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Messiah, oratorio (London, 1750 version)

The Choir of Clare College, Freiburger Barockorchester, René Jacobs
2 CD
    • Apple Music

    The paradoxes of Messiah.
    After a magisterial interpretation of the highly theatrical Saul (Editor’s Choice in Gramophone, ‘Choc’ du Monde de la Musique, etc.), René Jacobs now turns his attention to Messiah, in the 1750 version with two alto soloists. Handel subjected the work to multiple revisions according to the solo singers he had available for his annual performances of it in London. However, this public acknowledgment of the work’s value came only some years after the oratorio’s triumphant premiere in Dublin on 13 April 1742: in order to win over London audiences Messiah had had to confront a cabal that was all the more unjustified in that Handel avoided all dramatisation of the person and Passion of Christ – the exact opposite of Saul, in a sense. But history has amply made up for lost time since then!

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    GEORGE FRIDERIC HANDEL [1685-1759] MESSIAH An Oratorio HWV 56 after Biblical sources collected by Charles Jennens 1750 version (conducted by the composer) · Part I 1. "Sinfony" (2'59) · 2. Accompagnato (tenor) Comfort ye, my people, saith your God (2'59) · 3. Air (tenor) Every valley shall be exalted (3'01) · 4. Chorus And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed (2'34) · 5. Accompagnato (bass) Thus saith the Lord of Hosts (1'19) · 6. Air (countertenor) But who may abide the day of His coming? (3'50) · 7. Chorus And He shall purify the sons of Levi (2'23) · 8. Recitative (alto Behold, a virgin shall conceive 9. Air (alto & Chorus O thou that tellest good tidings to Zion, arise (5'27) · 10. Accompagnato (bass) For behold, darkness shall cover the earth (2'18) · 11. Air (bass) The people that walked in darkness (3'41) · 12. Chorus For unto us a child is born (3'57) · 13. Sinfonia pastorale (Pifa) 14a. Recitative (soprano) There were shepherds abiding in the field 14b. Accompagnato (soprano) And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them 15. Recitative (soprano) And the angel said unto them: Fear not, for behold 16. Accompagnato (soprano) And suddenly there was with the angel (4'41) · Part II 17. Chorus Glory to God in the highest (2'04) · 18. Air (soprano) Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion (4'33) · 19. Recitative (alto) Then shall the eyes of the blind be opened 20. Air (alto & countertenor) He shall feed His flock like a shepherd (4'58) · 21. Chorus His yoke is easy, and His burthen is light (2'20) · 22. Chorus Behold the lamb of God (4'24) · 23. Air (alto) He was despised and rejected of men (10'42) · 24. Chorus Surely He hath borne our griefs (1'45) · 25. Chorus And with His stripes we are healed (1'42) · 26. Chorus All we like sheep have gone astray (3'50)MESSIAH An Oratorio HWV 56 after Biblical sources collected by Charles Jennens 1750 version (conducted by the composer) · 27. Accompagnato (tenor) All they that see Him laugh Him to scorn (0'36) · 28. Chorus He trusted in God that He would deliver Him (2'11) · 29. Accompagnato (tenor) Thy rebuke hath broken His heart (1'30) · 30. Arioso (tenor) Behold and see if there be any sorrow (1'21) · 31. Accompagnato (soprano) He was cut off out of the land of the living 32. Air (soprano) But Thou didst not leave His soul in hell (2'14) · 33. Chorus Lift up your heads, O ye gates (3'03) · 34. Recitative (tenor) Unto which of the angels said He at any time (0'14) · 35. Chorus Let all the angels of God worship Him (1'23) · 36. Air (countertenor) Thou art gone up on high (2'47) · 37. Chorus The Lord gave the world (1'09) · 38. Air (countertenor) How beautiful are the feet of them (2'40) · 39. Chorus Their sound is gone out into all lands (1'24) · 40. Air (bass) Why do the nations so furiously rage together (2'49) · 41. Chorus Let us break their bonds asunder (1'36) · 42. Recitative (tenor) He that dwelleth in heaven shall laugh them to scorn 43. Air (tenor) Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron (1'59) · 44. Chorus Hallelujah! (3'56) · Part III 45. Air (soprano) I know that my redeemer liveth (6'02) · 46. Chorus Since by man came death (1'57) · 47. Accompagnato (bass) Behold, I tell you a mystery 48. Air (bass) The trumpet shall sound (8'36) · 49. Recitative (alto) Then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written 50. Duet (alto & tenor) O Death, where is thy sting? (1'16) · 51. Chorus But thanks be to God who giveth us the victory (2'02) · 52. Air (countertenor) If God be for us, who can be against us? (4'19) · 53. Chorus Worthy is the Lamb that was slain 54. Chorus Amen (6'51)

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