Search - George Frideric Handel, Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, Kiri Te Kanawa :: Messiah

Messiah
George Frideric Handel, Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, Kiri Te Kanawa
Messiah
Genres: Special Interest, Classical
 
  •  Track Listings (14) - Disc #1
  •  Track Listings (14) - Disc #2


      
   
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CD Reviews

Passionate and polished performance of Handel?s masterpiece.
Mike Powers | Woolwich, ME USA | 12/17/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Of the many recordings of "Messiah" I've heard over the years, I find this is to be the finest. Sir Georg Solti leads the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in a superbly polished and yet breathtakingly exciting performace. Solti had a reputation for insisting on slightly faster tempos in the works he conducted, and this true for this 1987 version of "Messiah." I found his up-tempo approach to add tremendous vitality, freshness, and immediacy to the performance. The soloists are outstanding, especially soprano Kiri te Kanawa and tenor Keith Lewis, and the Chicago Symphony Chorus, under the direction of Margaret Hillis, sings with almost overwhelming passion, power and clarity.For those who love what may be inarguably the greatest oratorio ever composed, and prefer to hear it performed with modern instruments and a large chorus, I highly recommend this as the best recording I have yet found."
Choruses are magnificent...
J.F. Kluender | 11/23/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Although this recording is a bit overblown, especially in the more peaceful moments, the fine singing and heaven-storming choruses are a must. And the choruses have clear diction too. Te Kanawa is not only a beautiful voice, but her characterization is also perfect. I only wish that the sinfonia which opens this oratorio was better played, the Chicago symphony sounds a little too harsh for my taste. For a more chamber-sized recording, there is a good set by Shaw. But don't miss Solti's Messiah, it's the most passionate recording I've ever heard. And while you're at it, there are nearly a dozen other great Handel oratorios to get also, and many great operas too."
Arguably the best "Messiah" out there
Tom Moran | New York, NY United States | 06/29/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I'm not sure how many recordings of Handel's "Messiah" are available -- "scads" is a pretty good estimate -- but if I had to recommend only one of them, this would be the one.Handel presents interesting problems for a conductor. Unlike, say, Mahler, whose dynamic indications are so precise that the piece practically plays itself, Handel leaves a lot of it up to the conductor. Do you play it louder? Softer? Faster? Slower? Each conductor is pretty much on his own. But Georg Solti seems to make the right decision every time.There are two cuts I would recommend in particular. Track #10 begins with the recitative "There were shepherds, abiding in the field." Kiri Te Kanawa sings it better than anyone I've ever heard, and Solti's conducting gives it an urgency that you don't find in other accounts of this work. I also like the choral work on track #13, "His yoke is easy," which in my opinion approaches the sublime.Many good recordings of this oratorio exist. Perhaps the universally recommended one is with Colin Davis from the 1960s on Philips. It is a splendid recording, and half the price of the Solti, so if money is an issue you could perhaps make a case for going with Davis. I also have a fondness for some of the older, more bombastic versions originally made for LP, that have the weight and solemnity of Victorian furniture. If you like that sort of thing, you can try any one of Beecham's or Sargent's recordings (they recorded it six times between the two of them).But Solti's version is really something special. If I were going to a desert island and could only bring five CDs with me, this would without question be one of them. I highly recommend it."