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Handel arr. Goossens: Messiah... Refreshed! / Shumate, McVeigh, Griffith, RPO

Release Date: 04/03/2020 
Label:  Signum Classics   Catalog #: 610  
Composer:  George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Penelope ShumateClaudia ChapaJohn McVeighChristopher Job
Conductor:  Jonathan Griffith
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic OrchestraNational Youth Choir of Great BritainThe Jonathan Griffith Singers
Number of Discs: 2 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

The Goossens Messiah, recorded for the first and only time by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus under Sir Thomas Beecham, has stood as a landmark of the classical catalogue for sixty years. Goossens’ richly orchestrated version is set to reach a new audience thanks to Maestro Griffith and DCINY, New York City’s leading promoter of classical music. They gathered at Abbey Road Studios in London in July 2019, to record the work with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and a chorus comprising of sixty members of The Jonathan Griffith Singers, drawn from around the world and sixty members of the National Youth Choir of Great Britain. The new recording has captured the score’s vibrant tone colors in thrilling high-definition sound.
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An acclaimed conductor, educator and lecturer, Dr. Jonathan Griffith has led performances across North America, Europe, and Asia. Griffith is Co-Founder and Artistic Director of Distinguished Concerts International New York (DCINY), which has brought together, under Griffith’s artistic leadership, thousands of musicians and choral singers in concert at prestigious venues across the United States, including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and Disney Hall. The founder and Music Director of the Distinguished Concerts Orchestra, Griffith also oversees DCINY’s mentoring program for conductors. Founded in 1983 as a single choir of 100 of the best singers in the nation, the National Youth Choir is now the flagship ensemble of an Arts Council England National Portfolio youth music organization and registered charity, the National Youth Choir of Great Britain (NYCGB), which runs five membership choirs, a nationwide outreach programme for schools and Music Hubs, and provides professional training for the next generation of choral singers, composers and leaders.



Dishing up a rich, lusciously executed bowl of nostalgia, Jonathan Griffith conducts with evident relish and affection. And if Griffith’s choral forces don’t always have the penetrative heft to cut through the orchestral high jinks at their most excitable, they crown the final chorus with a resplendent ‘Amen’.

– BBC Music Magazine Read less

Works on This Recording

Messiah, HWV 56 by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Penelope Shumate (Soprano), Claudia Chapa (Mezzo-soprano), John McVeigh (Tenor),
Christopher Job (Bass-baritone)
Conductor:  Jonathan Griffith
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  National Youth Choir of Great Britain,  The Jonathan Griffith Singers
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1741; London, England 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 It is and sadly it isn't. April 19, 2020 By J. Tatnall (West Grove, PA) See All My Reviews "Goossen's orchestration of Messiah is good. No it isn't authentic, but it is tasteful and colorful. Beecham and his team of soloists (all Handel singers of merit) and a seasoned recording team rendered it well in 1959, in good stereo sound. Unfortunately none of that can be said of this recording. I wish I could be more positive. Here the tenor is sharp, here the alto is flat, here the chorus is out of tune, late, not together with the orchestra, and on it goes. The soloists are all professionals with careers in regional opera and concert, and a few even have had regular gigs in small parts at the MET. In a live performance any of them would be pleasantly acceptable. But closely miked in a recording to hear again and again, not so much. The conducting is much as we had in the early 50s from one take only off label opera recordings: the conductor knows the score, is able to cheer lead the big parts, keep the difficult ones from chaos, and beats time throughout the rest. The booklet has some interesting notes, and the price is not prohibitive. But if you want this version of Messiah, look for the Beecham recording new or used." Report Abuse
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