4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
As Good as it Gets
, 8 Oct. 2012
This review is from: Mendelssohn: Elijah, 1846 [Gabrieli Consort & Players/Paul McCreesh] (Audio CD)
Even if you don't know the story of the Oratorio, you know from the first words that Ahab and Israel are in for a bumpy ride. On many oratorio recordings it is difficult to imagine what are the forces; here there is no question. This is big, and you can hear it. Of course, to tell Elijah's story requires a big cast and lots can go wrong when something like this is attempted; here however, it's as good as it gets. In addition to first rate soloists, and I haven't heard a better Elijah than Simon Keenlyside in fifty years, the choral singing is disciplined, and in the quieter moments even sublime. At times Mendelssohn has the chorus narrating, and singers will immediately recognize how these difficult to manage unison moments come off just as they should. The engineers have acheived a right balance between choral and orchestral forces, never forgetting that the story and the text come first. I now have four "Elijah's" in my library, including one in which I was a chorus member; this is the best of the bunch. The icing on the cake is the Amazon pricing. It is always a bargain when you get the best at a good price, and here is one more time when it's about as good as it gets. The whole thing is enhanced by a package that includes a small hardbound book in both English and Polish with photos of rehearsals and recording sessions.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews
Was this review helpful to you?