- Audio CD (Aug 18 2008)
- Number of Discs: 2
- Format: Import
- Label: Universal Music Group
- ASIN: B0000057DB
- Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
|1. Messiah: Part One - 1. Sinfony (Grave - Allegro moderato)|
|2. Messiah: Part One - 2. Accompagnato : Comfort Ye My People|
|3. Messiah: Part One - 3. Air : Ev'ry Valley Shall Be Exalted|
|4. Messiah: Part One - 4. Chorus : And The Glory Of The Lord Shall Be Revealed|
|5. Messiah: Part One - 5. Accompagnato : Thus Saith The Lord Of Hosts|
|6. Messiah: Part One - 6. Air : But Who May Abide The Day Of His Coming|
|7. Messiah: Part One - 7. Chorus : And He Shall Purify|
|8. Messiah: Part One - 8. Recitative : Behold, A Virgin Shall Conceive|
|9. Messiah: Part One - 9. Air and Chorus : O Thou That Tellest Good Tidings|
|10. Messiah: Part One - 10. Accompagnato : For Behold, Darkness Shall Cover|
See all 21 tracks on this disc
|1. Messiah: Part Two - 24. Chorus : Surely He Hath Borne Our Griefs|
|2. Messiah: Part Two - 25. Chorus : And With His Stripes We Are Healed|
|3. Messiah: Part Two - 26. Chorus : All We Like Sheep Have Gone Astray|
|4. Messiah: Part Two - 27. Accompagnato : All They That See Him|
|5. Messiah: Part Two - 28. Chorus : He Trusted In God|
|6. Messiah: Part Two - 29. Accompagnato : Thy Rebuke Hath Broken His Heart|
|7. Messiah: Part Two - 30. Arioso : Behold, And See If There Be Any Sorrow|
|8. Messiah: Part Two - 31. Accompagnato : He Was Cut Off Out Of The Land|
|9. Messiah: Part Two - 32. Air : But Thou Didst Not Leave His Soul|
|10. Messiah: Part Two - 33. Chorus : Lift Up Your Heads, O Ye Gates|
See all 30 tracks on this disc
I suppose by now I must have heard Messiah live a dozen or so times, and I must have heard at least two dozen recordings.
In the baroque tradition, it is so wide open to interpretation no two performances can ever sound the same. That's part of the excitement of the baroque fach.
This remarkable recording strives for authenticity without seeming to be covered by a layer of dust or, even worse, mold.
It succeeds magnificently. The performance is straight forward and unencumbered by centuries of troweled on nonsense. It is a performance Mr. Handel himself would have recognized. And yet, it is a performance that is perfectly modern as well. The soloists all know their music and are comfortable with it.
While it would be supremely unfair to single out any one of the outstanding soloists, I cannot help but call attention to the beautiful contribution here from the magnificent Arleen Auger. Tragically, she would be taken from us barely four years after this recording was made. She was, here, at the absolute pinnacle of her formidable artistic powers. It is a fitting tribute to the great contribution she made to the art form she so obviously loved.
Finally, not enough can be said of Trevor Pinnock. His intelligence allows Handel to be the driving force of this performance. Pinnock never gets in the way of the composer and, therefore, leaves his usual stamp of excellence on the performance.
This is, simply, a great recording.