Handel's Messiah - CD recommendations?

Posted by: ChemicalGrl

Handel's Messiah - CD recommendations? - 11/25/01 09:15 PM

I have a friend who indicated she would love to have a recording of Handel's Messiah. She has a copy of the complete vocal score. OMG - it is literally a very thick book! But anyway, just wanted to hear your opinions as to what would be the best recordings of this work.

Thanks heaps! \:\)
Posted by: Nina

Re: Handel's Messiah - CD recommendations? - 11/26/01 12:49 PM

Hi, ChemicalGrl:

I must confess I'm crazy about Handel's Messiah. Used to sing it every year until I had some surgery, so I am now limited to occasional "sing-alongs," but I love these, too!

It seems to me there are at least two interpretation styles of the Messiah: One is to try to keep it smallish, as it was performed originally. There are some with period instruments, but they don't "work" to my modern ear. Of the smaller version but on modern instruments, my favorite is Neville Marriner conducting the Academy of St Martin in the Fields... I think it's a Phillips CD.

The second interpretation seems to be to make it a big sound, with full orchestra and large chorus. My favorite of the big sound is Colin Davis conducting the London Symphony Orchestra.

Both are fairly peppy; I really prefer the toe-tapper performances more than the slower ones.

I also liked the Concertgebeow version (Haitink) even though I can't spell it!

Nina
Posted by: AndrewG

Re: Handel's Messiah - CD recommendations? - 11/26/01 01:36 PM

ChemicalGrl,

I prefer the rich, mighty sound of a full orchestra. I second the rec. Colins/London Symphony on a Philip's Duo. You pay the price of one while getting two CDs. The catalogue # is: 438 356-2. Recorded in London, June 1966

Cheers!