If you're totally wed to "stylistic Baroque", this recording will not be for you; but if you can get past considerations of performing style and just focus on the text of this, the greatest composition ever written, this recording will be your cup of tea. It's sung in English, which does pose problems, since getting a reasonable translation that will also fit the music is nearly impossible; however, the translation used here is presented with remarkably clear diction by soloists and chorus alike. Unfortunately, there are some minor cuts, particularly in da capo arias, and the second verse of the familiar "O Sacred Head" is omitted, however, the performance moves along quite smoothly, albeit, the portamentos might be a bit disturbing to today's audiences. Another remarkable fact about the recording is that it was made "live" by RCA Victor, and laid out on the spot for 27 78rpm discs. Fortunately, though, we can now enjoy this engineering feat on three CDs, courtesy of Rockport records. Four stars.