version will not let you down if it's a solid, true-to-the-original version you are looking for.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Scotpacker on 10 Jan 2011
Format: Audio CD
What joy this gave me over the Christmas period. Had to play it when my wife was out though, since it is not her taste. Many people cannot seem to enjoy the piece as a whole and see the less glorious passages as boring and laborious but these serve as a great introduction and contrast to the sublime passages. For me it is utterly amazing to purchase and enjoy Handel's Messiah in such great quality sound at such a low cost. This production shows so clearly how much Handel understood of the glory of the subject matter he was dealing with. Absolutely marvellous!
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful By E. Snelling on 21 Oct 2008
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is more like it. I bought the Harry Christopher/Sixteen version and was left unmoved by it. This however, was sublime - fantastic soloists, an orchestra and chorus that sounded as if they meant it, a wonderful range of emotion beautifully realised. To me this is what a performance of the Messiah should sound like. The other reviewers got this one spot-on. I can only 'rejoice greatly' for such a recording.
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42 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Thomas Neal on 1 Jun 2008
Format: Audio CD
In the same way that Naxos' New College Oxford recording of "Messiah" is an example of the English Cathedral tradition, this recording is a great sample of the choral society tradition. Although the recording includes some huge names from the world of classical music, I was not over-enthralled by the recording as a whole. The age of the recording (1966) is made obvious in the quality of sound, and the entire ensemble is too big to hear the words properly, and of course this is reflected in the acoustic. The presentation is acceptable, but the sleeve notes are inadequate and the text is not provided. However, what this recording does have is drama and vigour in abundance.

The chorus sing very accurately (particularly the tenors), with good intonation and, for a choral society, with relatively clear diction. The orchestra are accurate enough, but tend to go for the loud "wow" factor, instead of focussing on the more intimate details of the score. Such huge choral and orchestral forces do not allow for sufficient clarity in parts, particularly in the lower registers.

However, the greatest fault with this recording is the soloists. The opening tenor solo "Comfort ye" is attacked by John Wakefield, with an inappropriately dominating vibrato. The Soprano, Heather Harper, simply belts out "I know that my redeemer liveth", particularly in the higher register, with a style more akin to Puccini than Handel. Helen Watts gives an assured and heart-felt performance of "But who may abide", and she has a real strength in her lower register, but, again, the style is too grand and operatic for the subtle details and intricate workings of the score.
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