Handel: Messiah

Handel: Messiah

by Handel & Haydn SocietyHandel & Haydn Society


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Boston's Handel and Haydn Society gave the first complete performance of "Messiah" in the U.S. in 1818 and has done the work hundreds of times since then, with an annual performance tradition, of which this live recording is a part, since 1854. Since the last quarter of the 20th century, the group has moved in the direction of historically informed performance, but a bit of the old community flavor remains. It's characteristic of H&H's current conductor, Harry Christophers, that he steers a course incorporating the choir's American strengths. His Handel and Haydn Society is 30 voices strong, in no way minimalist, but entirely clean in bringing a focus to the text and well balanced with the orchestra. The precision of his readings resembles that in the Baroque recordings of his English group, The Sixteen, but the overall effect is different: he lets the singers, including a strong quartet of soloists, hold forth strongly; the group makes a lot of noise for 30 singers. The result is a real English-American hybrid performance that some may find splendid, others a bit shouty; you can sample one of the big choruses, like "And with his stripes" to determine which camp you might fall into. The live sound from Boston's Symphony Hall, which has heard this music countless times, is clear. Recommended for those enjoying Christophers' American experiment, although there are, of course, many other choices for "Messiah."

Product Details

Release Date: 10/14/2014
Label: Coro
UPC: 0828021612527
catalogNumber: 16125
Rank: 69423


  1. Messiah, oratorio, HWV 56

    1. Part 1: Sinfony  (03:04)
    2. Part 2: Accompagnato: All they that see Him laugh Him to scorn  (00:46)
    3. Part 1: Accompagnato: Comfort ye, my people  (02:39)
    4. Part 2: Chorus: He trusted in God that He would deliver Him  (02:12)
    5. Part 1: Air: Ev'ry valley shall be exalted  (03:10)
    6. Part 2: Accompagnato: Thy rebuke hath broken His heart  (01:49)
    7. Part 1: Chorus: And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed  (02:52)
    8. Part 2: Arioso: Behold and see if there be any sorrow  (01:14)
    9. Part 1: Accompagnato: Thus saith the Lord of Hosts  (01:20)
    10. Part 2: Accompagnato: He was cut off out of the land of the living  (00:15)
    11. Part 1: Air: But who may abide the day of His coming?  (04:20)
    12. Part 2: Air: But Thou didst not leave His soul in hell  (02:07)
    13. Part 1: Chorus: And He shall purify  (02:29)
    14. Part 2: Chorus: Lift up your heads, O ye gates  (02:50)
    15. Part 1: Recit: Behold a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son  (00:27)
    16. Part 2: Recit: Unto which of the angels said He at any time; Chorus: Let all the angels of God wors  (01:35)
    17. Part 1: Air and Chorus: O Thou that tellest good tidings to Zion  (04:55)
    18. Part 2: Air: Thou art gone up on high  (03:10)
    19. Part 1: Accompagnato: For behold, darkness shall cover the earth  (02:15)
    20. Part 2: Chorus: The Lord gave the word  (01:00)
    21. Part 1: Air: The people that walked in darkness have seen a great  (03:01)
    22. Part 2: Air: How beautiful are the feet of them that preach  (02:03)
    23. Part 1: Chorus: For unto us a child is born  (03:52)
    24. Part 2: Chorus: Their sound is gone out into all lands  (01:19)
    25. Part 1: Pastoral Symphony (Pifa)  (02:37)
    26. Part 2: Air: Why do the nations so furiously rage together?  (02:39)
    27. Part 1: Recit: There were shepherds abiding in the field; Accompagnato: And lo, the angel of the Lo  (01:04)
    28. Part 2: Chorus: Let us break their bonds asunder; Recit: He that dwelleth in heaven shall laugh the  (01:53)
    29. Part 1: Accompagnato: And suddenly there was with the angel; Chorus: Glory to God in the highest  (02:08)
    30. Part 2: Air: Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron  (02:00)
    31. Part 1: Air: Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion  (04:11)
    32. Part 2: Chorus: Hallelujah! For The Lord God Omnipotent reigneth  (03:54)
    33. Part 1: Recit: Then shall the eyes of the blind be opened  (00:30)
    34. Part 3: Air: I know that my redeemer liveth  (05:28)
    35. Part 1: Air: He shall feed His flock like a shephered  (04:58)
    36. Part 3: Chorus: Since by man came death  (02:02)
    37. Part 1: Chorus: His yoke is easy and His burden is light  (02:13)
    38. Part 3: Accompagnato: Behold, I tell you a mystery  (00:34)
    39. Part 2: Behold the Lamb of God  (02:44)
    40. Part 3: Air: The trumpet shall sound  (08:25)
    41. Part 2: Air: He was depised and rejected of men  (09:41)
    42. Part 3: Recit: Then shall be brought to pass  (00:16)
    43. Part 2: Chorus: Surely He hath borne our griefs  (01:46)
    44. Part 3: Duet: O Death, Where is thy sting?  (01:01)
    45. Part 2: Chorus: And with His stripes we are healed  (01:44)
    46. Part 3: Chorus: But thanks be to God who giveth us the Victory  (02:03)
    47. Part 2: Chorus: All we like sheep have gone astray  (03:58)
    48. Part 3: Air: If God be for us, who can be against us?  (04:44)
    49. Part 3: Chorus: Worthy is the Lamb that was slain  (03:06)
    50. Part 3: Chorus: Amen  (04:24)

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