Ah, yet another recording of Messiah. There are dozens
of recordings of this great work currently available, ranging from historic
recordings to historically informed performances. So why another recording
of Messiah? Is it in the belief that the mere existence of such a recording
will sell well? Can Handel fans really have the need for so many Messiahs?
These questions need to be asked, because this recording offers little
that is "new" or different, and there is little that stands
out, in comparison with others.
The singers all seem overcome with vibritis - that
twitching disease that barely allows them to sing a single note without
wavering. Nary an aria occurs without the symptoms of this dreaded disease
being heard. The soloists all seem afraid to sing out clearly, and this
especially detracts in the slower arias, such as the long He was
despised and rejected sung by Guillaumette Laurens.
The attractive choir and excellent orchestra, playing
on period instruments, keep this recording afloat. The choral movements
are indeed the best part of this performance, with a rich texture, and
a beautiful sound. The choral movements at the beginning of part two
are fine examples: full of energy and vigour, powerful, yet with a hint
of delicacy in their dynamics. But this is not reason enough to choose
this recording. Yet another Messiah.