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Messiah The Complete Work Audio CD – Audiobook, Oct 12 2012

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Audio CD, Audiobook, Oct 12 2012
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99 by Wayne Gretzky 99 by Wayne Gretzky

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Product Details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Hendrickson (Oct. 12 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1598565753
  • ISBN-13: 978-1598565751
  • Product Dimensions: 1.3 x 14.6 x 12.7 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 100 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #213,753 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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I really enjoyed listening to this set of cd's... I listened to them mostly in the car from Charlottetown to Monction and I was able to sing with it to my hearts content.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.8 out of 5 stars 6 reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Rutter's lovingly crafted Messiah recording May 8 2016
By Yi-Peng - Published on
Fans of Rutter and the Cambridge Singers can find lots to enjoy in this lovingly crafted recording of this well-loved Handel oratorio. It offers a committed, considered performance in which everything is well put together. I might think of this as one of the better modern-instrument Messiah recordings played at A=440Hz. I am fond of recording where one conductor is in charge of both the chorus and the orchestra, as these tend to be unified when both units perform under the same conductor rather than under separate directors.

Rutter has a wonderful team of hand-picked soloists, including some Cambridge Singers alumni. Each soloist shines in his or her respective solos. Joanne Lunn has a wonderful voice and gives committed, thoughtful accounts of her various solos, especially How beautiful are the feet and I know that my Redeemer liveth. She sings simply and clearly, with a full tone and diction to boot. There is something so pure about her singing, and her delivery is reminiscent of Dame Kiri (on Solti's Decca recording) Lynne Dawson and, most recently, Carolyn Sampson. Melanie Marshall takes time to settle in to the performance, but she offers a bracing reading of O thou that tellest and a solemn, sombre reading of He was despised. The male soloists fare equally well. Gilchrist offers a bracing Every valley and blossoms in the sequence before Lift up your heads, but he gives it his all for Thou shalt break them, just before the Hallelujah chorus. Christopher Purves is perhaps the best all-round soloist, who projects himself during his various solos. He has a firm, clear sound that does not become woolly. He manages the long version of Why do the nations (highlighting the words "furiously" and "vain"), and he comes into his own in his rendition of The trumpet shall sound.

The star of this recording is, of course, the Cambridge Singers. They adapt to the varying moods of the various choruses and they are also attentive to the words they sing. I know that these choruses are difficult to sing properly, and that a conductor needs to have control over the different sections. However, Rutter navigates his singers expertly through their difficult runs, entries and counterpoints. Though the choir features 30 to 40 singers, the sound is still full-bodied and open. The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra backs up the singers with superb and responsive playing.

There are only two small issues I note with this recording. One is that I wished it could have a bit more fizz and immediacy, to draw the listener in. Despite the committed singing and word pointing, I wished the singers could be a bit more present and reach out to listeners. Secondly, I was not entirely happy with the balance of the recording. The balance favours the singers (soloists and chorus) rather than the orchestra. I noted that the orchestra was recessed, and sounded less bright, incisive and forward. In many instances, the orchestra plays a crucial role in the unfolding narrative with the singers. So at times it's hard to hear them in crucial accompaniments to the vocal parts.

Despite these minor concerns, this is still a lovingly crafted recording of Messiah from Rutter and his forces. I know that other recordings may have more flair and immediacy, among them the Coro Christophers/Sixteen version or even the Cleobruy/King's College live version on Brilliant. However, this Rutter Messiah can still offer rewards to any prospective buyer, and at such a value-friendly price too.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful! March 26 2013
By WFarmer - Published on
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I have often listened to a Handles Messiah tape and it broke so I really wanted one that was just as pretty and good quality. I knew with John Rutter I could not go wrong so I perchased this and was not disapointed for I have been listening to it even after Christmas!! It is worth the money!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars Sept. 29 2015
By Maria - Published on
The best recording in all creation.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My Favorite Rendition! July 18 2015
By Carol - Published on
Verified Purchase
This is my favorite rendition of Messiah! I have listened to it countless times since I bought it several years ago, and it never gets old. I loved it so much I wrote a devotional to go along with it!
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars Feb. 26 2016
By PDB - Published on
Verified Purchase
Good sound, well performed.