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Handel: Messiah / Mcgegan, Hunt, Williams, Minter, Parker

Release Date: 12/07/1992 
Label:  Harmonia Mundi   Catalog #: 907050/52   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Lorraine Hunt LiebersonDrew MinterJeffrey ThomasWilliam Parker,   ... 
Conductor:  Nicholas McGegan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Baroque OrchestraBerkeley Chamber Chorus
Number of Discs: 3 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 3 Hours 10 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Special Price: 3 CD's for the price of 2. This recording includes every revision and alternative version of 'Messiah' composed by Handel.

R E V I E W S:

[McGegan's] recording is of considerable documentary interest in that a separate section at the conclusion of each of the three parts of Messiah—there are three discs accordingly—is reserved for the many alternative versions of arias, accompanied recitatives and choruses which Handel himself used or at least approved in performances during the 1740s and 1750s. In this way, the booklet explains, the listener can select which version of the work he/she wants to listen to at any given time. About six versions are possible from the 18 alternative tracks provided on
Read more the three CDs. By following a table printed in the back of the booklet (a few minutes' mental gymnastics are initially required) you can programme your CD player to replace particular arias with others. So, for Dublin 1742 you replace track 2 with 14, 3 with 17, retain 4-9, replace 10 with 19 and so on. Once mastered this seems an eminently sensible use of the facilities available with CD.

...I found all this extra material fascinating while practically speaking remaining more than happy to afford it footnote status. The performance itself is stylish with plenty of appropriate attention to details of phrasing, articulation and declamation...The soloists comprise a strong team and I particularly enjoyed the singing of the two sopranos, Lorraine Hunt — her 'alternative' version of ''He was despised'' (Handel's conducting score) is beautifully done—and Janet Williams, and the mezzo-soprano Patricia Spence.

-- Gramophone [10/1991]
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Works on This Recording

Messiah, HWV 56 by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Lorraine Hunt Lieberson (Soprano), Drew Minter (Countertenor), Jeffrey Thomas (Tenor),
William Parker (Baritone), Patricia Spence (Mezzo Soprano), Janet Williams (Soprano)
Conductor:  Nicholas McGegan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra,  Berkeley Chamber Chorus
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1741; London, England 
Date of Recording: 01/1991 
Venue:  Hertz Hall, U of California, Berkeley 
Length: 190 Minutes 12 Secs. 

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