Notes and Editorial Reviews
Performance: ****/Sound: *****
As we might expect, René Jacobs brings a livelier and more immediate sense of theatre to Handel’s music than his rivals. His orchestra is slightly larger than the others and his continuo department more elaborate with a strengthened double bass line that often proves effective. Lawrence Zazzo and Neal Davies turn in excellent performances of their music, the former proving, I should imagine, a worthy successor to Handel’s young castrato Gaetano Guadagni. The Clare College Choir, of which the upper strands are provided by women, is very good indeed proving capable of colourfully dramatic declamation.
-- Nicholas Anderson, BBC Music Magazine
"My personal favorite
Messiah recording is René Jacobs conducting the 1750 version with the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra and Choir of Clare College (Harmonia Mundi). The 1750 version of the score (conducted by the composer) is preferred not only for its transparency and spare orchestration, but for its incorporation of the last revisions that Handel made for aesthetic reasons instead of practical concerns. Jacobs and his chambersized, period-instrument ensemble fill Messiah with dramatic urgency within a lean framework. The soloists are expressive and imbue their arias with tasteful ornamentation, with countertenor Lawrence Zazzo providing some exotic color."
Ben Finane, Listen Magazine [11/2009]
Works on This Recording
Messiah, HWV 56 by George Frideric Handel
Kobie van Rensburg (Tenor),
Neal Davies (Bass Baritone),
Patricia Bardon (Mezzo Soprano),
Lawrence Zazzo (Countertenor),
Kerstin Avemo (Soprano)
Clare College Choir,
Freiburg Baroque Orchestra
Written: 1741; London, England
Featured Sound Samples
Part I: Chorus: "For unto us a child is born"
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