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4.5 out of 5 stars
14
4.5 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio CD|Change
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on 8 September 2017
Top quality performance
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on 3 July 2017
What's not to like
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on 12 December 2009
This is not your usual Messiah. It is the first London version of 1743. Therefore several numbers are markedly different from the more familiar versions usually performed today (i.e. The Foundling Hospital version or Composite versions)and almost incised upon our memories and minds. There are cuts, additions and scorings for different voices. The Bass air no. 6 lacks the alto section. The usual duet no. 20 for Alto and Soprano, ( He shall feed his flock) is here only as an Alto aria, etc. There are many other variations and cuts and additions with respect to the usual presently performed versions. For my tastes the Christie recording (on Harmonia Mundi) is the definitive version (for the soloists)(on period instruments), along with the Parrott/ Taverner choir version on Virgin (for the overall well-balanced and extremely refined interpretation), as well as the Hogwood version (on l'Oiseau Lyre). Also don't overlook the angelic all boys choir Naxos version by Higginbottom or the Boston Baroque jubilant version by Martin Pearlman on Telarc. I would recommended this recording if you are interested in this early version, which is performed beautifully on this recording. Haendel: MessiahHandel: MessiahHandel: MessiahHandel: MessiahHandel - Messiah (1751 version)
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on 5 August 2012
The outstanding thing about this recording is Gwyn Howell, the bass baritone. It's a personal thing but I have never heard such a beautiful bass voice.

However, the chorus is first rate too. Diction is bang on and the sound light and dancing rather than the all too common stodgy mush.

I am very happy with this recording.
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on 27 November 2000
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.
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on 28 July 2009
I love this piece of music and I love this recording - I had it many years ago on vinyl. It's got everything: a fantastic orchestra brilliantly conducted and sparkling soloists - Gwynn Howells bass is rich but precise. The beauty and drama of the music shine. I also have the sixteen's version and I'm sure there are other great recordings but this is my personal favourite.
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on 11 February 2014
A very enjoyable rendition of this very well known piece...who cannot but sing along to it. This recording is fresh and true to all that we hold dear to the soul of this country and The Messiah that will be performed hundreds of time this year alone.
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on 21 January 2014
I've played and sang along to Handel's Messiah with my daughter in the car during the lead-up to Christmas until Epiphany, on Jan 6th. It used to be on a cassette player. This CD does not disappoint; I'm now singing it with my granddaughter at Christmas
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on 8 February 2016
This recording was brought to my attention at the funeral of my friend Graham Langridge the brother of Philip Langridge who is the tenor on this recording.
I enjoyed it but perhaps I'm biased?
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on 12 January 2013
I thought I had already given a review - sorry. It arrived in good time with no problem. This is always good to listen to.
and most enjoyable.

Thanks

Janet Cooper
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