81 of 82 people found the following review helpful
Beautiful, but different,
By A Customer
This review is from: Handel: Messiah (Audio CD)
The singers in this recording deliver beautiful performances, both the soloists and the chorus - good phrasing, diction, and ensemble singing. However, I didn't realize before buying this CD that, as the liner notes say, "Neville Mariner's recording is based on the first London performance of 1743, and several numbers are markedly different from the more familiar later versions." Some pieces are sung by different voice parts, and others include bars of music that Handel cut or changed later. The most disappointing part for me was "But who may abide," (sung by bass instead of alto) which lacks the prestissimo "refiner's fire" section that most of us are used to (and which I really enjoy!) This would certainly be an excellent historical recording for someone who collects or studies Handel's music - beautifully performed (though some parts seem a bit too fast), and interesting for studying the development of Handel's composition. However, if you're just looking for a familiar Messiah, this isn't the one for you.