Bach Choir / David Hill / The English Concert

The People Shall Hear

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This 2009 BIS disc, The People Shall Hear!, a collection of great choruses by George Frederick Handel, is good as far as it goes, which, unfortunately, is not very far. The selection is excellent, with all the big hits present: "See the Conquering Hero Comes," Zadok the Priest, "The Many Rend the Skies," and, of course, Hallelujah. The super audio sound is thrilling, with clarion highs, abysmal lows, and all the presence of a Mack truck. But the performances themselves are only so-so. David Hill, a skilled choral conductor, and the Bach Choir, a seasoned English chorus, clearly know the works, but that familiarity seems to have inspired, if not quite contempt, then at least indifference. All the notes are here, and all concerned, including the accompanying English Concert, seem to want to do well by the music, but it sounds curiously lacking in enthusiasm and energy, and the performances come off as routine.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
Israel in Egypt, HWV 54
1 6:23
Alexander's Feast, HWV 75
2 4:18
L'Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato, HWV 55
3 3:51
4 5:15
Samson, HWV 57
5 3:21
6 3:10
7 2:56
Belshazzar, HWV 61
8 3:06
Athalia, HWV 52
9 5:34
Hercules, HWV 60
10 5:29
Joshua, HWV 64
11 2:50
Judas Maccabaeus, HWV 63
12 3:10
Solomon, HWV 67
13 3:29
Theodora, HWV 68
14 4:01
Messiah, HWV 56
15 4:01
blue highlight denotes track pick