RECORDINGS

LABEL: ALPHA CLASSICS
CATALOG NUMBER: UNKNOWN
EAN NUMBER: UNKNOWN
NUMBER OF DISCS: 2
RUNNING TIME: 116:22
YEAR RECORDED: 2016
CD RELEASE DATE: OCTOBER 2017
CONDUCTOR: HERV NIQUET
ORCHESTRA: LE CONCERT SPIRITUEL
CHOIR: LE CONCERT SPIRITUEL
SOPRANO: SANDRINE PIAU
SOPRANO: KATHERINE WATSON
MEZZO-SOPRANO: ANTHEA PICHANIK
TENOR: RUPERT CHARLESWORTH
BARITONE: ANDREAS WOLF


AUDIO SAMPLES HIGHLIGHTS OTHER RELEASES



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DISC ONE

1.  Pt. 1: No. 1, Sinfonia
by Concert Spirituel Orchestra
2. Pt. 1: No. 2, Comfort Ye My People
by Rupert Charlesworth
3. Pt. 1: No. 3, Every Valley Shall Be Exalted
by Rupert Charlesworth
4. Pt. 1: No. 4, And the Glory of the Lord
by Concert Spirituel Chorus
5. Pt. 1: No. 5, Thus Saith the Lord of Hosts
by Andreas Wolf
6. Pt. 1: No. 6, But Who May Abide
by Sandrine Piau
7. Pt. 1: No. 7, And He Shall Purify - No. 8, Behold, a Virgin Shall Conceive
by Anthea Pichanick
8. Pt. 1: No. 9, O Thou That Tellest
by Anthea Pichanick
9. Pt. 1: No. 10, For Behold
by Andreas Wolf
10. Pt. 1: No. 11, The People That Walked
by Andreas Wolf
11. Pt. 1: No. 12, For unto Us a Child Is Born
by Concert Spirituel Chorus
12. Pt. 1: No. 13, Pifa - No. 14a, There Were Shepherds
by Katherine Watson
13. Pt. 1: No. 14b, And Lo, the Angel of the Lord - No. 15, And the Angel Said unto Them
by Katherine Watson
14. Pt. 1: No. 16, And Suddenly
by Katherine Watson
15. Pt. 1: No. 17, Glory to God in the Highest
by Concert Spirituel Chorus
16. Pt. 1: No. 18, Rejoice Greatly - No. 19, Then Shall the Eyes of the Blind
by Katherine Watson
17. Pt. 1: No. 20, He Shall Feed His Flock
by Sandrine Piau
18. Pt. 1: No. 21, His Yoke Is Easy
by Concert Spirituel Chorus

DISC TWO

1. Pt. 2: No. 22, Behold the Lamb of God
by Concert Spirituel Chorus
2. Pt. 2: No. 23, He Was Despised
by Anthea Pichanick
3. Pt. 2: No. 24, Surely He Hath Borne Our Griefs
by Concert Spirituel Chorus
4. Pt. 2: No. 25, And with His Stripes
by Concert Spirituel Chorus
5. Pt. 2: No. 26, All We like Sheep
by Concert Spirituel Chorus
6. Pt. 2: No. 27, All They That See Him
by Rupert Charlesworth
7. Pt. 2: No. 28, He Trusted in God
by Concert Spirituel Chorus
8. Pt. 2: No. 29, Thy Rebuke Hath Broken His Heart
by Rupert Charlesworth
9. Pt. 2: No. 30, Behold, and See
by Rupert Charlesworth
10. Pt. 2: No. 31, He Was Cut Off
by Katherine Watson
11. Pt. 2: No. 32, But Thou Didst Not Leave His Soul in Hell
by Katherine Watson
12. Pt. 2: No. 33, Lift Up Your Heads - No. 34, Unto Which of the Angels
by Rupert Charlesworth
13. Pt. 2: No. 35, Let All the Angels of God
by Concert Spirituel Chorus
14. Pt. 2: No. 36, Thou Art Gone Up on High
by Katherine Watson
15. Pt. 2: No. 37, The Lord Gave the Word
by Concert Spirituel Chorus
16. Pt. 2: No. 38, How Beautiful Are the Feet
by Sandrine Piau
17. Pt. 2: No. 39, Their Sound Is Gone Out
by Concert Spirituel Chorus
18. Pt. 2: No. 40, Why Do the Nations
by Andreas Wolf
19. Pt. 2: No. 41, Let Us Break Their Bonds Asunder - No. 42, He That Dwelleth in Heaven
by Rupert Charlesworth
20. Pt. 2: No. 43, Thou Shalt Break Them
by Rupert Charlesworth
21. Pt. 2: No. 44, Hallelujah
by Concert Spirituel Chorus
22. Pt. 3: No. 45, I Know That My Redeemer Liveth
by Sandrine Piau
23. Pt. 3: No. 46, Since by Man Came Death
by Concert Spirituel Chorus
24. Pt. 3: No. 47, Behold, I Tell You a Mystery
by Andreas Wolf
25. Pt. 3: No. 48, The Trumpet Shall Sound - No. 49, Then Shall Be Brought to Pass
by Anthea Pichanick
26. Pt. 3: No. 50, O Death
by Anthea Pichanick
27. Pt. 3: No. 51, But Thanks Be to God
by Concert Spirituel Chorus
28. Pt. 3: No. 52, If God Be for Us
by Katherine Watson
29. Pt. 3: No. 53, Worthy Is the Lamb
by Concert Spirituel Chorus


SITE RATING:  6/10
SITE REVIEW:  I made the mistake of watching a video interview with French director, Herve Niquet, on the making of this album, which unfortunately colored my opinion of the recording even before I heard it.  The interview, in which Niquet declares his orchestra to be "unruly" and that this recording "sweeps away the cobwebs" of past recordings sounds grossly uninformed and puffed up.  Additionally, the booklet contained with the CD set is completely centered on Niquet: it features a laughable multi-page "interview" where the conductor word-associates such terms as "Nuns" and "Fanatics".  It's completely absurd and self-important, which is unfortunate because it prejudices the listener's enjoyment of the performance, which, although Niquet describes it as "an assault on Big Ben" is really just frenetic and wrong-headed.  Le Concert Spirituel is mainly well-versed in French repertoire, but acquits themselves very well on the Baroque styling of Messiah.  Niquet's tempos are overall too fast - he ignores the text and simply plows ahead as if the ghost of Christopher Hogwood were chasing him.  Of the soloists - Soprano Sandrine Piau is glassy and brittle in her tone; tenor Rupert Charlesworth is techinally very good, but emotionally distant (which can be said of the entire recording); bass Andreas Wolf struggles a bit with pronunciation, but has a nice brilliancy to his tone; soprano Katherine Watson is a bit shrill and brittle in her bright-toned performance, and Anthea Pichanick is wonderfully passionate in her role, and seemingly the only one who connects with the text.  Another misguided recording in which style takes supremacy over substance, to the detriment of the whole.  Here's a hint for future conductors: Messiah isn't about you.


The Complete Messiah All Content Copyright 2017 Bret D. Wheadon
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