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Handel: Messiah
Les Arts Florissants and William Christie
Harmonia Mundi
Catalogue Number
Release Date
November 29, 2019

‘Perhaps no one has ever asserted so forcefully the victory of the spirit over death; no one has ever spoken with such firm tenderness of acceptance and gentleness. Handel’s message is addressed to mankind oppressed by the sorrows and complications of life. Everyone can understand it: it is simple, and it is written for everyone. Sometimes this simplicity is thrown back at him as a reproach; but it is the very core of his strength, permitting him to be listened to and loved by people who never attend a concert. Which should be every composer’s ambition’. (J.-F. Labie)

“Personne peut-être n'a affirmé avec autant de force la victoire de l'esprit sur la mort ; personne n'a parlé avec autant de tendre fermeté de l'acceptation et de la douceur. Le message de Haendel s'adresse aux hommes accablés par la douleur et par les complications de la vie. Tout le monde peut le comprendre : il est simple et il est écrit pour tout le monde. On lui reproche parfois cette simplicité ; elle est le cœur même de sa force, lui permettant d'être entendu et aimé par ceux qui ne vont jamais au concert. Ce qui devrait être l'ambition de tout musicien.” (J.-F. Labie)

  1. 1 Messiah, HWV 56, Part I: Sinfonia 2:59
  2. 2 Messiah, HWV 56, Part I: "Comfort ye, saith your God" (tenor) 3:11
  3. 3 Messiah, HWV 56, Part I: "Every valley shall be exalted" (tenor) 3:20
  4. 4 Messiah, HWV 56, Part I: "And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed" 2:42
  5. 5 Messiah, HWV 56, Part I: "Thus saith the Lord of Hosts" (bass) 1:40
  6. 6 Messiah, HWV 56, Part I: "But who may abide the day of His coming?" (alto) 4:38
  7. 7 Messiah, HWV 56, Part I: "And He shall purify the sons of Levi" 2:17
  8. 8 Messiah, HWV 56, Part I: "Behold, a virgin shall conceive" (alto) - "O thou that tellest good tidings to Zion" (alto) 6:01
  9. 9 Messiah, HWV 56, Part I: "For behold, darkness shall cover the earth" (bass) - "The people that walked in darkness" (bass) 5:46
  10. 10 Messiah, HWV 56, Part I: "For unto us a child is born" 3:45
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Les Arts Florissants and William Christie

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