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8 Reviews
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finest Messiah I've Ever Heard
Somehow I've become a collector of Messiah recordings. My favorites to date (for different reasons) are Perlman/Telarc, Hogwood/Decca and Gardiner/Philips. The Thomas/Delos is a new favorite on this list and in some ways it surpasses the other three.

The pure musical quality of both choir and orchestra on this recording are -superb-. The choir's mass intonation...
Published on August 8, 2006 by Trevor Kelly

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Expert performance, but too strange for my taste
As usual, the American Bach Soloists are superb. Both instrumentalists and soloist can be clearly hear and everything is perfect. The small forces are presumably true to baroque practice.

I would prefer a bigger sound on "Worthy is the Lamb" and "For Undo Us a Child Is Born".

Some places where the usual performance goes fast are slow, to great...
Published on November 25, 2011 by David Jacobson


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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finest Messiah I've Ever Heard, August 8, 2006
By 
Trevor Kelly (Waltham, MA USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Handel's Messiah: American Bach Soloists (Audio CD)
Somehow I've become a collector of Messiah recordings. My favorites to date (for different reasons) are Perlman/Telarc, Hogwood/Decca and Gardiner/Philips. The Thomas/Delos is a new favorite on this list and in some ways it surpasses the other three.

The pure musical quality of both choir and orchestra on this recording are -superb-. The choir's mass intonation is nearly perfect, with a broad range of tonality that always seems "just right." The orchestra is balanced, tight and abundantly musical. Orchestra, choir and soloists work together in generous cooperation very much like the exceptional Gardiner/Philips recording. Both Thomas and Gardiner have that amazing sense of "life" and perhaps even something I would call "spiritual presence."

Daniel Taylor is a standout. When I first heard him sing, I couldn't hold back some tears. He's really that good and Messiah gives him a platform to shine. The other soloists do a great job, though Taylor is a highlight on this CD. Bonus - I have a good stereo system and this is the best sounding Messiah I've heard. High fidelity, more like being up close at a concert. Some may prefer a more distant sound, but I don't, especially for Messiah.

Weaknesses? Not many. The choir sounds more "cohesive" than on other recordings, especially when compared with Hogwood's distant sounding boy-choir. Reminds me of a finely polished fusion of Gardiner and Perlman. If I had to chose a desert island Messiah, I think Thomas/Delos would be it, thought I would sneak in Gardiner in my back pocket.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Best, December 13, 2005
By 
M. H. Page (S. San Francisco, CA USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Handel's Messiah: American Bach Soloists (Audio CD)
I absolutely love this recording. Maestro Thomas and his choristers are at the top of their form. The orchestra is impeccable and the soloists have turned in outstanding performances. And, it's all the more remarkable because the recording was made during live performance.

I confess that I'm a fan of the American Bach Soloists, and have attended several of their performances in San Francisco.

I am also a long time fan of baroque music, My exposure to Messiah recordings goes back to 1951 and my LP by the Huddersfield Choral Society. Over the intervening years I've acquired many Messiah recordings, and I'm sure this one is in the top 5.

I can't imagine anyone being disappointed with this recording.

Mike Page

South San Francisco, CA
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Handel's Messiah, January 15, 2006
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M. Fields (Iowa City, Iowa) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Handel's Messiah: American Bach Soloists (Audio CD)
Outstanding performance by orchestra, soloist, and chorus. The early music instruments add a softness and beauty that makes listening a unique pleasure.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Expert performance, but too strange for my taste, November 25, 2011
By 
David Jacobson (San Diego, CA USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Handel's Messiah: American Bach Soloists (Audio CD)
As usual, the American Bach Soloists are superb. Both instrumentalists and soloist can be clearly hear and everything is perfect. The small forces are presumably true to baroque practice.

I would prefer a bigger sound on "Worthy is the Lamb" and "For Undo Us a Child Is Born".

Some places where the usual performance goes fast are slow, to great effect.

It has a number of strange phrasings, pronunciations, and sometimes pyrotechnics that grate on my ears. For example, in "The Trumpet Shall Sound", it is "the dead shall be raised, innnnnnn corrupt IBLE" not the usual "incor RUPT ible". In "I Know that My Redeemer Liveth", the soprano goes into pyrotechnics at 5:19 that I find annoying.

If this really is an authentic early version and you value authentic early this is the recording to get. It features clean clear small forces with excellent performance where you can hear each performer distinctly. But if you like the familiar sound, well, you will find this a bit disappointing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Correction:, May 1, 2013
By 
This review is from: Handel's Messiah: American Bach Soloists (Audio CD)
Just a correction. I was just using this entry help update my CD collection software, and noticed that one track is missing in the list above. The missing entry needs to be inserted at the beginning of Part 3, "Part 3. I know that my Redeemer liveth", and the track is 6.28 in length. This will result in there being 23 tracks on Disc 2 of 2.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unabashed, January 13, 2008
This review is from: Handel's Messiah: American Bach Soloists (Audio CD)
It is such a joy to listen to this recording for its artistry, joyous music and sonic qualities. I can't resist listening year round, while I sing along (while alone!). I am lucky enough to be able to attend ABS' annual Messiah performances in San Francisco, where each year they set a new standard for superb (for you Handel afficionados, ABS performs a different version each year). The chorus and musicians remain essentially the same, that is the tops in the early music world, while the soloists change (as ABS is able to attract the best era soloists in the country). This recording captured among the top of the soloists, along with the ever stellar chorus (plus the conductor, Jeffrey Thomas!).

An unabashed fan,
Marie H.
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5.0 out of 5 stars we aren't limited to the great and famous conductors on the few major labels, January 8, 2015
By 
harry s. white (chicago, IL. United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Handel's Messiah: American Bach Soloists (Audio CD)
An unsurpassed performance that even the more prominent conductors and performers on the major labels can match, recorded with a clean, clear, no fussing and tricks sound. Sprightly and jaunty with the right touch of somberness in the more sober tracks.

Thanks to the many different labels recording nowadays, we aren't limited to the great and famous conductors on the few major labels, but can find and purchase great performances (like this one) coming from almost anywhere round the world.
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5 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good but there is smoething strange..., June 22, 2006
This review is from: Handel's Messiah: American Bach Soloists (Audio CD)
I decide to buy this CD because i read some reviews here and i'm fan of Daniel Taylor. Hmm this is very intresting recording because it is based on Handels autograph from 1741. It means that is erlier than first performance in Dublin (1742) where handel makes minor changes. And consider this fact it is must buy CD for every Messiah lover. But from side of interpretation this recording is very confusing. Choir is superb, alto also, bass is good but i heard better in the same repertuar (Messiah from Naxos, Dublin score 1742 - David van Ash), its a pity that tenor and soprano are not very good for Messiah. Both artist (soprano and tenor) are using to much vibrato and it is against baroque performance practice especialy in sacral music. This fact put sporano and tenor out of style of Baroque. Second thing is strange sound realization it sounds not like Live performance. There is no feel of place acoustic, sometimes it seems like orchesrta and voices were recorded separetly and after this some sound engineer put this together. I have very mixed feelings about this recording from one side is excelent playing orchestra and chorus beautiful alto from other side soprano and tenor that are a bit too romantic in style of singing, good and proper but nothing more bass and a bit artificial sound space.
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Handel's Messiah: American Bach Soloists
Handel's Messiah: American Bach Soloists by Arianna Zukerman (Audio CD - 2005)
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