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"What a winning combination: Handel's Messiah, the most popular oratorio ever written, sung by The Sixteen, the most richly sonorous of early music choirs." -- The Telegraph
"The Sixteen are on fine form in a repertory that sees them at their most confident." -- Gramophone
Top Customer Reviews
Here the choir is only 19 members, with male altos, and an orchestra of 26 impeccable players. Christophers writes "As with all Handel oratorios, text is paramount" and indeed it is. There is impassioned singing from all, choir and soloists. Incredible precision, but never too dry.
The four soloists are uniformly excellent. Catherine Wyn-Rogers and Christopher Purves were our soloists in Boston and received great praise from all. The alto aria "He was despised" is often a dead point in a performance of Messiah, but each night held our attention for its nearly twelve minutes. Purves was excellent as well, as he is here, but in concert he ornamented his arias more and I was disappointed to hear less spontaneity in his recorded account. Mark Padmore and Carolyn Sampson are slightly less passionate but still excellent vocally.
What struck me most about Christophers' approach in Boston was that he wasn't stuffy and academic, though clearly he knew the historical context of this score extremely well. He was all about getting the point across to the audience, exciting them, making them sit up and take notice and perhaps shed a few tears. The only thing that could make this a better recording would be the energy of live performance instead of the comparatively lower intensity of the studio.Read more ›
This Coro recording of Harry Christophers and the Sixteen follows in Hogwood's footsteps. Christophers and the Sixteen had previously recorded Messiah for the Hyperion label in 1988, but revisited the work again in 2008. I haven't got a copy of the Hyperion set, but this is still a strong studio-recorded performance on its own merits.
Of the in-house Messiahs that were produced during the mid-2000s, I find that I rather like the Christophers version a little better than the Rutter-Cambridge Singers and the Naxos version with Higginbottom and the New College (Chapel) Choir. I might put it on the same plane as the Butt-Dunedin version that uses the first Dublin text. There is more vividness and immediacy in this lovingly crafted performance. It also comes across as one of the best-engineered versions of recent years.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
An outstanding recording of the entire performance. The bonus CD of Handel's equally wonderful Queen of Sheba work was also quite good.Published 7 months ago by Big Pop
The lead reviewer expresses surprise that Christophers leads a romantic Messiah that happens to use period instruments. Read morePublished on December 16, 2012 by Santa Fe Listener
With this Coro recording The Sixteen and Harry Christophers put on CD their long association with Handel's oratorio "Messiah". Read morePublished on December 21, 2011 by NeverneverLand
Carolyn Sampson, soprano
Catherine Wyn-Rogers, alto
Mark Padmore, tenor
Christopher Purves, bass
Harry Christophers, conductor
The... Read more
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". Read more