This was the first recording of Messiah I ever purchased, back in 1966. This Shaw performance was a big deal back then, as it represented the first real "period" performance practice version with its scaled down instrumental and choral forces - compared to the overblown Ormandy version, for example. The original vinyl discs imparted a muted dynamic range as I recall, so this splendid digitally-remastered release is truly stunning compared to the original. Of particular note is the gorgeous vocal work of soporano Judith Raskin, one of the most beautiful voices to appear on any recording of Messiah, and contralto Florence Kopleff whose vocal agility and sheen are something to behold. This is one of the best modern instrument Messiahs available today.