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
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]
Works on This Recording
Messiah, HWV 56 by George Frideric Handel
Lorraine Hunt Lieberson (Soprano),
Drew Minter (Countertenor),
Jeffrey Thomas (Tenor),
William Parker (Baritone),
Patricia Spence (Mezzo Soprano),
Janet Williams (Soprano)
Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra,
Berkeley Chamber Chorus
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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