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Let me start by stating that musically this is the best performance of The Messiah that I am ever likely to see or hear. Jean Christoph Spinosi and his award-winning baroque-specialising Ensemble Matheus give an exciting and nuanced orchestral accompaniment to what is happening on stage. The five soloists are up to the same standard musically, and in their acting as well. They vocally change the usual oratorial interpretation to emotionally suit the action -- and it works. And of course, there is the splendid Arnold Schoenberg choir. The rotating stage allows for seamless appropriate scene changes. Great praise is due to all concerned. I could go on at length about the overt performance, but there is another issue I would prefer to focus upon.
I am not surprised that some people are offended by what Claus Guth has done with this very different presentation of the Messiah. To many, this is a sacred work that should not be messed with. But bear in mind that people with similar beliefs were greatly offended in much the same way when Handel decided to present it in a theatre and not in a church "where it belongs". Times and attitudes change, and artistic interpretations change along with it.Read more ›
I, like others, believe that the musicality of this performance and its production is among the best I have ever heard. I watched the Blu-ray version and it was truly spectacular, both visually and the audio, surround sound. The Ensemble Matheus under the direction of Jean Christoph Spinosi was without peer. Each of the soloists was perfect for their parts, singing and acting. One can refer to other excellent reviews for comments on the specific singers and their performances with which I generally concur wholeheartedly.
I wondered as the visual images unfolded on the stage. Of course I had never before seen it performed in this manner.Read more ›
Of all Handel's oratorios, most probably 'Messiah' is the most difficult to stage otherwise than as a concert.
This modern production has indeed achieved the impossible by courageously set the background in a family tragedy. Most of the times the lyrics matched the story plot literally; at other times more configuratively, so it needs a good amount of patience and a big stretch of imagination to follow along. It is not those 'sit back and relax' type of production. Rather, it is provocative, imaginative, and even spiritual - yes, spiritual. It requires some viewers who have undergone some sort of family tragedy to fully savour the emotional aspects of this dramatised version. Otherwise, those with sufficient sympathetic constitutions could appreciate, but honestly, not others.
As a musical production, this performance is out and out a five-star stuff.
The silent 'hero', portrayed by dancer Paul Lorengar, committed suicide and is dead in the opening scene. Soon afterwards the flashback begins, accounting for the reason of his suicide.
As his brother, Bejun Mehta, the altist, committed adultery with the wife of Paul Lorengar, soprano II and sung by Cornelia Horak, perhaps the only vocal 'weak-link'. Florian Boesch, friend of Paul Lorengar, sings the bass part with aplomb. The preacher father is tenor Richard Croft, who gives a vocal masterclass in his highly polished performance. Susan Gritton as soprano I sings her arias with real aplomb. The chorus sing and perform in equal great strengths. The conducting of Jean Christophe Spinosi here is about the best ever I've got from him!
The silent actress Nadia Kichler speaks in sign language.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Not for people with ossified minds and inability to understand an unfamiliar interpretation. I found that the staging was a good match to Handel's intent and composition. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Doug J.
Good quality music, but unacceptable to me what was done with an oratory.Published 16 months ago by Carlos F S Volotao
I had some reservation in buying this but I'm sure glad I did. I had some reservations about having a story to the Messiah which basically talks about the Birth, Life, Atonement,... Read morePublished 18 months ago by Juiceman
Claus Guth has succeeded in trivializing our greatest story ever told into a secular drama involving a suicide and one (or two) sex scenes. Read morePublished 18 months ago by jwwoods
One of the finest music/theater pieces I have ever seen: innovative and of the highest artistic standard .Published 19 months ago by Lequita V Watkins
Handel’s Messiah holds deep personal meaning for me. It spoke to my heart for years before I was saved. God used this magnificent work to reach me, a poor sinner. Read morePublished 20 months ago by M. Galishoff
Just when you say it couldn't be done, they did it. Stange but accessible and revelatory. Richard Croft is at his most powerful and reflective here, and he adds immensely to this... Read morePublished on July 29, 2014 by Daniel Moriarty
I fell in love with this production. Music and singing are very good. But staging and in particular the idea behind this reading of music and story are exceptionally bright.Published on April 9, 2014 by Marina Yelagina
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