Wonderful, with few reservations...
The Music Man | United States | 09/11/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I own the previous Christophers/Sixteen Messiah on Hyperion, and was looking forward to this new interpretation. Overall, it's very good, especially the chorus, soprano, bass and tenor soloists. The tempi are generally on the slow side, (especially when compared with other recent "period" recordings) but not excessively so, and occasionally distracting ornamentation is displayed only in the soprano and alto lines. In the liner notes, Mr. Christophers mentions that each of the soloists have been associated with him for many years, and that this recording had a "family" atmosphere. Well and good, but I wish that a little more judiciousness had been taken with the choice of alto soloist, who sounds a bit past her prime here, with wide vibrati and occasional noticable gasps for breath. The Sixteen Choir and Orchestra are fantastic, as usual, peforming with much more depth and feeling than their earlier Messiah outing. Mr. Christophers mentions in his liner notes that he paid special attention to the text of Messiah during this performance, and it shows - the Hyperion Messiah glistened with good singing, but sounded detached, even vain at times; here the Choir sounds more involved in the performance, yet still attends to their pristine vocal talents. There are moments of pure beauty in the choruses, and for that, and for the generally fine soloists, I recommend this set as worth a listen."
Another Messiah? YES!
A. Craig | Grand Junction,CO | 11/04/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I asked myself when I was buying this my Twelveth recording of Handel's Messiah, why did I want another one? First of all you have Harry Christophers and the Sixteen involved which means a really top notch performance is in store. Second an impressive line-up of soloists. Finally I have to admit I actually happen to really love listening to "Messiah" What we have here is a nice, simplly well sung and played
performance and recording of this work. No weak spots in the Sixteen, no weak links in the soloists, and Harry Christophers knows this work inside and out. This is his second commercial recording of the work, he did the
Mozart arr. for BBC Music Magazine a few years back, and it is a good one too. Its not too many conductors who get the chance to "have another go" at a recording, this recording is in my own humble opinion just as good if not better than many of the other ones out there in the marketplace, and there are plenty to choose from. A good first Messiah choice, or a good additional one to add to your collection. The bonus CD also shows that there is much more to Handel than this work. If you already own one recording or many this recording of Handel's Messiah will make a nice additon to any collection."
Definitive recording of Handel's Messiah
Hippo | 07/22/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This a fantastic product - 3 beautiful discs for about twenty dollars.
The most popular selections from the Messiah are "For Unto Us A Child is Born" and "Hallelujah". So, let me review those two tracks.
The choir's sound is clean, yet rich and colorful. Each voice part executes the rapidly moving section at the end of the phrase "for unto us a child is born" with clarity and beauty, setting the choir apart as a world class one. (Most amateur choirs butcher this section, their voices not being agile enough; and even some professional choirs nail the intonation but that's about it)
The rich and resonant soprano section in the Hallelujah chorus makes the top notes seem so effortless and triumphant. I sing soprano so I can truly tell good soprano sections when I hear them (and the bad ones too!), but I'm sure the other sections are also equally good in this recording.
All the other tracks are great. I loved the alto soloist in "Thou that tellest good tidings to Zion".
In other words, don't let the price scare you. This is really a recording worth having."