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Le Concert Spirituel - Handel: Messiah, HWV 56 (1754)

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Handel: Messiah, HWV 56 (1754)

Le Concert Spirituel, Hervé Niquet

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Why record yet another of Handel’s Messiah, asks Hervé Niquet, when the market is already flooded by over a hundred different references? And he answers that he went through the different scores that exist and decided on the very interesting 1754 version which features five soloists instead of the usual four, devised for the annual Messiah production at London’s Foundling Hospital. It must be remembered that, when Handel arrived somewhere to perform his oratorio, he had soloists of varying standards available to him. So he would quickly revise his score accordingly to produce a new version form of his Messiah. When examining the various rewritings that resulted, one may observe that soprano arias have been transposed for alto, that a bass aria has been reduced to half its length – the singer for that particular production must have been rather weak. All this is directly related to the reality of Handel’s situation as a concert promoter. In those days, to earn a living from his music, a composer – royalties did not exist yet, and publishers would recklessly pillage scores without bothering to refer to the composer – had to get his works performed and make a profit on the box office. The idea of not retouching a work to avoid ‘spoiling’ or ‘distorting’ it is a much more modern one. There must be around a dozen versions of Messiah, most by Handel himself, others rewritten later – by Mozart for one of them. The 1754 version is rarely performed because it calls for five soloists: two sopranos, alto, tenor and bass. The listener of this new recording will thus be sent back over 250 years ago in London’s Foundling Hospital. © SM/Qobuz

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Handel: Messiah, HWV 56 (1754)

Le Concert Spirituel

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1
Messiah, HWV 56, Pt. I: No. 1, Sinfonia
00:02:41

Le Concert Spirituel, Performer - Hervé Niquet, Performer - George Frideric Handel, Composer

2017 Alpha Classics / Outhere Music France 2016 Le Concert Spirituel & Alpha Classics / Outhere Music France

2
Messiah, HWV 56, Pt. I: No. 2, Accompagnato "Comfort Ye, My People"
00:02:17

Le Concert Spirituel, Performer - Hervé Niquet, Performer - Rupert Charlesworth, Performer - George Frideric Handel, Composer

2017 Alpha Classics / Outhere Music France 2016 Le Concert Spirituel & Alpha Classics / Outhere Music France

3
Messiah, HWV 56, Pt. I: No. 3, Air "Every Valley Shall Be Exalted"
00:03:11

Le Concert Spirituel, Performer - Hervé Niquet, Performer - Rupert Charlesworth, Performer - George Frideric Handel, Composer

2017 Alpha Classics / Outhere Music France 2016 Le Concert Spirituel & Alpha Classics / Outhere Music France

4
Messiah, HWV 56, Pt. I: No. 4, Chorus "And the Glory of the Lord"
00:02:18

Le Concert Spirituel, Performer - Hervé Niquet, Performer - George Frideric Handel, Composer

2017 Alpha Classics / Outhere Music France 2016 Le Concert Spirituel & Alpha Classics / Outhere Music France

5
Messiah, HWV 56, Pt. I: No. 5, Accompagnato "Thus Saith the Lord of Hosts"
00:01:15

Le Concert Spirituel, Performer - Hervé Niquet, Performer - Andreas Wolf, Performer - George Frideric Handel, Composer

2017 Alpha Classics / Outhere Music France 2016 Le Concert Spirituel & Alpha Classics / Outhere Music France

6
Messiah, HWV 56, Pt. I: No. 6, Air "But Who May Abide"
00:04:01

Le Concert Spirituel, Performer - Hervé Niquet, Performer - Sandrine Piau, Performer - George Frideric Handel, Composer

2017 Alpha Classics / Outhere Music France 2016 Le Concert Spirituel & Alpha Classics / Outhere Music France

7
Messiah, HWV 56, Pt. I: No. 7, Chorus "And He Shall Purify" & No. 8, Recitative "Behold, a Virgin Shall Conceive"
00:02:38

Le Concert Spirituel, Performer - Hervé Niquet, Performer - Anthea Pichanick, Performer - George Frideric Handel, Composer

2017 Alpha Classics / Outhere Music France 2016 Le Concert Spirituel & Alpha Classics / Outhere Music France

8
Messiah, HWV 56, Pt. I: No. 9, Air & Chorus "O Thou That Tellest"
00:05:10

Le Concert Spirituel, Performer - Hervé Niquet, Performer - Anthea Pichanick, Performer - George Frideric Handel, Composer

2017 Alpha Classics / Outhere Music France 2016 Le Concert Spirituel & Alpha Classics / Outhere Music France

9
Messiah, HWV 56, Pt. I: No. 10, Recitative "For Behold"
00:01:35

Le Concert Spirituel, Performer - Hervé Niquet, Performer - Andreas Wolf, Performer - George Frideric Handel, Composer

2017 Alpha Classics / Outhere Music France 2016 Le Concert Spirituel & Alpha Classics / Outhere Music France

10
Messiah, HWV 56, Pt. I: No. 11, Air "The People That Worked"
00:02:51

Le Concert Spirituel, Performer - Hervé Niquet, Performer - Andreas Wolf, Performer - George Frideric Handel, Composer

2017 Alpha Classics / Outhere Music France 2016 Le Concert Spirituel & Alpha Classics / Outhere Music France

11
Messiah, HWV 56, Pt. I: No. 12, Chorus "For Unto Us a Child Is Born"
00:03:54

Le Concert Spirituel, Performer - Hervé Niquet, Performer - George Frideric Handel, Composer

2017 Alpha Classics / Outhere Music France 2016 Le Concert Spirituel & Alpha Classics / Outhere Music France

12
Messiah, HWV 56, Pt. I: No. 13, Pipa & No. 14, Recitative "There Were Shepherds"
00:00:49

Le Concert Spirituel, Performer - Hervé Niquet, Performer - Katherine Watson, Performer - George Frideric Handel, Composer

2017 Alpha Classics / Outhere Music France 2016 Le Concert Spirituel & Alpha Classics / Outhere Music France

13
Messiah, HWV 56, Pt. I: No. 14B, Recitative "And Io, the Angel of the Lord" & No. 15, Recitative "And the Angel Said Unto Them"
00:00:47

Le Concert Spirituel, Performer - Hervé Niquet, Performer - Katherine Watson, Performer - George Frideric Handel, Composer

2017 Alpha Classics / Outhere Music France 2016 Le Concert Spirituel & Alpha Classics / Outhere Music France

14
Messiah, HWV 56, Pt. I: No. 16, Recitative & Accompagnato "And Suddenly"
00:00:17

Le Concert Spirituel, Performer - Hervé Niquet, Performer - Katherine Watson, Performer - George Frideric Handel, Composer

2017 Alpha Classics / Outhere Music France 2016 Le Concert Spirituel & Alpha Classics / Outhere Music France

15
Messiah, HWV 56, Pt. I: No. 17, Chorus "Glory to God in the Highest"
00:02:01

Le Concert Spirituel, Performer - Hervé Niquet, Performer - George Frideric Handel, Composer

2017 Alpha Classics / Outhere Music France 2016 Le Concert Spirituel & Alpha Classics / Outhere Music France

16
Messiah, HWV 56, Pt. I: No. 18, Air "Rejoice Greatly" & No. 19, Recitative "Then Shall the Eyes of the Blind"
00:04:27

Le Concert Spirituel, Performer - Hervé Niquet, Performer - Katherine Watson, Performer - George Frideric Handel, Composer

2017 Alpha Classics / Outhere Music France 2016 Le Concert Spirituel & Alpha Classics / Outhere Music France

17
Messiah, HWV 56, Pt. I: No. 20, Air "He Shall Feed His Flock"
00:03:51

Le Concert Spirituel, Performer - Hervé Niquet, Performer - Sandrine Piau, Performer - Katherine Watson, Performer - George Frideric Handel, Composer

2017 Alpha Classics / Outhere Music France 2016 Le Concert Spirituel & Alpha Classics / Outhere Music France

18
Messiah, HWV 56, Pt. I: No. 21, Chorus "His Yoke Is Easy"
00:02:26

Le Concert Spirituel, Performer - Hervé Niquet, Performer - George Frideric Handel, Composer

2017 Alpha Classics / Outhere Music France 2016 Le Concert Spirituel & Alpha Classics / Outhere Music France

DISC 2

1
Messiah, HWV 56, Pt. II: No. 22, Chorus "Behold the Lamb of God"
00:02:01

Le Concert Spirituel, Performer - Hervé Niquet, Performer - George Frideric Handel, Composer

2017 Alpha Classics / Outhere Music France 2016 Le Concert Spirituel & Alpha Classics / Outhere Music France

2
Messiah, HWV 56, Pt. II: No. 23, Air "He Was Despised"
00:07:22

Le Concert Spirituel, Performer - Hervé Niquet, Performer - Anthea Pichanick, Performer - George Frideric Handel, Composer

2017 Alpha Classics / Outhere Music France 2016 Le Concert Spirituel & Alpha Classics / Outhere Music France

3
Messiah, HWV 56, Pt. II: No. 24, Chorus "Surely He Hath Borne Our Griefs"
00:01:25

Le Concert Spirituel, Performer - Hervé Niquet, Performer - George Frideric Handel, Composer

2017 Alpha Classics / Outhere Music France 2016 Le Concert Spirituel & Alpha Classics / Outhere Music France

4
Messiah, HWV 56, Pt. II: No. 25, Chorus "And With His Stripes"
00:01:42

Le Concert Spirituel, Performer - Hervé Niquet, Performer - George Frideric Handel, Composer

2017 Alpha Classics / Outhere Music France 2016 Le Concert Spirituel & Alpha Classics / Outhere Music France

5
Messiah, HWV 56, Pt. II: No. 26, Chorus "All We Like Sheep"
00:03:26

Le Concert Spirituel, Performer - Hervé Niquet, Performer - George Frideric Handel, Composer

2017 Alpha Classics / Outhere Music France 2016 Le Concert Spirituel & Alpha Classics / Outhere Music France

6
Messiah, HWV 56, Pt. II: No. 27, Recitative & Accompagnato "All They That See Him"
00:00:34

Le Concert Spirituel, Performer - Hervé Niquet, Performer - Rupert Charlesworth, Performer - George Frideric Handel, Composer

2017 Alpha Classics / Outhere Music France 2016 Le Concert Spirituel & Alpha Classics / Outhere Music France

7
Messiah, HWV 56, Pt. II: No. 28, Chorus "He Trusted in God"
00:01:52

Le Concert Spirituel, Performer - Hervé Niquet, Performer - George Frideric Handel, Composer

2017 Alpha Classics / Outhere Music France 2016 Le Concert Spirituel & Alpha Classics / Outhere Music France

8
Messiah, HWV 56, Pt. II: No. 29, Recitative "They Rebuke Hath Broken His Heart"
00:01:05

Le Concert Spirituel, Performer - Hervé Niquet, Performer - Rupert Charlesworth, Performer - George Frideric Handel, Composer

2017 Alpha Classics / Outhere Music France 2016 Le Concert Spirituel & Alpha Classics / Outhere Music France

9
Messiah, HWV 56, Pt. II: No. 30, Air "Behold, and See"
00:01:07

Le Concert Spirituel, Performer - Hervé Niquet, Performer - Rupert Charlesworth, Performer - George Frideric Handel, Composer

2017 Alpha Classics / Outhere Music France 2016 Le Concert Spirituel & Alpha Classics / Outhere Music France

10
Messiah, HWV 56, Pt. II: No. 31, Recitative "He Was Cut off Out"
00:00:14

Le Concert Spirituel, Performer - Hervé Niquet, Performer - Katherine Watson, Performer - George Frideric Handel, Composer

2017 Alpha Classics / Outhere Music France 2016 Le Concert Spirituel & Alpha Classics / Outhere Music France

11
Messiah, HWV 56, Pt. II: No. 32, Air "But Thou Didst Not Leave His Soul in Hell"
00:02:10

Le Concert Spirituel, Performer - Hervé Niquet, Performer - Katherine Watson, Performer - George Frideric Handel, Composer

2017 Alpha Classics / Outhere Music France 2016 Le Concert Spirituel & Alpha Classics / Outhere Music France

12
Messiah, HWV 56, Pt. II: No. 33, Chorus "Lift up Your Heads" & No. 34, Recitative "Unto Which of the Angels"
00:03:09

Le Concert Spirituel, Performer - Hervé Niquet, Performer - Rupert Charlesworth, Performer - George Frideric Handel, Composer

2017 Alpha Classics / Outhere Music France 2016 Le Concert Spirituel & Alpha Classics / Outhere Music France

13
Messiah, HWV 56, Pt. II: No. 35, Chorus "Let All the Angels of God"
00:01:28

Le Concert Spirituel, Performer - Hervé Niquet, Performer - George Frideric Handel, Composer

2017 Alpha Classics / Outhere Music France 2016 Le Concert Spirituel & Alpha Classics / Outhere Music France

14
Messiah, HWV 56, Pt. II: No. 36, Air "Thou Art Gone up on High"
00:02:54

Le Concert Spirituel, Performer - Hervé Niquet, Performer - Katherine Watson, Performer - George Frideric Handel, Composer

2017 Alpha Classics / Outhere Music France 2016 Le Concert Spirituel & Alpha Classics / Outhere Music France

15
Messiah, HWV 56, Pt. II: No. 37, Chorus "The Lord Gave the Word"
00:01:11

Le Concert Spirituel, Performer - Hervé Niquet, Performer - George Frideric Handel, Composer

2017 Alpha Classics / Outhere Music France 2016 Le Concert Spirituel & Alpha Classics / Outhere Music France

16
Messiah, HWV 56, Pt. II: No. 38, Air "How Beautiful Are the Feet"
00:02:02

Le Concert Spirituel, Performer - Hervé Niquet, Performer - Sandrine Piau, Performer - George Frideric Handel, Composer

2017 Alpha Classics / Outhere Music France 2016 Le Concert Spirituel & Alpha Classics / Outhere Music France

17
Messiah, HWV 56, Pt. II: No. 39, Chorus "Their Sound Is Gone Out"
00:01:10

Le Concert Spirituel, Performer - Hervé Niquet, Performer - George Frideric Handel, Composer

2017 Alpha Classics / Outhere Music France 2016 Le Concert Spirituel & Alpha Classics / Outhere Music France

18
Messiah, HWV 56, Pt. II: No. 40, Air "Why Do the Nations"
00:01:17

Le Concert Spirituel, Performer - Hervé Niquet, Performer - Andreas Wolf, Performer - George Frideric Handel, Composer

2017 Alpha Classics / Outhere Music France 2016 Le Concert Spirituel & Alpha Classics / Outhere Music France

19
Messiah, HWV 56, Pt. II: No. 41, Chorus "Let Us Break Their Bonds Asunder" & No. 42, Recitative "He That Dwelleth in Heaven"
00:01:45

Le Concert Spirituel, Performer - Hervé Niquet, Performer - Rupert Charlesworth, Performer - George Frideric Handel, Composer

2017 Alpha Classics / Outhere Music France 2016 Le Concert Spirituel & Alpha Classics / Outhere Music France

20
Messiah, HWV 56, Pt. II: No. 43, Air "Thou Shalt Break Them"
00:01:50

Le Concert Spirituel, Performer - Hervé Niquet, Performer - Rupert Charlesworth, Performer - George Frideric Handel, Composer

2017 Alpha Classics / Outhere Music France 2016 Le Concert Spirituel & Alpha Classics / Outhere Music France

21
Messiah, HWV 56, Pt. II: No. 44, Chorus "Hallelujah"
00:03:14

Le Concert Spirituel, Performer - Hervé Niquet, Performer - George Frideric Handel, Composer

2017 Alpha Classics / Outhere Music France 2016 Le Concert Spirituel & Alpha Classics / Outhere Music France

22
Messiah, HWV 56, Pt. III: No. 45, Air "I Know That My Redeemer Liveth"
00:05:06

Le Concert Spirituel, Performer - Hervé Niquet, Performer - Sandrine Piau, Performer - George Frideric Handel, Composer

2017 Alpha Classics / Outhere Music France 2016 Le Concert Spirituel & Alpha Classics / Outhere Music France

23
Messiah, HWV 56, Pt. III: No. 46, Chorus "Since by Man Came Death"
00:01:45

Le Concert Spirituel, Performer - Hervé Niquet, Performer - George Frideric Handel, Composer

2017 Alpha Classics / Outhere Music France 2016 Le Concert Spirituel & Alpha Classics / Outhere Music France

24
Messiah, HWV 56, Pt. III: No. 47, Recitative "Behold, I Tell You a Mystery"
00:00:24

Le Concert Spirituel, Performer - Hervé Niquet, Performer - Andreas Wolf, Performer - George Frideric Handel, Composer

2017 Alpha Classics / Outhere Music France 2016 Le Concert Spirituel & Alpha Classics / Outhere Music France

25
Messiah, HWV 56, Pt. III: No. 48, Air "The Trumpet Shall Sound" & No. 49, Recitative "Then Shall Be Brought to Pass"
00:03:58

Le Concert Spirituel, Performer - Hervé Niquet, Performer - Andreas Wolf, Performer - Anthea Pichanick, Performer - George Frideric Handel, Composer

2017 Alpha Classics / Outhere Music France 2016 Le Concert Spirituel & Alpha Classics / Outhere Music France

26
Messiah, HWV 56, Pt. III: No. 50, Duet "O Death"
00:01:09

Le Concert Spirituel, Performer - Hervé Niquet, Performer - Anthea Pichanick, Performer - Rupert Charlesworth, Performer - George Frideric Handel, Composer

2017 Alpha Classics / Outhere Music France 2016 Le Concert Spirituel & Alpha Classics / Outhere Music France

27
Messiah, HWV 56, Pt. III: No. 51, Chorus "But Thanks to Be God"
00:02:39

Le Concert Spirituel, Performer - Hervé Niquet, Performer - George Frideric Handel, Composer

2017 Alpha Classics / Outhere Music France 2016 Le Concert Spirituel & Alpha Classics / Outhere Music France

28
Messiah, HWV 56, Pt. III: No. 52, Air "If God Be for Us"
00:04:19

Le Concert Spirituel, Performer - Hervé Niquet, Performer - Katherine Watson, Performer - George Frideric Handel, Composer

2017 Alpha Classics / Outhere Music France 2016 Le Concert Spirituel & Alpha Classics / Outhere Music France

29
Messiah, HWV 56, Pt. III: No. 53, Chorus "Worthy Is the Lamb"
00:06:31

Le Concert Spirituel, Performer - Hervé Niquet, Performer - George Frideric Handel, Composer

2017 Alpha Classics / Outhere Music France 2016 Le Concert Spirituel & Alpha Classics / Outhere Music France

Album Description

Why record yet another of Handel’s Messiah, asks Hervé Niquet, when the market is already flooded by over a hundred different references? And he answers that he went through the different scores that exist and decided on the very interesting 1754 version which features five soloists instead of the usual four, devised for the annual Messiah production at London’s Foundling Hospital. It must be remembered that, when Handel arrived somewhere to perform his oratorio, he had soloists of varying standards available to him. So he would quickly revise his score accordingly to produce a new version form of his Messiah. When examining the various rewritings that resulted, one may observe that soprano arias have been transposed for alto, that a bass aria has been reduced to half its length – the singer for that particular production must have been rather weak. All this is directly related to the reality of Handel’s situation as a concert promoter. In those days, to earn a living from his music, a composer – royalties did not exist yet, and publishers would recklessly pillage scores without bothering to refer to the composer – had to get his works performed and make a profit on the box office. The idea of not retouching a work to avoid ‘spoiling’ or ‘distorting’ it is a much more modern one. There must be around a dozen versions of Messiah, most by Handel himself, others rewritten later – by Mozart for one of them. The 1754 version is rarely performed because it calls for five soloists: two sopranos, alto, tenor and bass. The listener of this new recording will thus be sent back over 250 years ago in London’s Foundling Hospital. © SM/Qobuz

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