Handel, The Sixteen Choir And Orchestra, Harry Christophers - Messiah

Monday 1st February 1993
Handel, The Sixteen Choir And Orchestra, Harry Christophers - Messiah

STYLE: Classical
RATING 5 5 5 5 5
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 22441-
LABEL: Hyperion 66251/2
FORMAT: CD Album

This product is currently not available from Cross Rhythms Direct


Reviewed by Dave Massey

Apparently, this version of Messiah was recorded at a live concert, and as such it positively shouts quality -no overdubs or double tracking here. Inherent though in 'live' work are the odd bits and pieces that a producer might decide don't really work very well and chuck out with the bath water, given the choice. In Baroque times, ornamentation (in which a singer subtly decorates the melody) was a fine art and some of the soloists on this recording produce some doozies - notably David James (counter tenor) on "Who May Abide", and the soprano Lynne Dawson, whenever she appears. However, the tenor (Maldwyn Davies) was not skilful and would perhaps have sounded better if he had sung his arias without ornament. Overall, the tempo was authentically fast but too much for me and the rather disjointed interpretation of the opening "Symphony" did not rest well with me whether it was authentic or not. Also, for a majestic work such as this, a sixteen voice choir really is far too small to do Handel justice.

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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Reader Comments

Posted by Stephany Wells in Stafford, Virginia @ 01:21 on May 14 2008

Hi, I am doing a choral report on the Sixteen Choir. Im having a real hard time finding historic, and special features on this group. If you could contact me, it would be great. Thank you for your support.



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