For 50 years I have been looking for a recording to rival the classic Klemperer/Philharmonia. I admired the earlier Gardiner, but it wasn't "to die for," if you will pardon a terrible joke.
This one is close, despite a couple of reservations. The chorus IS very strong and very crisp, and wonderfully recorded (as is the whole CD). There is lots of energy where needed (esp mvt 6).
I wasn't thrilled by the soloists - OK but not up to the Klemperer luminaries. And I did think he took the final movement a bit too fast, though we can put up with an alternative view once in a while, can't we?
All in all, a pleasant surprise (not that high quality from Gardiner is surprising, I just expected less wattage given his last outing on this piece). But I am not throwing away my Klemperer.