Customer Reviews for: Sir Thomas Beecham Conducts Handel's Messiah

4 Reviews in Total
5 Star: 2 Reviews
4 Star: 0 Reviews
3 Star: 1 Review
2 Star: 1 Review
1 Star: 0 Reviews

Average Review

4.0 Stars (4 Reviews)

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 Blasphemous Orchestration November 11, 2017
By G. Brown (River Edge, NJ) -- See All My Reviews
Beecham's recording of Sir Goossens' orchestration of Handel's masterpiece has garnered many favorable reviews by the press. I, for one, can't fathom the fuss. Goossens' orchestration is bombastic and totally out of character, with no regard for the subject or genius and subtlety of Handel's music. This recording is almost blasphemous in its histrionics. The soloists, who are some of my favorites in opera, are out of their realm here. If you want an excellent re-orchestration of Messiah, I highly recommend the masterful conception by Sir Andrew Davis on Chandos. Report Abuse

 A five star for the time it was recorded September 27, 2013
By Bernard A J. (Kansas City, MO) -- See All My Reviews
This was a magnificent recording back in 1959, and it had been a long time since I had heard it. When I heard the Charles Mackerras "Messiah" circa 1965 and Sir Colin Davis immediately following, I was hooked on the down sized "Messiah." Then came the period instruments and made it an even better piece of music. When Arkiv came along with this recording at a very attractive price, I wanted to hear this performance again and see what I grew up on - the big and overblown "Messiah." So it is still a knockout performance and worthy of five stars if I was rating it in 1959. I have moved it down to three stars only because I think the current recordings are so much better and historically correct. It was worth the excellent price though to have the recording again and hear it. It was beautiful, and I shall come back to it often for the gorgeous, lush old fashioned "Messiah." Report Abuse

 The Recording that Will Move You! December 11, 2012
By Kenneth Harms (Yorba Linda, CA) -- See All My Reviews
OK, we all have several renditions and have heard a hundred others. Small orchestra in the original Irish tradition or huge orchestra with a choir of thousands -- all sorts of Messiahs abound. For me, after all these years, this is the performance that is the "true" Messiah -- and I know that it's much different from Handel's version, and all others are merely interesting variations. Amazing power and incredible sound. The soloists are unforced, "natural" as it is possible to sound singing operatically. Beecham gets unbelievable power, color and dynamics from the orchestra. He also gets speed -- this runs without a breath in a bit over 2 hours -- about half the time it took when recordings began (and how knows how long Handel took?). Get it, sit in front of the speakers, phone off, door locked, kids gone, volume up to where the chair shakes and stand to join the Hallelujah chorus at the top of your voice! Sir Thomas won't mind. Report Abuse

 Most Powerful Messiah Recording! November 29, 2011
By Christian Withers (San Antonio, TX) -- See All My Reviews
In my opinion, this is a strong contender for the greatest recording of the Messiah! It is in no way "authentic" (it was completely re-orchestrated by Eugene Goossens, adding many instruments not even invented in Handel's time). But what it lacks in historicity, it more than makes up for in sheer power, excitement and visceral impact. The soloists' interpretations are operatic, in the best sense of the word. The choir is overwhelming, and the augmented orchestra plays and is conducted with unflagging vigor and freshness. If Handel could hear this, I think he would be doing whatever is the opposite of rolling over in his grave! Report Abuse

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