René Jacobs / Clare College Choir, Cambridge / Freiburger Barockorchester - Handel: Messiah

René Jacobs / Clare College Choir, Cambridge / Freiburger Barockorchester - Handel: Messiah
Release Date:
2006
Genre:
Duration:
02:17:22
Album:
Handel: Messiah
Styles:
Choral

René Jacobs' performance of Handel's 1750 version of Messiah is remarkable for the fresh insights he brings to such a familiar work. His reading is fleet but never hurried, and movements flow fluidly from each other, virtually without pause. This Messiah is an integrated whole, whose ebbing and flowing move it inexorably toward its climaxes, avoiding the usual sense that the oratorio is merely a string of separate, thematically related numbers. The speed of some sections, and certain unconventional articulations, can at first seem eccentric, but Jacobs' interpretive decisions are always guided by the meaning of the texts, and when the initial surprise fades, seem obviously to be the best choices possible.

In the sections that can be ponderous in more conventional performances, the continuo, prominent without being overpowering, provides the rhythmic engine that keeps the momentum alive. The free use of ornamentation by the soloists, chorus, and instrumentalists gives the familiar melodic lines a snap that makes them sound freshly invented.Jacobs' performers sing and play with a lightness and flexibility perfectly suited to his interpretation. Tenor Kobie van Rensburg and countertenor Lawrence Zazzo have both the clarion tone and vocal fire that characterize the best soloists in English oratorio. For the most part, Neal Davis' bass matches their standard, but lacks the weight necessary for some of the solos, and he occasionally swallows important syllables. Soprano Kerstin Avemo and alto Patricia Bardon have voices that are pure toned and supple. The Choir of Clare College sings with transparency and breathtaking agility, and Freiberger Barockorchester plays with a warm tone and rhythmic crispness.

Title/ComposerPerformerTime
Messiah, oratorio, HWV 56
Part 1. No. 1. SinfonyFreiburger Barockorchester / Clare College Choir, Cambridge / René Jacobs2:59 Amazon
Part 1. No. 2. Accompagnato. Comfort ye, my people, saith your GodFreiburger Barockorchester / Clare College Choir, Cambridge / René Jacobs2:59
Part 1. No. 3. Air. Every valley shall be exaltedFreiburger Barockorchester / Clare College Choir, Cambridge / René Jacobs3:01 Amazon
Part 1. No. 4. Chorus. And the glory of the Lord shall be revealedFreiburger Barockorchester / Clare College Choir, Cambridge / René Jacobs2:34
Part 1. No. 5. Accompagnato. Thus saith the Lord of HostsFreiburger Barockorchester / Clare College Choir, Cambridge / René Jacobs1:19 Amazon
Part 1. No. 6. Air. But who may abide the day of His coming?Freiburger Barockorchester / Clare College Choir, Cambridge / René Jacobs3:50 Amazon
Part 1. No. 7. Chorus. And He shall purify the sons of LeviFreiburger Barockorchester / Clare College Choir, Cambridge / René Jacobs2:23
Part 1. No. 8. Recitative. Behold, a virgin shall conceive / No. 9. Air & Chorus. O thou that telleFreiburger Barockorchester / Clare College Choir, Cambridge / René Jacobs5:27 Amazon
Part 1. No. 10. Accompagnato. For behold, darkness shall cover the earthFreiburger Barockorchester / Clare College Choir, Cambridge / René Jacobs2:18 Amazon
Part 1. No. 11. Air. The people that walked in darknessFreiburger Barockorchester / Clare College Choir, Cambridge / René Jacobs3:41
Part 1. No. 12. Chorus. For unto us a child is bornFreiburger Barockorchester / Clare College Choir, Cambridge / René Jacobs3:57 Amazon
Part 1. No. 13. Sinfonia pastorale (Pifa) / No. 14a. Recitative. There were shepherds abiding in thFreiburger Barockorchester / Clare College Choir, Cambridge / René Jacobs4:41 Amazon
Part 1. No. 17. Chorus. Glory to God in the highestFreiburger Barockorchester / Clare College Choir, Cambridge / René Jacobs2:04
Part 1. No. 18. Air. Rejoice greatly, O daughter of ZionFreiburger Barockorchester / Clare College Choir, Cambridge / René Jacobs4:33 Amazon
Part 1. No. 19. Recitative. Then shall the eyes of the blind be opened / No. 20. Air. He shall feedFreiburger Barockorchester / Clare College Choir, Cambridge / René Jacobs4:58 Amazon
Part 1. No. 21. Chorus. His yoke is easy, and His burthen is lightFreiburger Barockorchester / Clare College Choir, Cambridge / René Jacobs2:20
Part 1. No. 22. Chorus. Behold the lamb of GodFreiburger Barockorchester / Clare College Choir, Cambridge / René Jacobs4:24 Amazon
Part 1. No. 23. Air. He was despised and rejected of menFreiburger Barockorchester / Clare College Choir, Cambridge / René Jacobs10:42 Amazon
Part 1. No. 24. Chorus. Surely He hath borne our griefsFreiburger Barockorchester / Clare College Choir, Cambridge / René Jacobs1:45 Amazon
Part 1. No. 25. Chorus. And with His stripes we are healedFreiburger Barockorchester / Clare College Choir, Cambridge / René Jacobs1:42 Amazon
Part 1. No. 26. Chorus. All we like sheep have gone astrayFreiburger Barockorchester / Clare College Choir, Cambridge / René Jacobs3:50 Amazon

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