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Handel: Messiah
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Price:£14.98

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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 2 October 2006
This 1991 recording of Handel's Messiah was one of the very first projects by Richard Hickox and Collegium Musicum 90 (which he co-founded with Simon Standage). This winning partnership has since produced superb recordings of the complete Haydn Masses, 3 discs of Hummel Masses to date and a wonderful version of Beethoven's neglected Mass in C, all for Chandos.

There are so many things which strike me as outstanding about this recording of Messiah. Every time I hear it I am immediately impressed by the way the soloists declaim the text to the listener; always so important in this work. In particular, Philip Langridge and Bryn Terfel both lend particular dramatic projection to the words and I cannot recall anyone who outshines them on disc. Terfel brings wonderful fire to all of the bass arias. All of the soloists are impressive.

The singing of the choir is a constant joy - you can hear every word and they are marvellously agile and disciplined in the faster choruses. Similarly, the period-instrument band, led by Simon Standage, is consistently first rate, beautifully tuned and sweet toned. Hickox's tempi always seem to be unerringly judged, with rhythms nicely sprung. The finely-balanced Chandos recording has both immediacy and atmosphere in equal measure. I can confidently recommend Hickox's recording of Messiah alongside the celebrated versions of Trevor Pinnock and Paul McCreesh, amongst several others.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 22 May 2006
This is a superb Messiah conducted by Richard Hickox.

Middle of the road, sensitive smooth and detailed, not unlike Pinnock's (also superb, not entirely surprising considering its extremely similar English orchestral and choral forces), with breathtaking choral climaxes and wonderfully subtle genuine artistry from the soloists, less romanticised than pinnock instead with a more classical composure. One of the very best, with a top-notch DDD recording.
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