Notes and Editorial Reviews
After a magisterial interpretation of the highly theatrical 'Saul' (Editor's Choice in Gramophone, 'Choc' du Monde de la Musique, etc.), René Jacobs now turns his attention to 'Messiah', in the 1750 version with two alto soloists. Handel subjected the work to multiple revisions according to the solo singers he had available for his annual performances of it in London. However, this public acknowledgement of the work's value came only some years after the oratorio's triumphant premiere in Dublin on 13 April 1742: in order to win over London audiences 'Messiah' had had to confront a cabal that was all the more unjustified in that Handel avoided all dramatization of the person and Passion of Christ - the exact opposite of 'Saul', in a sense. But history has amply made up for the lost time since then!