VIDEO

LABEL: KULTUR
CATALOG NUMBER: 1327
UPC NUMBER: N/A
NUMBER OF TAPES: 1
RUNNING TIME: 113 MIN.
YEAR RECORDED: 1982
RELEASE DATE: OCTOBER 23, 1992
ASPECT RATIO: 1.33:1
AUDIO: DOLBY STEREO
REGION: NTSC
CONDUCTOR: ROGER NORRINGTON
ORCHESTRA: LONDON BAROQUE PLAYERS
CHOIR: CARDIFF POLYPHONIC CHOIR
SOPRANO: NORMA BURROWES
ALTO: HELEN WATTS
TENOR: ROBERT TEAR
BASS: WILLIARD WHITE

VIDEO SAMPLES OTHER RELEASES


SITE RATING:  8/10
SITE REVIEW:  A pity that this performance has not been made available on DVD, since it's easily one of the most polished, professional Messiah's on video.  Added to that, Roger Norrington is not represented on CD with any Messiah; it's his expertise that drives this performance - and its worth hearing.  The London Baroque Players, using period instruments, are generally superb, although the trumpeter makes several embarrassing flubs during "The Trumpet Shall Sound", and the Cardiff Polyphonic Choir, although placed somewhat distantly in the mix, sing with equal finesse.  Also, the chance to see Williard White, who I had only seen before in his celebrated turn in George Gershwin's opera Porgy & Bess, is riveting.  This captures him ten years earlier, and he sings (and sweats) up a storm.  The other soloists are equally fine: Norma Burrowes is a clear, bright soprano, only occasionally going slightly flat; Helen Watts is a lovely, otherwordly presence in her alto solos, and tenor Robert Tear is fiery and confident in his arias. The only true downside to this video is the setting, which has the unfortunate look of being set on what looks like a stage borrowed from Lawrence Welk's long-running television program, with chandeliers, cherubic lamps, and a hideous color scheme that features a powdery sky blue set clashing with the salmon pink of the ladies' choir dresses. (Note, the cover photograph is NOT from this performance (?); the choir is much smaller, and the outfits are different!)  Why Kultur chooses to keep this performance in the vault is a shame, since it's an overall fine performance, worthy of remastering and general release.


The Compleat Messiah All Content Copyright 2015 Bret D. Wheadon
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