I have really enjoyed this recording. The soloists are excellent. The Alto has an especially rich voice. The feeling is great and though sometimes the endings feel a bit rushed and clipped, they are true to the baroque style.
I do wish there was a bigger pause between each number in the recording. They seem almost on top of each other.
My chief complaint is with Deseret Book. There is NO mention of the soloists in the description on your website. Really?? They sing most of the music! I wanted information about their backgrounds, or at least their names, but that wasn't even available. The is a very inward view. The soloists make or break this recording - no matter how good the choir is. Leaving them off your descriptions is not only disrespectful to these talented musicians, but it insults your customers as well. Deseret Book, you disappoint on this one.
This is an amazing collection of music. If you don't have Handel's Messiah in your collection, then get it now. It's one of those rare creations that is timeless, inspiring, and wonderful at any time of the year.
I always get chills when I listen to the Hallelujah chorus. I think I especially love the Messiah because I sang some of the songs in college choir and it was an unforgettable experience.
One thing I've noticed is that this type of music, specifically some of the instrumental music is soothing to my children. I have a 5 year old who is absolutely nuts, but he loves music. I've caught him several times with CDs like this in his room, just listening, bobbing his head to the beat. It's remarkable to me because I am often exhausted by his ironclad will (read stubborness) but there is something about music that speaks to a different part of him.
Try something new today. Listen to a piece of classical music and find out how it affects your house.
I've been happy with the 1950s performance for years. I didn't get a chance to watch the live performance, but when I watched the recording I was overjoyed to see/hear that a harpsichord was used. To me Messiah just doesn't sound right without one.
The recording is very clean, it does NOT include the constant coughing and hacking of the audience that plagues many live performances. I assume they either had some very fancy microphones or this recording was a rehearsal. The recording quality seems very good. And they get bonus points for offering it in FLAC. Even though I could have easily done it myself once I received the CDs, I am happy to see FLAC becoming more common. I hope that one day the major music sites will catch on and change from lossy to lossless.
The performance is crisp, clean, polished and exactly what I would hope for a Baroque performance.
In case any influential choir members end up reading this, here is my "wish list" of things I'd like to hear performed by the choir. Our hymns are sacred and beautiful, however there is certainly a vast amount of inspired music not found in our hymnal:
- Bach Mass in B minor
- Mozart Requiem in D minor, K.626
- Vivaldi Gloria in D. Major (they did this year ago, but I want to see it done in General Conference or the 1st Presidency Christmas Devotional, and with a harpsichord)
- Haydn The Creation
After anxiously awaiting this recording for two years I just really wanted to love it and feel it was the best recording of “Messiah” I had ever heard. The Soprano, Alto, and Bass soloists were wonderful. The tenor was a bit over stylized. When they sang their solos it felt like they were testifying of Christ. Another positive is that for the first time in I don’t know how long one can hear the Tabernacle organ in this recording. I’ve really missed that.
The choir and orchestra were very precise, crisp and clean. Indeed very baroque sounding, But there was nothing of the warmth and emotion from the earlier recordings. As I said after waiting two years I really wanted to love this. After listening to a couple of the first couple of choruses, I literally cried because of what was missing. The choruses were very precise and in some places even clipped like the ends of some words were missing. But there wasn’t any warmth or heart to it. It almost seemed like there was so much emphasis on the clarity and precision that the text didn’t get as much meaning, The earlier recordings of “Messiah” (1959 Columbia and 1995 NightPro) maybe we’re not as precise or perfectly baroque in style or practice, but the choir had a lot more warmth and one could feel their testimony of Christ as they sang and the Spirit was exceptionally strong even though I was just hearing a recording.
I wanted that kind of feeling from this new recording of “Messiah,” wanting it to be the best recording of it I ever heard. I’ve sung “Messiah” numerous times and played in an orchestra accompanying it. At times the Spirit was so overwhelming it was hard to sing or play. That’s the kind of feeling I want when I hear this music and the fact that it wasn’t there in this recording I really felt sad. Admittedly I’m going through a tough time in my life right now, and there is a lot of sadness anyhow. I look to this music and church music in general as well as scriptures and prayer to a sense of peace and assurance.
Bottom line on this recording, the soloists and the organ are wonderful and would give them three stars, but I’m really disappointed in the lack of warmth and feeling from the choir, I’d be happy with less perfection and more passion and feeling.
The recording was worth the long two-year wait. I wasn't a big fan of the Choir's recording of the Messiah in the 1990s. I wasn't disappointed with this recording. All the benefits of a huge choir where you'd want that power, but a precise, yet warm sound for all the rest. Even though I pre-ordered the album,
Love it, love it, love it!! My new favorite recording of Messiah. The soloists sing with emotion and commitment, the choir is so unified and expressive, and the Orchestra at Temple Square knocks it out of the park. But this recording isn't meant to showcase the choir or the soloists or the orchestra. It's all about the music and its message, and that comes across in abundance. Bonus DVD is a winner, too. Rolando Villazon got it exactly right--when you combine musical excellence with faith and love, the end result is so powerful.