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On listening to this version, it's remarkable to think it's a live recording as the performances are remarkably good. The few bits which give it away as a live recording (i.e. the standing up and sitting down of the chorus or the odd throat clear here and there) only add to experience.
While all performers, especially Giannattasio, are impressive, Tarver is the really exceptional stand out with a beautifully crisp clarity of tone. With a luciously full-sounding orchestra and the ever fulfilling choral force of the Edinburgh Festival Chorus (really at their performance peak here, even if the slightly augmented ranks of the tenors throw the balance off slightly) it just merges together into a most enjoyable performance and well worth the money for the beautiful box set.
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