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Handel: Messiah / Dunedin Consort

Release Date: 01/01/2006 
Label:  Linn Records   Catalog #: 285   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  George Frideric Handel
Performer:  John LangdonJohn ButtAnnie GillMatthew Brook,   ... 
Conductor:  John Butt
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dunedin ConsortDunedin Players
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 2 Hours 18 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

This is a hybrid Super Audio CD playable on both regular and Super Audio CD players.

"This superb new disc features the composer’s original version of the Messiah as it was premiered at Fishamble Music Hall, Dublin, in 1742." - LinnRecords

"Rarely has a vocal group made such an impact on the Scottish classical scene as quickly and impressively as the Dunedin Consort. Crisp singing and clear diction is matched by outstanding technical ability." – Sunday Herald

"It is riveting. Balance is never a problem with Dunedin's radiant and intimate recording: it's Hallelujah chorus sturdy, effortless and exultant; it's small band of singers, from which the
Read more soloists emerge, perfectly matched. In the final reckoning, if I had to make a choice between recordings, my money would go on Dunedin's Messiah." – The Scotsman

"For an infinitely more rewarding fresh look at Handel's most familiar music, look no further than the Dunedin Consort's performance of Handel's first version, premiered at Dublin in 1742. Bizarrely under-represented in concert and on disc, the Dublin score contains some fascinating music that Handel never reused, such as the substantial chorus “Break forth into joy”. The exuberant direction by harpsichordist John Butt is meticulously stylish and utterly devoid of crassly pretentious egotism. The playing is unerringly spontaneous and dramatically integrated with singers who illustrate profound appreciation of text. Clare Wilkinson's “He was despised” is most moving, Susan Hamilton effortlessly skips through a delicious “Rejoice greatly”, and bass Matthew Brook sings as if his life depends on it.

Butt bravely resolves to use the same forces Handel had at his disposal in Dublin, which means that the entire oratorio is sung by a dozen singers (with all soloists required to participate in the choruses, as Handel would have expected). Where this approach might risk worthy dull solos churned out by stalwart choir members, the Dunedin Consort's exemplary singers produce virtuoso choruses that are theatrically charged, splendidly poised and exquisitely blended. Old warhorses “For unto us a child is born” and “Surely he hath borne our griefs” are delightfully inspiring. Butt and the Dunedin Consort marry astute scholarship to sincere artistic expression and the result is comfortably the freshest, most natural, revelatory and transparently joyful Messiah I have heard for a very long time."

-- David Vickers, Gramophone (12/2006)

"It is riveting. Balance is never a problem with Dunedin's radiant and intimate recording: it's Hallelujah chorus sturdy, effortless and exultant; it's small band of singers, from which the soloists emerge, perfectly matched."

-– The Scotsman

This selection received the 2008 MIDEM Classical Award in the Baroque Music category.
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Works on This Recording

Messiah, HWV 56 by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  John Langdon (Organ), John Butt (Harpsichord), Annie Gill (Alto),
Matthew Brook (Bass), Annie Gill (Mezzo Soprano), Edward Caswell (Bass),
Susan Hamilton (Soprano), Nicholas Mulroy (Tenor), Clare Wilkinson (Alto)
Conductor:  John Butt
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dunedin Consort,  Dunedin Players
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1741; London, England 
Venue:  Greyfriars Church, Edinburgh, Scotland 
Length: 140 Minutes 5 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: Greyfriars Church, Edinburgh, Scotland (05/01/2006 - 05/04/2006) 

Featured Sound Samples

Messiah: Chorus: "For unto us a child is born"
Air: "Rejoice greatly"
Soli & Chorus: "How beautiful are the feet"
Air: "The trumpet shall sound"

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 Great Dublin version May 27, 2014 By A. Smith (Dunedin, Otago) See All My Reviews "Woderful playing & vocals from very accomplished groups. Do not be confused, this is not a Dunedin NZ or Dunedin Florida group, but is based in Edinburgh, also one of the greatest small recording companies, the quality of the recordings is far superior to most if not all of the Major labels. This may be as Handel heard his Oratorio in Dublin in April 1742, small Orchestra,Choir & great soloists. Alan Smith" Report Abuse
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