Notes and Editorial Reviews
This Messiah, recorded live at Pieterskerk, Leiden in 1993, is one of three versions in the Cleobury/King’s College catalog, and it’s undoubtedly the best, in spite of the very occasional audience noise. The sound is actually very good, better than most studio-controlled efforts, and the choral singing is terrific—the legatos gorgeously flowing, the articulation in all those quick-running melismas clean and crisp without affected accenting, the overall tone quality vibrant and perfectly tuned. Likewise for the orchestra, one of the better baroque bands around back then. Cleobury's tempos are expertly judged, balances between chorus and orchestra allow everything to be heard. The soloists also make a well-matched quartet, excellent Handel
singers all. John Mark Ainsley delivers one of the most solid, compelling “Ev’ry valleys” ever. Even if, as I do, you have a number of “favorite” Messiahs in your collection, once you hear this, you’ll be making a space for it next to those.
-- David Vernier, ClassicsToday.com [4/2011]
Works on This Recording
Messiah, HWV 56 by George Frideric Handel
Alastair Miles (Bass),
Lynne Dawson (Soprano),
Hilary Summers (Alto),
John Mark Ainsley (Tenor)
Cambridge King's College Choir
Written: 1741; London, England
Date of Recording: 1994
Venue: Live St. Peter's Church, Leiden, Netherlands
Length: 134 Minutes 17 Secs.
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