This is a very satisfying rendition of Haydn's most popular oratorio. Joseph Haydn is at his inventive best here with a great "creation" in its own right. But I am given to wonder if the musical foundation of the chorus "Die Himmel erzaehalen die Ehre Gottes" written in 1798 might not have been pirated from Mozart's "Flute" of 1791. Similarly Raphael's recitative "Gleich oeffnet"; there are remarkable similarities.
Certainly, as already has been suggested, this recording is of unusually wide dynamic range - a characteristic allowed by the digital process in comparison with analogue pressings - and there are several occasions throughout the performance where I am caused to regret the absence of a remote volume control of my equipment but the dynamics are consistent with a live performance and I make no criticism in this regard. Generally, the recording quality is excellent although the bass strings are a little forward and sometimes boomy. However, in other respects, the recording balance as well as the acoustics of All Saints church, Tooting, are just right.
The ensemble work - orchestral and choral - is very fine as are the soloists; I have admired the American Rodney Gilfry for a long time. Both the sopranos, Sylvia McNair and Donna Brown (the latter having only a brief appearance on stage) give excellent performances with voices fitting well with the musical material; so often soloists are drawn from the grandly operatic world and have voices/styles not best suited to the scale of the oratorio.
Not without its minor imperfections but nevertheless, a performance deserving five stars and recommendation.