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Customer reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
Handel: Messiah
Format: Audio CD|Change
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on 15 February 2017
Stereo ADD recording digitally remastered in 1990 of 1956 version. Modern instruments with additional orchestration added by Sargent. Soloists are excellent, some ornamentation by Tenor and Bass not to my liking, otherwise a fine 10/10 modern instrument recording of Messiah, better than earlier version re-issued on Dutton (non-stereo). Needs to be set on relatively high volume to get full effect. Remastered sound is excellent.
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on 13 July 2017
I love this CD collection. It's one of the best performances of The Messiah and it will continue to be well played in the years to come. I recommend this to you.
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on 25 December 2015
While I love the Sargent / Huddersfield / Royal Liverpool Philharmonic recording (and specifically ordered it because I remember it from LPs from my childhood), I was disappointed that one of the discs in the delivered CD set was from the Solti / Chicago Symphony & Chorus recording. In other words, I only got one-half of the recording which I ordered. To make matters worse, both discs were "disc 2" of their respective sets. So I wound up with two 2nd halves of "Messiah" and no Part 1 disc.
One person found this helpful
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on 10 August 2017
This recording sounds of its era, somewhat slower than today's interpretations. However first rate singing in a grand style. Good service from suplier.
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on 23 January 2017
As expeceted, excellent service, thanks.
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on 7 January 2016
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on 26 March 2015
Good recording
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on 20 February 2014
I also have a set of three vinyl LP's of Handel's Messiah with the Royal Philharmonic orch. conducted by Sir Malcolm Sargent and Royal Choral Soc.(Reader's Digest) and this persuaded me to get a CD version. I much prefer the slower tempo of Sir Malcolm Sargent's conducting than others I've heard. My favourite tracks are "Behold the lamb of God" and "Worthy is the lamb" which ends with the amen chorus. Absolutely superb from beginning to end!
If you already have Messiah, buy this version and compare. You will not regret it!
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on 25 March 2011
In 1959, when I was 14 years old my father bought me a 7" mono EP of three excerpts of this recording, no doubt believing I needed some uplifting music! The "Hallelujah" Chorus, of course, went down very well, but I thought the other two tracks were a bit heavy going, and perhaps not helped by the rather soggy sound of my father's HMV radiogram.

In the intervening years, I have listened to a number of live performances and had acquired several recordings on CD and which I subsequently passed on as none gave me the same feeling of joy as when I listened to that original mono recording of Hallelujah, all those years ago. Oddly, the one recording I didn't try was this one, mainly because I missed its being released. It has been a long time coming, but for me now, I have the perfect recording and performance of this work.

Reading Sir Malcolm's original 1959 liner notes which have been retained for this release, is a revelation in itself. Even way back then he was pointing out the deficiencies and problems faced with trying to create an "authentic" performance when Handel left so little behind to guide a conductor as to how the work should be performed. Essentially then, what we hear today has more to do with the conductor's vision as opposed to Handel's.

"Messiah" is an English Oratorio in the true sense, it is not something sung in an English translation of a foreign text. It therefore benefits from having native singers whose diction is first rate. And you certainly get this from the singers on this recording. Clear diction also extends to the 100 strong hand-picked members of the Huddersfield Choral Society, that great body of singers who have a tradition of singing Messiah in their blood. You should be aware then, that this is a performance on the grand scale, a traditionally English view of "Messiah".

But the "miracle" hear is the balance between the orchestra, soloists and the large choir. It is all placed in a fairly natural and open acoustic. So no part outdoes the other, such that the sound engineer has done a marvellous job at keeping the whole sound clean and even when the choir is singing its loudest, they are not distorted. The soloists can be heard against the orchestra and the various sections of the choir are all distinct and with that very clear diction of theirs that means the sound never gets "thick". Do no look down on this recording because if dates from 1959. The remastering for CD is superb.

Sir Malcolm was one of a handful of conductors who, in my opinion, never sought effects in his music making, preferring to let the music speak for itself. His interpretation in this performance seems to have a naturalness and flow that just seems right.
29 people found this helpful
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on 12 June 2013
I liked it because it is original and not altered in any way, some of the newer stuff is sung differenly and it is not as good as the original versions.
One person found this helpful
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