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Handel: Messiah CD

2 customer reviews

Price: £23.45 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
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Product details

  • Performer: Karen Clift, Catherine Robbin, Bruce Fowler, Victor Ledbetter
  • Orchestra: Boston Baroque Chorus, Boston Baroque
  • Conductor: Martin Pearlman
  • Composer: Georg Friederich Handel
  • Audio CD (18 Dec. 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Telarc
  • ASIN: B000003CYY
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 354,141 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Marcolorenzo TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 10 April 2009
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Choral singing is clear, and robust creating a full Baroque architectural sound. Orchestral tempi are sometimes very fast, if not rushed, seemingly for the sake of creating vigour and drama. Soloists are all very good, especially Catherine Robbins (alto) who is splendid (same soloist as in the Gardiner version of 1987). Soloists' ornamentation is sometimes slightly excessive and perhaps even annoying at times. Overall this is a very good version of Handel's corrected Dublin score. Although a very good interpretation, it seems at times to be without a specific emotional character, i.e. it often does not express any clear emotional viewpoint of the work. This is because it takes a monochromatic, lively and happy frolicking interpretation of the entire work with a great and noted absence of any dark emotional contrast. In this sense it seems a bit clinical, (all white) and perhaps overly ornamented at the same time. It is similar at times in feeling to the composite Gardiner version but with a better Bass/baritone, without the boy angel, without a countertenor, and since it is the Dublin version with 1 soprano. ClassicsToday considers this a reference recording, along with the Christie version on Harmonia Mundi. Recommended. Haendel: Messiah
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
it is a very beautiful version and reminds me a bit of the old version I had which was St Martin in the Fields. I prefer the baroque instruments, which this has.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 30 reviews
64 of 66 people found the following review helpful
Hallelujah! - The Recording to Have. 16 Jun. 2002
By D. Seymour - Published on
Format: Audio CD
If I could own only one version of the Messiah, this would be it! Other copies I own emphasize either lyricism and spirituality or pomp and grandeur. But only with Pearlman and the Boston Baroque does Handel's masterpiece POP! The period instruments are feather light and the period tempi are lightning quick. The chorus is small & intimate but precise and powerful. They deliver the most tender 'And He shall purify' which culminates in perfect jubilation. The soloists are stellar! The soprano part can often be a let-down in the Messiah. Not so here. Karen Clift, as Anna Russell would say, has a pure, clear blue, nymphs and shepherds tone that floats through her solos like a silver lining. I cannot say enough about mezzo-soprano, Catherine Robbin, who possesses a fascinating (dare I say) coloratura technique that fixes me every time I hear her. Tenor, Bruce Fowler is magnificently effortless. Victor Ledbetter brings his equally irresistible, ringing baritone into play to round out the perfect cast. The success of this recording, above all else, is the blend. The orchestra, chorus and soloists are balanced seamlessly. You have aural access to everyone as if they were performing in your own living room. The chamber proportions have an intensity that larger, modern ensembles simply cannot match. The Messiah's intricate beauty is never lost in the shuffle or masked by the chorus. This recording is a unified whole: delicate, satisfying, fun and damn near incredible. Handel would be proud!
67 of 70 people found the following review helpful
performed with a freshness and vitality that is unmatched 30 Mar. 1999
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Audio CD
It is no wonder that Classic CD, the definitive English publication, rated this recording the best of all -- yes, all -- the recordings of the Messiah. The clarity of tone, the vibrancy and vitality of the orchestra, the superb chorus (something for which Boston Baroque is particularly known), and the outstanding soloists make this a recording that is unmatched. When it was released, it was nominated for a Grammy as the best choral work of the year, as was Boston Baroque's recent recording of Monteverdi's Vespers.
37 of 38 people found the following review helpful
THE Messiah 26 Dec. 2002
By Joanna Daneman - Published on
Format: Audio CD
Yes, it is "Messiah", not "The Messiah" that is the title of this great work of music. But this recording is "the" Messiah recording to have. Hands down.
I think I've sung this work in various choirs over 20 times. And I have had many recordings, Baroque-style, full orchestral, you name it. But this recording is still my favorite. In particular, the "Air: He shall feed His flock like a shepherd" sung by both Clift and mezzo Catherine Robbin was what decided me that this was THE one.
There is no sample here of that section of the work so you will have to trust me on this one; if you love "Messiah" this is one recording that does it full justice.
24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
Best Recording of 5 Oct. 2002
By Walter Fekula - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Several weeks ago attended a concert in which Karen Clift sang beautifully. I immediately fell in love with her and her creamy, luscious coloratura, lyric soprano voice. When I got home, I punched in "Clift" into Amazon and this recording popped up. What a sensational recording. Miss Clift is superb. The other soloists:Catherine Robbin, Bruce Fowler and Victor Ledbetter are also excellent. The Boston Baroque Orchestra & Chorus, under the Direction of Martin Pearlman plays and sings splendidly. A wonderful performance all around. A very well-balanced recording. Hats off to Telarc. I have other "Messiah" recordings. None measure up to this one.
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
This Deserves Six Stars 30 Nov. 2003
By Teop Tnomrev - Published on
Format: Audio CD
How to communicate what makes this the best of all recordings?
This is the most "song-like" of any of the available perfermances. Where other performances present this work as an ORATORIO [Yes, all capital], with abdominally operatic fervor, with soloists belting out their hosanas (which has its place I suppose), this is the performance that captures the lilting, song-like, innocently joyful qualities of this great work. The sound is clear (thanks to superb mic placement) and the playing is lucid without being strident. All in all, Pearlman brings out a song-like lightness to this oratorio that makes it glow & sparkle. Indeed, Pearlman, in his liner notes, stresses that this was partly his aim--an attempt to capture the speach-like singing which he believes was more typical of Handel's era.
One can disagree with whether this is what Handel intended, but then that's a dead-end question in certain ways... though it's fun to speculate. Handel was a showman and liked nothing more than to please the crowd and line his purse with the praise. Nothing wrong in this. If he were alive today, he would probably make a bee-line for the Morman Tabernacle choir. In his own day, reports have it that when Handel could really get his way, his choruses were huge and his orchrestras loud and many.
Pearlman's forces are not huge. I'll take Pearlman's Handel.
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