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Date

December 11, 2018

Happy Birthday Nikki Sixx!

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discogs The Best Live Shows Of 2018

We know the first word that comes to mind when you think of Discogs is not “live music”. But in all fairness, a lot of us enjoy live music as much as we do listening to our favorite records at home. So we love sharing our favorite live music performances of 2018 with the community and we hope that you witnessed some great ones too! Chances are that we might have even crossed paths, who knows!

As it normally happens with all our Staff Picks, our favorite concerts of the year are quite a mixed bag where you’ll probably find some artist or band that you love as much as we do. So, without more ado, these are the live shows of 2018 that left us breathless:

Belle & Sebastian / Japanese Breakfast

Oregon Zoo (Portland, USA)

Belle and Sebastian

Final show of a rare US Belle & Sebastian tour and the energy couldn’t have been better. Maybe they were just thrilled to be done with it all, but the show was fantastic, with lead singer Stuart Lee Murdoch putting on a class act throughout their 2+ hour set. Michelle Zauner of Japanese Breakfast grew up in Oregon (despite absconding to the East coast), and seeing her in a homecoming show was heart-warming. And wow, she can really rock. With the stage right next to the elephant habitat, seeing the big guys come out to enjoy the show too was such a treat.

Steven, Search Engine Marketer


Volcanic Pinnacles

Doug Fir (Portland, USA)

Volcanic Pinnacles

Spontaneous transcendence.

Alex, Community Success Coordinator


Primavera Sound 2018

(Barcelona, Spain)

Primavera Sound

I’m just going to pretend all performances at Primavera Sound count as one; Beach House, Lee Fields & The Expressions, Björk, Four Tet, Slowdive, Carpenter Brut, and Lindstrøm (❤) made it to the top of the list for me – but I, unfortunately, missed many great shows – otherwise Nine Inch Nails (where does Trent Reznor pull so much energy from?!) and Jon Hopkins in Amsterdam.

Coumba, Community Success Coordinator


Kikagaku Moyo

Multiple Locations (NY, OR)

Kikagaku Moyo

As far as I’m concerned, Kikagaku Moyo can do not wrong. I was lucky enough to catch these cosmic travelers four times this year (Mississippi Studios, Revolution Hall and Pickathon in Oregon, Market Hotel in Brooklyn), each show a heady blend of hypnotic grooves and out there psychedelic wig outs. Not a band to stick to note-for-note album versions live, they playfully stretch out their songs into extended jams with heavy riffage, pastoral folk daydreams and sitar driven trances delivered in equal parts. Not to mention they look cool AF with their long hippie hair and shirts adorned with flowery patterns. Both a throwback to the past and a glimpse into the future of psych rock, I hope I can catch these guys four times next year too!

Stevie, Marketing Coordinator


Dropkick Murphys / Flogging Molly

The Cuthbert Amphitheater (Portland, USA)

Dropkick Murphys

I kind of want to give it to the Foo Fighters at the Moda Center because they unleashed a killer Ramones cover and I got to see Grohl play the drums… BUT I am going to have to give it to the Dropkick Murphys and Flogging Molly Summer tour. As always, it was a party, and you can’t beat the energy these fans bring. The smaller venue (The Cuthbert Amphitheater) helped this experience pack a lot of punch and you could feel the sound in your bones. One of my all-time happy moments in 2018.

Carissa, Email Marketing Lead


Ezra Collective

Paradiso (Amsterdam, The Netherlands)

Ezra Collective

Ezra Collective at Paradiso took the crown for me (so far) this year – a really nice Latin Jazz gig with loads of soul and heart- more dancing and waving than beard stroking and nodding (though I am a fan of either!). Can’t recommend them live enough, one of the best riding a strong wave of Jazz music coming out of London at the moment!

Louis, Commercial Manager


Thom Yorke

Carré Theatre (Amsterdam, The Netherlands)

Thom Yorke

Think it would have to be Thom Yorke at the beautiful Carré Theatre in Amsterdam. This was the first time I saw him solo and he put on an amazing show. The lights, dancing and intimacy makes this my fav for 2018. Plus it made me discover Oliver Coates who supported him and I have been listening to his album from this year (Shelley’s on Zenn-La) a fair bit since the show.

Claire, VP People & Culture


My Bloody Valentine

Meltdown 2018 (London, UK)

My Bloody Valentine

So. Many. Incredible. Shows. This. Year.

Now seriously, in 2018 I got to see killer shows by Kendrick Lamar, Nick Cave, Fever Ray, Iceage, Niño de Elche, Spiritualized, Björk, James Blake… But probably the gig that will have a special place in my heart forever will be the comeback concert of My Bloody Valentine during Robert Smith‘s curated Meltdown 2018. I’m not going to get much into detail, but thanks to my friend Andy, my brother and I made it to meet Kevin Shields. I’m still having a heart attack since that day. The concert was beautiful too, and the visuals, and the crowd. Life can be crazy sometimes. Andy, if you’re reading this, thank you for making us the happiest people in the world for a night.

Javi, Content Marketing and Social Media Specialist


Mount Kimbie

Holocene (Portland, USA)

Mount Kimbie

I love when a band surprises you with their live performances. I love when the song that used to be your least favorite, suddenly becomes your all-time favorite once you hear it live. This happened to me last May at a Mount Kimbie show. Before the show, I liked Mount Kimbie a lot. I played the crap out of Cold Spring Fault Less Youth when it came out in 2013 and kept it in my regular rotation for the next five years. Honestly, I was getting to a point where I had played it too much. It wasn’t moving me the way it once did. Then I saw them at Holocene in Portland, Oregon. Their performance was completely different than I thought it would be. I was expecting it to be a chill, hip-hop vibe affair – which is totally cool. However, it was a full-on, in-your-face ocean of sound coming at me in a very Joy Division-y way. So good. Good enough that I bought the other albums and they are all in my permanent rotation.

Tasha, Community Success Manager


David Byrne / Iggy Pop

AFAS Live (Amsterdam, NL) / at Paaspop 2018 (Schijndel, NL)

David Byrne

It’s a tie between David Byrne in Amsterdam and Iggy Pop at Paaspop festival. David Byrne because he brought a completely new angle to what a concert should be or look like, very inspiring and amazing to watch and listen to. Iggy Pop because it was incredible to experience the complete change of energy in the venue the moment he entered the stage!

Lilian, Regional Community Marketing Lead


A Lot of Stuff

(Netherlands)

Sleep

Choosing one performance from this year only, damn that is hard! I can’t sorry… I have enjoyed so many live shows, DJ sets and concerts this year.

I loved seeing Big Brave again early this year, they are so powerful and intense, also a pretty chill band to talk to.
This was at OCCII, where I also enjoyed Oiseaux Tempête and the Zenevloed label event!

Gnod’s and Insect Ark concert at dB’s was sick and we all went a bit crazy!

I was able to see The Bug three times this year, he played with Khan at Melkweg where low lights and massive sound system made the venue bounce. However, his show at Dekmantel with Miss Red was fire and, she saw me dancing the way she was dancing so she came to me to dance together, OMG!

Dekmantel was awesome as well, I got to see (finally) my favourite musician playing live, Four Tet opening concert was so especial! The best acts of the festival for me were Aurora Halal playing live with Relaxer, they are so tight! Clark performing Death Peak live had some crazy lights and dancers, say what?! Then I would say Samuel Kerridge broke me up with his industrial sound!

Rewire was also something to remember, artist like JASS, Volvox, The Thing, Lanark Artefax and Visionist really blew my mind!

Roadburn was filled with dope acts! The jam East Meets West Jam with Earthless & Kikagaku Moyo completely improvised was super especial! Waste of Space Orchestra, who are Dark Buddha Rising united with Oranssi Pazuzu, are simply out of this world, their show does not look human but something else! Bell Witch playing Mirror Reaper almost makes me cry, these two are incredible. Zonal ft. Moor Mother bass and raps were super intense, maybe one in life time that I can get to see Justin K Broadrick and Kevin Martin together? Hope not!

Then many other crazy shows like: Godflesh, The Heads, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Mizmor, Minami Deutsch, Horte… that festival is simply too incredible! Can’t wait for next year!

Last but not least, I must say, Sleep playing in Tivoli was one of the best concerts of the year and they are coming to Roadburn in 2019 to play both Holy Mountain and The Sciences in full, come on, is this real?! It’s gonna be so good!

Esther, CS Specialist


Con Brio

Crystal Ballroom, Portland

Con Brio
Incredible musicians with tons of energy! The onstage presence was magic and quality of sound like nothing else! Even if you haven’t heard of them, definitely check out their live performances.

Stacey, Full Stack Developer


Leroy Burgess

Strange Sounds From Beyond 2018 (Amsterdam, NL)

Leroy Burgess

Leroooooyyyyyyyyyyyyy (not Jenkins) but Burgess. Disco producer legend, showman extraordinaire, the king of all things Disco is back on the stage for a year or 2 now. I finally had the chance to witness this historical event at Strange Sounds From Beyond. He played all the classics and we also got the chance to have Christine Wiltshire from Phreek to sing that classic weekend track. A magical moment, I will never forget!

Clim, CS Coordinator


Spiritualized with Orchestra & Choir

Primavera Sound 2018 (Barcelona, Spain)

Spiritualized

I have no words to describe how beautiful was enjoying “Ladies And Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space” songs with an orchestra and a choir into a sold-out Auditorium. It made me feel so special. This is probably one of the most astonishing albums I’ve ever listened and having the opportunity of listening to the songs in an environment such as that was amazing. Psychedelia meets Gospel meets floaty music. I cried watching that show. It was a cosmic experience.

Arnau, Regional Community Marketer


The Jesus Lizard

Crystal Ballroom (Portland, USA)

The Jesus Lizard

They’ve still got it!

Jason, Director of Marketplace Engineering


Flaming Lips

Melkweg (Amsterdam, NL)

I saw the Flaming Lips for the first time a few weeks ago and holy hell. Why isn’t every show I go to like this? I was so filled with joy but also regret at not having seen them sooner. 2018 was a killer year for gigs, and I got to catch some incredible festival performances by Nick Cave, Anderson .Paak, IDLES and a tonne more. But seriously, Flaming Lips. Incomparable bliss.

Jess, Community Marketer


Arcade Fire

Antwerps Sportpaleis (Antwerp, Belgium)

Arcade Fire

“Make sure you look for the blue tape on the floor,” my cousin Jill wrote to me in October 2017, half a year before the show. “It leads them into the arena and up to the entrance gate at the stage!” Jill had just seen Arcade Fire the night before, and was already excitedly messaging me how we could get the best spots for mine and my girlfriend’s Arcade Fire show in Antwerp in April. Sylvia and I took note and six months later we arrived at the Antwerps Sportpaleis, 3 hours before the show was scheduled to start, with her tips in hand.

The show was perfect. We stood right at the spot where the band finished their way through the crowd and jumped up on stage. We bopped and sang and danced in front of the stage in their shadows for the rest of the show. The set ended with the Preservation Jazz Hall Band coming on stage and closing with “Wake Up”, and then they all hopped back into the crowd and danced their way past us.

It was one of those special shows where the atmosphere matched your emotions and you knew every song the band played. “Why can’t every night be an Arcade Fire concert,” I wrote back to Jill after the show. “Ya life is pretty much downhill after an Arcade Fire show,” she agreed. “I was depressed for days!!” Ah, post-concert multi-day depression glow – definitely the sign of the best live act of the year.

David, CS Manager

The post The Best Live Shows Of 2018 appeared first on Discogs Blog.

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jfl #morninglistening on @deccaclassics to another #Birthdayboy:…

#morninglistening on @deccaclassics to another #Birthdayboy: #HectorBerlioz (*Dec.11th, 1803) under #ColinDavis
Amazon: http://a-fwd.to/jOc3Azw
Classic 1960s & 70s recordings w/@LondonSymphony. Also: @philharmonia, @BBCSO, @TheRoyalOpera Orch. & @RCOamsterdam for the #Philips label of the complete #orchestralworks of #Berlioz’. #SymphonieFantastique #Lelio #GrandeSymphonieFunebreEtTriomphale #

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CAS Classic Album Sundays London presents Aretha Franklin ‘I Never Loved A Man The Way I Love You’ & ‘Lady Soul’

We are kicking off 2019 with a special double bill in tribute to the first Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin. We will be featuring full album playbacks of both I Never Loved A Man The Way I Love You & Lady Soul.

While the inclusion of “Respect”, one of the truly seminal singles in pop history, is in and of itself sufficient to earn I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You classic status, Aretha Franklin’s Atlantic label debut is an indisputable masterpiece from start to finish. Much of the credit is due to producer Jerry Wexler, who finally unleashed the soulful intensity so long kept under wraps during her Columbia tenure; assembling a crack Muscle Shoals backing band along with an abundance of impeccable material, Wexler creates the ideal setting to allow Aretha to ascend to the throne of Queen of Soul, and she responds with the strongest performances of her career.

Lady Soul is the twelfth studio album by American singer Aretha Franklin, Released on January 22, 1968, by Atlantic Records.

Powered by three hit singles (each nested in the upper reaches of the pop Top Ten), Lady Soul became Aretha Franklin’s second gold LP and remained on the charts for over a year.

Join us to experience these albums as never before.

London

Time & Date: Sunday 27th January 2019 2018 15:00

Venue

Brilliant Corners, 470 Kingsland Rd, London E8 4AE

Tickets

£10 in advance 

Presenter

Colleen ‘Cosmo’ Murphy

Audio Menu

Dynavector D17D3 MC CartridgeRega P9 TurntableRega IOS Phono Stage Audio Note Jinro Integrated AmpChord Signature Speaker CableChord Signature Tuned Aray interconnectsISOL-8 Substation Integra Power Conditioner, Klipschorn Loudspeakers and Klipsch SW-115 Subwoofers

The post Classic Album Sundays London presents Aretha Franklin ‘I Never Loved A Man The Way I Love You’ & ‘Lady Soul’ appeared first on Classic Album Sundays.

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CAS Classic Album Sundays Oslo presents Francis Vincent Zappa and the Abnuceals Emuukha Electric Symphony Orchestra & Chorus ‘Lumpy Gravy’ with Jono El Grande & after party

Lumpy Gravy is the debut solo album by Frank Zappa, written by Zappa and performed by a group of session players he dubbed the Abnuceals Emuukha Electric Symphony Orchestra. Zappa conducted the orchestra but did not perform on the album. It is his third album overall: his previous releases had been under the name of his group, the Mothers of Invention.

It was commissioned and briefly released, on August 7, 1967, by Capitol Records in the 4-track Stereo-Pak format only and then withdrawn due to a lawsuit from MGM Records. MGM claimed that the album violated Zappa’s contract with their subsidiary, Verve Records. In 1968 it was reedited and reissued by MGM’s Verve Records on May 13, 1968. The reissue consisted of two musique concrète pieces that combined elements from the original orchestral performance with elements of surf music and the spoken word. It was praised for its music and editing.

Produced simultaneously with We’re Only in It for the Money, Zappa saw Lumpy Gravy as the second part of a conceptual continuity that later included his final album, Civilization Phaze III.

Later it was re-edited by Zappa as part of a project called No Commercial Potential, which included three other albums: We’re Only in It for the Money, Cruising with Ruben & the Jets and Uncle Meat.

Oslo

Time & Date: Thursday December 20th 2018, 7 to 9pm + after party, doors open at 6:30pm

Venue

Laboratoriet (Kulturhuset)

Tickets

NOK 120 In Advance Here

Presenters

Kent Horne with artist Jono El Grande

Audio Menu

The post Classic Album Sundays Oslo presents Francis Vincent Zappa and the Abnuceals Emuukha Electric Symphony Orchestra & Chorus ‘Lumpy Gravy’ with Jono El Grande & after party appeared first on Classic Album Sundays.

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CAS Good Grief! Classic Album Sundays: A Charlie Brown Christmas with Neil Cowley

Classic Album Sundays present a seasonal special on Vince Guaraldi’s A Charlie Brown Christmas. Set the mood in the exhibition, hunker down to heart-warming tunes and up the tempo with Colleen ‘Cosmo’ Murphy in conversation with Neil Cowley on Tuesday 11th December 2018 at Somerset House in London from 6:00pm which will be followed by a full album playback of A Charlie Brown Christmas on a world class audiophile soundsystem installed by Graham’s Hi-fi.

Dynamic composer Neil Cowley has written and performed with Brand New Heavies, Zero 7, as a solo artist and as part of Neil Cowley Trio – the group that took home 2007’s Best Album title at the BBC Jazz Awards for their record DisplacedGrace from their most recent album Spacebound Apes has been streamed 17M times on Spotify.

Neil co-wrote a track on the new album from Maribou State released through Ninja Tune, and November will see the first EP released from his new musical venture, a collaborative work with Ben Lukas Boysen (Erased Tapes).


Read more: Ben Lukas Boysen Top Five Albums Of All Time

Enjoy an exclusive after hours view of the Good Grief, Charlie Brown! exhibition. Sit back as we supply the seasonal drink. Relax into the sounds of Classic Album Sundays Colleen ‘Cosmo’ Murphy in conversation with Neil Cowley setting the scene for the seasons ahead and immerse yourself in the sounds of jazz pianist Vince Guaraldi’s A Charlie Brown Christmas Album; an album certified Quadruple Platinum, voted into the Grammy Hall of Fame, and added to the Library of Congress’s National Recording Registry list of “culturally, historically, or aesthetically important” sound recordings.

Classic Album Sundays founder Colleen ‘Cosmo’ Murphy will discuss the impact of Vince Guaraldi and The Peanuts with contemporary jazz pianist and self-confessed Guaraldi fanboy Neil Cowley of the Neil Cowley Trio. The interview will be followed by an uninterrupted and immersive playback of the entire album on Craft Recordings vinyl on an audiophile sound system courtesy of Graham’s Hi-Fi and the event will conclude with a Q&A.

Sure to be an evening of exclusive entertainment, an early Christmas gift and a Charlie Brown education for one and all. Tickets include exhibition entry, seasonal refreshments and the full Classic Album Sundays experience.

London

Date and Time: Tuesday December 11th 2018 6:00pm – 9:00pm

Venue

Somerset House, Strand, London WC2R 1LA

Tickets

£22 – £28 in advance

Ticket price includes admission into the Good Grief, Charlie Brown! exhibition.

This event is now SOLD OUT

Audio Menu

Installed by Graham’s Hi-fi

The post Good Grief! Classic Album Sundays: A Charlie Brown Christmas with Neil Cowley appeared first on Classic Album Sundays.

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Freya Parr Free Download: The English Concert and Katharina Spreckelsen play Marcello’s Oboe Concerto

'Generous music-making'

This week's free download is the third movement, Presto, of Marcello's Oboe Concerto, performed by Katharina Spreckelsen with the English Concert, under the baton of Harry Bicket. It was recorded on Signum Classics and was awarded four stars for performance and five for recording in the December issue of BBC Music Magazine.

DOWNLOAD INSTRUCTIONS:

If you'd like to enjoy our free weekly download simply log in or sign up to our website.

Once you've done that, return to this page and you'll be able to see a 'Download Now' button on the picture above – simply click on it to download your free track.

If you experience any technical problems please email support@classical-music.com. Please reference 'Classical Music Free Download', and include details of the system you are using and your location. If you are unsure of what details to include please take a screenshot of this page.

read more

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jfl #morninglistening to another #Birthdayboy’s #OrganMusic on…

#morninglistening to another #Birthdayboy’s #OrganMusic on @LaDolceVolta: #CésarFranck this time, born Dec.10th, 1822
Amazon: http://a-fwd.to/4jViVpG
Fab 1975 recordings from the #Calliope label of the complete #organworks of #Franck’s on the 1857 #CavailleColl organ @ Cathédrale Notre-Dame-de-l’-Assomption #Luçon / Vendée.
#classicalmusic #classicalmusiccollection #classicalcdcollection #

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The best recordings of Handel’s Messiah

Rating: 
0

Performances of Handel’s Messiah are now a public ritual, yet our annual sing-ins and choral society performances misrepresent the work.

Conceived at a career low, Messiah was successfully test-run in Dublin, but in London fell foul of the church’s ban on performing Biblical verses in a theatre. Handel got around this by making Messiah a feature of his Lenten charity benefit concerts. These became a seasonal ritual for leading   citizens, not least because of the new music Handel would introduce for his star soloists.

Following the 1784 Handel Commemoration at Westminster Abbey, the score of Messiah became fixed, and performing forces huge. Re-scored by Mozart and others, post-1780 versions dropped star-specific solos, obscured Handel’s counterpoint, and slowed his ebullient dance rhythms.

Artists tackling Messiah today therefore face the challenge both of getting to grips with Handel’s different versions – and of meeting expectations set up by misinformed past practice.

 

 

The Best Recording

Stephen Layton (conductor)
Allan Clayton, Iestyn Davies, Polyphony; Britten Sinfonia (2009)
Hyperion CDA67800

Stephen Layton’s musicians bring an unparalleled freshness to this familiar work, combining power with a delicacy faithful to Handel’s Baroque sensibility. The music Handel composed for Messiah is meant to convince audiences of a vision beyond religious factionalism, and Layton rightly shapes his reading around the oratorio’s verses.

Every phrase, whether played or sung, is suffused with word-meaning. Momentum builds throughout the work, thanks to the excellent musicianship of choir, conductor, instrumentalists and soloists alike.

The choir’s responsiveness, the Britten Sinfonia’s airy ensemble, the fluidity of Layton’s tempos and the musical imagination of the soloists deftly nuance a score forged from Messiah’s 1750 version and some later variants.

 

 

Modern instruments are made to sound like period instruments, with the players adopting a Baroque clarity, nimbleness and ingenuity of extemporisation. Gorgeous instrumental solos abound.

Violinist Jacqueline Shave’s obbligato lines are particularly delightful, delivered with such sweet vulnerability to make the same passages on rival discs seem clunky.

Similarly, while larger than the choirs Handel directed, Polyphony retains the transparency needed to portray Handel’s elaborate counterpoint, which culminates in the final ‘Amen’. This Messiah not only captures the heart, but ravishes the ear.

 

Three more great recordings…   

René Jacobs (conductor)
Kerstin Avemo, Patricia Bardon, Lawrence Zazzo, Kobie van Rensburg, Neal Davies; Choir of Clare College, Cambridge, Freiburger Barockorchester (2006)
Harmonia Mundi HMC 901928

Virtuosity makes this performance sizzle. This is the ‘Guadagni’ version of Messiah, adapted by Handel in 1750 to showcase that celebrated alto castrato, but here everyone is a star. The band’s sharp attacks transform familiar numbers, such as ‘Why do the Nations’ and ‘But who may abide’, into show-stoppers.

Countertenor Lawrence Zazzo inhabits Guadagni’s parts with utter conviction, while René Jacobs extracts from the Choir of Clare College an uncharacteristic flamboyance, particularlyin the ‘Hallelujah’ chorus, where stark contrasts abound.

https://open.spotify.com/embed/album/3zkSkB9igJcUCEUwFMpfZh

 

 

John Butt (conductor)
Susan Hamilton, Annie Gill, Clare Wilkinson, Nicholas Mulroy, Matthew Brook, Edward Caswell; The Dunedin Consort & Players (2006)
Linn CKD 285 

The Dunedin Consort and Players strike out daringly from the beaten path in this recording of Handel’s very first Messiah (from Dublin in 1742).

The skeleton forces of just 13 vocalists and a neat 17-member band facilitate a nimbleness and responsiveness unique among Messiah recordings, and indeed, the choruses are surprisingly robust. Highly original are both the continuo realisation (with John Butt at the harpsichord) and the ‘Pifa’ or ‘Pastoral Symphony’ section’s dreamy atmosphere.

The vocal ensemble deftly teases out Messiah’s various moods, and they possess an impressive freshness throughout the recording, although it has to be said that the soloists sometimes disappoint.

 

 

William Christie (conductor)
Barbara Schlick, Sandrine Piau, Andreas Scholl, Mark Padmore, Nathan Berg;
Les Arts Florissants (1994)
Harmonia Mundi HMG 501498.99

For quality of soloists, this disc ranks top dog: Andreas Scholl, Sandrine Piau, Nathan Berg and a young Mark Padmore are exquisite. Padmore’s opening recitative arioso uses silence more eloquently than any other recording I’ve heard, while the limpid beauty of Scholl’s countertenor voice, combined with the subtlety of his interpretation, makes the simplest melodies the most eloquent.

That conductor William Christie applies snappy French dotted rhythms to Handel’s score serves to illuminate gestures such as the sarabande lilt in ‘Behold the Lamb of God’, but his overall coolness undermines the choir, whose dramatic voice is sadly left largely unrealised.

https://open.spotify.com/embed/album/46krbIqCNotINhKy7sgXxq

 

 

And one to avoid…

There’s something eternal about Thomas Beecham’s overscored recording with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus – and not in a good way.

It just seems to go on forever. Tempos are drearily slow, instrumental playing rhythmically slack and often plain out of tune, and dynamics about as subtle as auntie at Christmas after one too many sherries.

And as for the singing – you’re either subjected to histrionic soloists or lumbering chorus. More mess than Messiah.

 

This article first appeared in the Christmas 2013 issue of BBC Music Magazine

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