Concentus Musicus Wien Nikolaus Harnoncourt Christine Schäfer - Handel: Messiah (2005) SACD

Concentus Musicus Wien Nikolaus Harnoncourt Christine Schäfer - Handel: Messiah (2005) SACD

Artist: Concentus Musicus Wien / Nikolaus Harnoncourt / Christine Schäfer
Title: Handel: Messiah
Year Of Release: 2005
Label: Deutsche Harmonia Mundi
Genre: Classical
Quality: SACD (DSD64 2.0, DST64 5.0; Image.iso)
Total Time: 02:20:55 min
Total Size: 7,96 Gb

This is an unusual performance of Handel's great Messiah. Harnoncourt always has something up his sleeve in his interpretations, and the results are often mixed, as they are here. Some tempi are oddly slow, others wackily fast, but that keeps us on our toes. The choral sound is very delicate and gentle--is this to denote piety? Whatever the desire, those who like their choral sound full-bodied are bound to be left befuddled by the lack of potency they'll hear here--the "Hallelujah" Chorus begins so modestly you'll think it is a rehearsal, but it grows in effect as it goes on. Very odd. Furthermore, the only really excellent soloists are soprano Christine Schaefer and baritone Gerald Finley; the others are good but peculiarly, like the chorus, lack profile. The recorded sound is glorious--there's not a note that's not clear--but there are plenty of finer, and more interesting Messiahs available. --Robert Levine
Disc: 1
1. Sinfonia: Grave - Allegro moderato
2. Comfort ye my people (Accompagnato)
3. Ev'ry valley shall be exalted (Air)
4. And the glory of the Lord (Chorus)
5. Thus sayth the Lord (Accompagnato)
6. But who may abide ( Air)
7. And He shall purify (Chorus)
8. O thou that tellest good tidings to Zion (Air)
9. For behold, darkness shall cover the earth (Accompagnato)
10. The people that walked in darkness (Air)
11. For Unto Us a Child Is Born (Chorus)
12. Pifa
13. And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them (Accompagnato)
14. And suddenly there was with the angel (Accompagnato)
15. Glory to God (Chorus)
16. Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion (Air)
17. He shall feed His flock (Duet)
18. His yoke is easy (Chorus)
19. Behold the Lamb of God (Chorus)
20. He was despised (Air)
Disc: 2
1. Surely He hath borne our griefs (Chorus)
2. And with His stripes we are healed (Chorus)
3. All we like sheep have gone astray (Chorus)
4. All they that see Him laugh Him to scorn (Accompagnato)
5. He trusted in God (Chorus)
6. Thy rebuke hath broken His heart (Accompagnato)
7. Behold, and see if there be any sorrow (Arioso)
8. He was cut off out of the land of the living (Accompagnato)
9. But Thou didst not leave His soul in hell (Air)
10. Lift up your heads, O ye gates (Chorus)
11. Let all the angels of God worship Him (Chorus)
12. Thou art gone up high (Air)
13. The Lord gave the word (Chorus)
14. How beautiful are the feet (Air)
15. Their sound is gone out (Chorus)
16. Why do the nations so furiously rage together? (Bass)
17. Let us break their bonds (Chorus)
18. Thou shalt break them (Air)
19. Hallelujah (Chorus)
20. I know that my Redeemer liveth (Air)
21. Since by man came death (Chorus)
22. Behold, I tell you a mystery (Accompagnato)
23. The trumpet shall sound (Air)
24. Then shall be brought to pass. O death where is thy sting (Recitative & Duet)
25. But thanks be to God (Chorus)
26. If God be for us (Air)
27. Worthy is the Lamb (Chorus)

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