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Having been dissapointed time and again by slow, overblown, durgy or football crowd renditions i finally sought out the CD version of this masterpeice again.
What joy! Such a lively flowing fresh performance unmatched by any other I've heard. If you're tired of ponderous, brash hollywood cast of thousands versions of this masterpiece, tell your family NOT to buy you yet another budget priced recording - hang the expense- this is the CD for you.
This is performed on "original instruments" and therefore is as pure as it's going to get. But whether you're a purist or just a happy appreciator (like me), this is the most wonderful, most glorious rendering of this piece of music!
The day we got these two CDs we dedicated the day to listening to it as a family with pauses after each of the three sections. I typed up copies of the words for everyone, we turned the speakers up and it was almost like being there in concert. Everyone now has a great appreciation for both the music and the words.
Just glorious music!
It's a remarkable success, and it makes Handel's achievement all the clearer. The vocal performances are very good, and Kirkby's subsequent fame owes a lot to her performance here. But it's not an Emma Kirkby CD, it's Handel's Messiah, and focussing on her at the cost of the other artists is just not appropriate.
If you don't know this version, do take my word for it - it's incredible. A must!