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Händel: Messiah

1 rating: 1.0
An album by Alastair Ross, Anthony Rolfe Johnson, Catherine Robbin, Charles Brett, English Baroque Soloists, George Frederick Handel, John Eliot Gardiner, and Margaret Marshall

John Eliot Gardiner's is a highly musical and inspired account ofMessiah, featuring an excellent group of soloists and an outstanding period-instrument band. With dance rhythms athletically sprung and da capo arias tastefully ornamented, the performance … see full wiki

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1 review about Händel: Messiah

This is Nobody's Ideal Messiah

  • Oct 17, 2008
I've been a fairly consistent booster of John Eliot Gardiner. I find his Bach and Beethoven performances consistently among the most exciting. This re-release of his 1980 recording of The Messiah has nothing special to recommend it. The tempi are brisk, as expected with Gardiner, but the singers have trouble holding them. The orchestra is surprisingly unfocused on its articulations at times, and Gardiner's orchestral accompaniments of arias are strangely legato here and there. I don't hear this so much as an interpretation as a mere read-through.

There are oodles of recordings of the Messiah. Those by Pinnock, McCreesh, Christie, and Hogwood are far better. The Parrott is also better, and it's bargain-basement cheap these days. I've been told by a reliable critic that the Boston Baroque performance is also outstanding. Sorry, John Eliot! Put more into it next time.

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