George Frideric Handel, Les Arts Florissants, William Christie - Messiah (re-issue)

Published Tuesday 6th August 2013
George Frideric Handel, Les Arts Florissants, William Christie - Messiah (re-issue)
George Frideric Handel, Les Arts Florissants, William Christie - Messiah (re-issue)

STYLE: Choral
RATING 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 142834-
LABEL: Harmonia Mundi HMG50149899
FORMAT: CD Album
ITEMS: 2

This product is currently not available from Cross Rhythms Direct


Reviewed by Steven Whitehead

This nicely presented double CD is a most welcome re-issue of a highly recommended recording from 1994. The first issue is now being sold at more than 30 on some websites so the fact that this re-release is at mid-price makes it a very easy recommendation. The version of Handel's most famous oratorio chosen by William Christie is the longer one first performed in Dublin in 1742. Christie keeps the music dancing and sparkling wherever appropriate although he is never afraid to change tempo when necessary and has some excellent soloists at his disposal: counter-tenor Andreas Scholl gives a moving "He Was Despised", sopranos Barbara Schlick and Sandrine Piau are well matched and do full justice to "Rejoice Greatly", treble Tommy Williams is suitably angelic in "There Were Shepherds Abiding In The Fields", and Mark Padmore (tenor) and Nathan Berg (bass) are no less praiseworthy. The choral highlights such as "For Unto Us A Child Is Born" and "Hallelujah!" do not disappoint and if you do not yet have a 'Messiah' in your collection this is strongly recommended. And if you already possess a different recording this is good enough - and priced sufficiently competitively - to make it worth buying as well.

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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