If I were to have only one version of Hanel's ‘Messiah’ this would be it. Performed in Dublin for the 250th anniversary of its first performance in that city this is both a commemoration and a celebration and is performed with enthusiasm and integrity by all concerned. Under Sir Neville Marriner's expert direction ‘Messiah’ retains a liveliness and freshness that makes for compelling listening and viewing. It makes use of authentic instruments and vocal embellishments and all performers show a commitment to imbuing this masterpiece with the depth of understanding that the text demands. There are moments of sheer drama as in the chorus “Since by man came death” where the awe and sombreness are shattered with the words “By man came also the resurrecion of the dead” sung with such conviction that would have surely pleased Handel. Soloists are uniformly good and the orchestra plays with alacrity and a refreshing liveliness of tempo where appropriate. Words are clear and crisp and if there was one word to sum up the performance it would be: commitment. Commitment to all that Handel intended and which makes “Messiah” the timeless masterpiece it is.
- Region 4
- Standard Edition
- 1.33 : 1
- Dolby Digital Surround 5.1
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