With forty or so complete recordings and countless discs of highlights, a Japanese performance of this most beloved of English choral works may seem an unlikely contender. Yet the Bach Collegium Japan has already established itself as one of the most interesting period ensembles specialising in Baroque music, and this account has much to recommend it, not least Suzuki’s obvious affection for the piece. The sound is warm and detailed, though occasionally the voices are swamped by the orchestra; tempi are thoughtfully judged and the fresh-voiced choir sings with remarkable clarity and impeccable diction. Suzuki has chosen two very young Japanese soloists for the soprano and countertenor parts, alongside two highly experienced English singersRead more for the tenor and bass. Soprano Midori Suzuki has a light, boyish voice, not without imperfection but affectingly naive; countertenor Yoshikazu Mera has an innocent, tender alto range that belies a surprisingly powerful lower register; tenor John Elwes is agile, lyrical, perfectly focused; and David Thomas makes an imposing, if somewhat stentorian, bass. By pitting innocence against experience, Suzuki has achieved a particularly moving account.
Messiah, HWV 56by George Frideric Handel Performer:
Midori Suzuki (Soprano),
John Elwes (Spoken Vocals),
Yoshikazu Mera (Alto),
John Elwes (Tenor),
David Thomas (Bass)
Bach Collegium Japan
Period: Baroque Written: 1741; London, England Date of Recording: 12/1996 Venue: Shoin Women's University, Kobe, Japan Length: 141 Minutes 14 Secs. Language: English
Messiah, HWV 56: Aria: But who may abide the day of His coming (Alto)
Messiah, HWV 56: Recitative: Behold, a virgin shall conceive (Alto)
Messiah, HWV 56: Aria and Chorus: O Thou that tellest good tidings to Zion (Alto)
Messiah, HWV 56: Accompanied Recitative: For behold, darkness shall cover the earth (Bass)
Messiah, HWV 56: Recitative: There were shepherds abiding (Soprano)
Messiah, HWV 56: Accompanied Recitative: And lo, the angel of the Lord (Soprano)
Messiah, HWV 56: Accompanied Recitative: And suddenly there was with the angel (Soprano)
Messiah, HWV 56: Recitative: Then shall the eyes of the blind be open'd (Alto)
Messiah, HWV 56: Aria: He was despised and rejected of men (Alto)
Messiah, HWV 56: Accompanied Recitative: He was cut off out of the land (Soprano)
Messiah, HWV 56: Recitative: Unto which of the angels said He (Tenor)
Messiah, HWV 56: Aria: Thou art gone up on high (Alto)
Messiah, HWV 56: Recitative: He that dwelleth in heaven (Tenor)
Messiah, HWV 56: Recitative: Then shall be brought to pass (Alto)
Average Customer Review: ( 1 Customer Review )
Best Period Instrument Messiah!November 29, 2011By Christian Withers (San Antonio, TX)See All My Reviews"A superb recording that is apparently now difficult to acquire. I have not found another period recording that I like as much as this one (though there are many excellent choices). The only Messiah I might recommend as highly as this one is the re-orchestrated version conducted by Sir Thomas Beecham (not a period-instrument performance, but very powerful and exciting)."Report Abuse
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