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Handel: Messiah Highlights / McGegan, Philharmonia Baroque


Release Date: 03/12/2002 
Label:  Harmonia Mundi   Catalog #: 3957120   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Jeffrey ThomasPatricia SpenceWilliam ParkerJanet Williams,   ... 
Conductor:  Nicholas McGegan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Baroque OrchestraBerkeley Chamber Chorus
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 17 Mins. 

Special Order: This CD requires additional production time and ships within 2-3 weeks.  

This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

[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 Read more 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]
reviewing the complete Messiah recording, HM 907050
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Works on This Recording

1.
Messiah, HWV 56: Overture by George Frideric Handel
Conductor:  Nicholas McGegan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1742; London, England 
2.
Messiah, HWV 56: Ev'ry valley shall be exalted by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Jeffrey Thomas (Tenor)
Conductor:  Nicholas McGegan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1742; London, England 
Language: English 
3.
Messiah, HWV 56: And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed by George Frideric Handel
Conductor:  Nicholas McGegan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra,  Berkeley Chamber Chorus
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1742; London, England 
Language: English 
4.
Messiah, HWV 56: O thou that tellest good tidings to Zion by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Patricia Spence (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Nicholas McGegan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1742; London, England 
Language: English 
Notes: This selection is preceded by the recitative "Behold, a virgin shall conceive." 
5.
Messiah, HWV 56: For, behold, darkness shall cover the earth by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  William Parker (Bass Baritone)
Conductor:  Nicholas McGegan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1742; London, England 
Language: English 
6.
Messiah, HWV 56: For unto us a child is born by George Frideric Handel
Conductor:  Nicholas McGegan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra,  Berkeley Chamber Chorus
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1742; London, England 
Language: English 
7.
Messiah, HWV 56: Pastoral Symphony "Pifa" by George Frideric Handel
Conductor:  Nicholas McGegan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1742; London, England 
8.
Messiah, HWV 56: And lo! the angel of the Lord by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Janet Williams (Soprano)
Conductor:  Nicholas McGegan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1742; London, England 
Language: English 
Notes: This selection is preceded by the recitative "There were shepherds..." 
9.
Messiah, HWV 56: And the angel said unto them by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Janet Williams (Soprano)
Conductor:  Nicholas McGegan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1742; London, England 
Language: English 
Notes: This selection continues with te recitative "And suddenly there was an angel." 
10.
Messiah, HWV 56: Glory to God in the highest by George Frideric Handel
Conductor:  Nicholas McGegan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra,  Berkeley Chamber Chorus
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1742; London, England 
Language: English 
11.
Messiah, HWV 56: He shall feed His flock...Come unto Him by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Drew Minter (Countertenor)
Conductor:  Nicholas McGegan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1742; London, England 
Language: English 
Notes: Ver: first version 
12.
Messiah, HWV 56: He was despised and rejected by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Lorraine Hunt Lieberson (Soprano)
Conductor:  Nicholas McGegan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1742; London, England 
Language: English 
13.
Messiah, HWV 56: How beautiful are the feet of them by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Patricia Spence (Mezzo Soprano), Drew Minter (Countertenor)
Conductor:  Nicholas McGegan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1742; London, England 
Language: English 
14.
Messiah, HWV 56: Break forth into joy by George Frideric Handel
Conductor:  Nicholas McGegan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra,  Berkeley Chamber Chorus
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1742; London, England 
Language: English 
Notes: Ver: first version 
15.
Messiah, HWV 56: Hallelujah! by George Frideric Handel
Conductor:  Nicholas McGegan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra,  Berkeley Chamber Chorus
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1742; London, England 
Language: English 
16.
Messiah, HWV 56: I know that my redeemer liveth by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Lorraine Hunt Lieberson (Soprano)
Conductor:  Nicholas McGegan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1742; London, England 
Language: English 
17.
Messiah, HWV 56: Since by man came death by George Frideric Handel
Conductor:  Nicholas McGegan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra,  Berkeley Chamber Chorus
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1742; London, England 
Language: English 
18.
Messiah, HWV 56: The trumpet shall sound by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Fred Holmgren (Trumpet), William Parker (Bass Baritone)
Conductor:  Nicholas McGegan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1742; London, England 
Language: English 
Notes: This selection is preceded by the recitative "Behold, I tell a mystery." 
19.
Messiah, HWV 56: Worthy is the Lamb that was slain by George Frideric Handel
Conductor:  Nicholas McGegan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra,  Berkeley Chamber Chorus
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1742; London, England 
Language: English 
20.
Messiah, HWV 56: Amen by George Frideric Handel
Conductor:  Nicholas McGegan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra,  Berkeley Chamber Chorus
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1742; London, England 
Language: English 

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