Gary Lowry - Highlights From Handel's Messiah Featuring Classical Guitar

Saturday 1st June 1996
Gary Lowry - Highlights From Handel's Messiah Featuring Classical Guitar
Gary Lowry - Highlights From Handel's Messiah Featuring Classical Guitar

STYLE: Classical
RATING 6 6 6 6 6 6
LABEL: Thankyou Music 68080
RELEASE DATE: 1996-04-19
RRP: £13.99

Reviewed by Stella Redburn

This project is George Frederic handel note for note so the sleeve solemnly informs us. It's 'Messiah' but not as we know it, arranged here for classical guitar - solo, trio and quartet. Well, the music actually transcribes well for guitar, in fact it starts to remind me of harpsichord sonatas by Domenico Scarlatti, Handel's contemporary. Lowry's arrangements are very satisfactory with a judicious blending of vocal and orchestral parts. It does make pleasant listening, technically good and musically performed. Handel really did write a heck of a lot of notes per bar in many sections of Messiah and Lowry certainly does well to get his fingers round them. The busier tracks in fact work better. I just don't think "Comfort Ye" works in this arrangement. It needs the dramatic impetus of the words and is too stop-starty without them. The whole album runs the risk of being samey by its very nature and I would say Lowry doesn't exploit the full range of sonorities of the guitar. However, it's sweet-sounding, unchallenging and with fairly familiar tunes a perfect choice for many occasion no doubt, although you may prefer Handel's original version.

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