Handel , The British Broadcasting Corporation Choir Symphony Orchestra - Messiah

Thursday 1st July 2004
Handel , The British Broadcasting Corporation Choir Symphony Orchestra - Messiah
Handel , The British Broadcasting Corporation Choir Symphony Orchestra - Messiah

STYLE: Classical
RATING 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8

This product is currently not available from Cross Rhythms Direct

Reviewed by Tony Cummings

The larger-than-life English conductor Sir Thomas Beecham (1879-1961) was celebrated for many things, one of them his stirling work of rescuing Handel's Messiah from the stifling clutches of the bloated 19th century traditionalism and from the purist efforts with their parsimonious handful of strings and oboes. His recording of Handel's masterpiece here is not the exotic rendition of the work in 1959 which has come to be known as 'The Beecham Messiah', but this finest recording of the work which took place in Westminster Central Hall in 1927 with the BBC Symphony Orchestra. Thanks to the technical wizardry of the engineers used on this double CD reissue of the original 78s, the sound quality is startlingly good and they've also used unbroken background ambience between pieces. The soloists, Dora Labbette (soprano), Muriel Brunskill (contralto) and Harold Williams (bass/baritone) all do well with only tenor Hubert Eisdell sounding past his best while the choir passages are stunning in their impact. A piece of musical history.

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Sample Track Listing:
1. Overture [Listen]
2. Comfort Ye, My People [Listen]
3. E'vry Valley Shall Be Exalted [Listen]
4. And The Glory Of The Lord [Listen]
5. Thus Saith The Lord [Listen]
6. But Who May Abide The Day Of His Coming [Listen]
7. And He Shall Purify [Listen]
8. Behold, The Virgin Shall Conceive [Listen]
9. O Thou That Tellest Good Tidings To Zion [Listen]
10. For Behold, Darkness Shall Cover The Earth [Listen]
11. The People That Walked In Darkness [Listen]
12. For Unto Us A Child Is Born [Listen]
13. There Were Shepherd ... And Lo, The Angel Of The Lord [Listen]
14. And The Angel Said Unto Them [Listen]
15. And Suddenly There Was With The Angel [Listen]
16. Glory To God [Listen]
17. Rejoice Greatly, O Daughter Of Zion! [Listen]
18. Then Shall The Eyes Of The Blind Be Opened [Listen]
19. He Shall Feed His Flock [Listen]
20. His Yoke Is Easy, And His Burden Is Light [Listen]
21. Behold The Lamb Of God [Listen]
22. He Was Despised [Listen]
23. Surely He Hath Borne Our Griefs [Listen]
24. And With His Stripes We Are Healed [Listen]
25. All We Like Sheep Have Gone Astray [Listen]
26. All They That See Him, Laugh Him To Scorn [Listen]
27. He Trusted In God That He Would Deliver Him [Listen]
28. Thy Rebuke Hath Broken His Heart [Listen]
29. Behold, And See If There Be Any Sorrow [Listen]
30. He Was Cut Off Out Of The Land Of The Living [Listen]
31. But Thou Did'st Not Leave His Soul In Hell [Listen]
32. Lift Up Your Heads, O Ye Gates [Listen]
33. How Beautiful Are The Feet [Listen]
34. Why Do Nations So Furiously Rage Together [Listen]
35. Let Us Break Their Bonds Asunder [Listen]
36. He That Dwelleth In Heaven [Listen]
37. Thou Shalt Break Them [Listen]
38. Hallelujah! [Listen]
39. I Know That My Reedemer Liveth [Listen]
40. Since By Man Came Death [Listen]
41. Behold, I Tell You A Mystery [Listen]
42. The Trumpet Shall Sound [Listen]
43. Worthy Is The Lamb That Was Slain [Listen]

This track data is supplied by the Cross Rhythms CD/DVD review library. Please note that CD tracks may vary according to release region or product version. You should not assume that products purchased through Cross Rhythms Direct will necessarily have identical track listings to those shown.

Reader Comments

Posted by dan in USA @ 01:31 on Jul 29 2007

Why was Hubert Eisdell considered past his prime? The bottle? I've read the downplaying of his performance before.

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