Customer Reviews for: Handel: Messiah (1754 Version) / Piau, Niquet, Le Concert Spirituel

4 Reviews in Total
5 Star: 2 Reviews
4 Star: 2 Reviews
3 Star: 0 Reviews
2 Star: 0 Reviews
1 Star: 0 Reviews

Average Review

4.5 Stars (4 Reviews)

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 Fast Paced, mostly enjoyable, no wallowing Solois February 11, 2018
By Jonathan S. (Anchorage, AK) -- See All My Reviews
Maestro Niquet stated that his intent was to produce an operatic interpretation of Messiah to get away from the overly reverent renditions that predominate, so, having had enough of self-aggrandizing soloists wallowing in the libretto, I happily ordered this edition. On first listen I was aghast at the pacing. 2 days later I gave it another try, and found I could appreciate the majority of the reading. I would have appreciated a greater variety of tempi. The Sinfonia informs the listener this is going to be a faster reading than the majority of interpretations. I can happily report there is no wallowing about in the libretto, there is just no time allowed for that. The majority of tempi in Parts 1 and 3 are bearable to enjoyable; Every Valley and Comfort Ye are perfect, as is I Know that My Redeemer Liveth. The appreciated lack of wallowing aside, Part 2 leaves me wanting a slower pace; it's as if we are rushing to Hallelujah and want to get through the pain and suffering leading up to it as quickly as possible, missing the necessity of it. It's like "Nessun Dorma" would feel if it was zipped through at 75 vs. 50, it could be done, but the depth of emotion would be lacking, and that's how the quick pace of Part 2 leaves me feeling. Overall this interpretation is beautifully played; the enunciation of the Choir and Soloists is unmatched in any other recording, and, if you want a Messiah without the bellowing soloists, this is worth a listen. Is it the perfect Messiah? No. Could it have been? I believe so. If Maestro Niquet recorded another interpretation I would try it out too, hoping he'd read this review of course! Report Abuse

 Wonderful Interpretation of Handel's Masterpiece February 2, 2018
By G. Brown (River Edge, NJ) -- See All My Reviews
This is a wonderful interpretation of Handel's beloved masterpiece, Messiah. Maestro Niquet has chosen Handel's 1754 Foundling Hospital scoring, requiring five soloists rather than the usual four. One can say there is no absolute final version of the work since Handel himself re-scored the work many times depending upon the soloists and choirs available to him for a performance. Herve Niquet's interpretation is dramatic in conveying the life and suffering of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ; yet it has lightness and wonderful turns of phrasing by all involved. There are some unexpected interpretive flourishes here and there also. All of this is refreshing to hear. The soloists are all excellent and sing with feeling for each aria and recitative with proper ornamentation. The Alpha engineers captured a true acoustic on the fly without any audience interference. Parts of the work are taken at a faster tempo than I would like, but that is a small quibble, (the only reason for 4 stars instead of 5). Another live recording of Messiah with a very similar approach is the Haller recording on K617, and is one I also highly recommend. Report Abuse

 Delighted January 25, 2018
By Julian Kerrell-Vaughan (SAI KUNG, Hong Kong) -- See All My Reviews
I bought the CDs of Niquet's version of Handel's "Messiah" entirely on the strength of the thrilling video excerpts on the Arkiv site. At the same time I ordered a set as a Christmas present. Neither I nor the recipient of that gift was anything other than delighted. This really is a fine interpretation. Report Abuse

 Bright and bouncy November 19, 2017
By Dean Frey -- See All My Reviews
Hervé Niquet has opted to record the 1754 version of Messiah, which has five soloists rather than four. I know this version well because of the now classic 1991 recording by Christopher Hogwood and the Academy of Ancient Music, which featured the divine Emma Kirkby. We had that on cassette, so it was the soundtrack (along with Yogi Yorgesson's I Yust Go Nuts at Christmas - the kids were little!) for many a holiday trip in Alberta's cold Decembers. However, that's not the key to this new version by Le Concert Spirituel under the direction of Hervé Niquet. Rather, it's his statement that "I’ve opted here for an operatic interpretation, taking its cue from the drama inherent in this account of the life of Christ." Niquet plays up the drama throughout, and he has the players and singers to follow through on all of his concepts. I think nearly every idea is at least plausible. It's a brisk run-through, as you can hear right from the opening Sinfonia. But this is about more than just tempo. Niquet's version is positively bouncy; if it were in the Hundred Acre Wood it would be Tigger. As far as I'm concerned that's great; I've heard too many Eeyore Messiahs. Report Abuse

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