The National Choir of Lyon and the Auvergne Orchestra under conductor Jean-Jacques Kantorow present Handel's biblical telling of the life of Jesus Christ in Messiah. This magnificent work is performed in the prestigious se... more »tting of the Abbey of La Chaise Dieu, a superb architectural landmark in the Auvergne Hills of central France. 140 minutes. National Choir of Lyon, Auvergne Orchestra, Jean-Jacques Kantorow conducting. Soloists: Veronique Dietschy (soprano), Eliane Tantcheff (soprano), Alexander Laiter (tenor), Thomas Thomaschke (bass).« less
"This is the Mozart's setting of the Handel's work, but there is no mention on the jacket notes. This is misleading to buyers. Overall, either the performance or the audio recording are acceptable, but here the problem is the video direction. Clearly, director Georges Bessonnet had no idea of what he was shooting: never his cameras are ready for soloists or choir or instrument entries. So you can hear the sopranos singing while you are watching the basses silent, or you can see the flutes not playing while the mezzo is singing, and so on. This is frustrating and irritating and soon it makes you want to watch or listen to someting else. A disappointing experience."
A 'realistic' production!
Gene Bitner | Amarillo, TX United States | 03/01/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This was my first DVD and I do not regret my choice. To those who thought the direction not the best, I would say-- in 140 minutes of TV production, a few imperfect shots should be expected. As in all video productions of music performance, you see MUCH more than anyone there in the live audience could have seen. That is another thing I liked about this DVD-- it was a "live audience performance"-- little chance to have it "re-manufactured" in an engineering studio! All four soloists were good-- refreshing to hear someone not on the charts! My only negative comments-- the close-up cameramen 'panned' much too quickly at times, and the DVD case could have been of better design and construction."
A New Face for the Messiah
William H. DuBay | Costa Mesa, CA United States | 02/02/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Beggars cannot be choosers. The first DVD production of Handel's Messiah packaged by Image Entertainment may not be premium production, but it goes a long way in bringing the Messiah to life brilliantly. The visual performance not only enhances the sublime melodies, it also highlights the skill, effort, and enthusiasm that goes into making this beautiful piece."
Version W.A. Mozart of Handel's Messiah, but all right
William H. DuBay | 11/01/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is, as another reviewer said, Mozart's arrangment of Handel's Messiah. When I ordered it. I did not know that such a thing existed and did not take this seriously enough until I received it and saw it in the opening credits. In spite of the fact that (by now a long time ago), I spent the last two years of secondary school in Switzerland where I did reasonably well and lived, during that period of time, in South America, and that I had non-American as well as non-English speaking friends in both places, I am Anglophile enough about the things that I am Anglophile about--and Handel's Messiah is one of them--so that I do not want to see it tampered with, even in English, even by Mozart. Since this is my only recording of it at the present time, I did not appreciate the fact that "Version W.A. Mozart" is what this turned out to be when I first played it. What this means, among other things, is that an aria has been cut and other changes have been made. It is also true that I do not know Handel's original work in full so well that I am, at the present time, capable of perceiving all of the differences between it and this one, or I would probably enjoy this one less than I do, since I do love Handel's Messiah and was not/ am not looking for any kind of different recording, or even experience, of it. So. as a first or, only, recording I do not recommend this one for those reasons. However, I do think that if this isn't or isn't going to be your only recording of The Messiah ( I have decided to get the Gardiner CD within a month or so), it is nevertheless worth having because it is the only DVD that I know of of it that is available, and although it's not perfect, there's a lot to appreciate about it including the experience of not just listening to the performance, but being able to watch it on the screen. Furthermore, I really haven't found very much at all to complain about as to the direction/camera work, which I think on the whole was actually rather nice. I certainly haven't found anything at all about that that was so alienating that I didn't want to continue both watching and listening--and yes: at the same time. On the contrary, as a matter of fact. And on the whole everyone involved has done a good job with this basically beautiful work. My one crticism aside from the fact that it's not entirely Handel's original version, is that Elaine Tantcheff, the mezzo, doesn't have a strong enough voice. It's not that she can't be heard above the orchestra--she can be--but it's just not enough. When she is singing, and only when she is singing, I want to turn the volume up, which can't be done in the case of this DVD (and it's the only one I have like this), because the volume is arleady turned up as far as it will go, which is entirely adequate for everyone else but her. Also, although it would be sufficient to say that her diction could be better, my experience of this/her is such that I want to decribe it in the words I experience it in: I want to complain that she is mumbling when she is singing. Other that that, I have no other complaints, and what is beautiful about the orginal work still comes through in large part in this version and these performances, although I do wish that they had chosen to perform and record not Mozart's version, but Handel's entirely, because in the case of this work, it is what Handel wrote that is so loved by many people, including me."
"He was despiséd..."
William H. DuBay | 01/25/2001
(3 out of 5 stars)
"There's really nothing wrong with this presentation of 'Messiah'; it's just not particularly interesting. The chorus and orchestra are large and unfocused. The visuals are dull. The bass needs instruction in English pronunciation. One can see equally good live performances in almost any city in the US and western Europe. One would be better off with a CD or the DVD of Stephen Cleobury and the King's College Choir."