Read some books, look at some instruments in a museum, then try to re-create ancient performances. Great idea! Now, go ahead and claim that this is the way it actually sounded back then. How much of that kind of drivel would YOU believe? I think not!
For a period perfomance of this seminal opus, try Sir Neville Mariner's version. It's got what this one is missing- excitement!
Two times I've heard Hogwood conduct this masterpiece all the way through. Two times I wondered why I ever thought I liked it... the Messiah, that is.
And that is not right! There is a malais settling into modern classical performing styles- note perfect (Render unto me a break, PLEASE! Note perfect does not mean playing lifelessly! Fritz Reiner was famous, as was Toscanini, for wanting it done as the composer wrote it. Neither man, to my knowledge, let his forces turn in dead performances.) dead from the neck up, emotionless, colorless, distilled water tasting dreary monstrosities often seem to pass for great performances. Classical music is not bloodless, people. It's about and for real human beings, with wants and hatreds and loves and desires. Let's not continue with this trend, which renders so many works into bloodless cadavers. Does the spirit of Dracula roam freely now throughout the great venues? Is Hogwood a creative vampire of the soul? I hope not!