ClassicsOnline Home » HANDEL, G.F.: Messiah (1751 version) (New College Oxford Choir, Academy of Ancient Music, E. Higginbottom) > Review List

HANDEL, G.F.: Messiah (1751 version) (New College Oxford Choir, Academy of Ancient Music, E. Higginbottom)

Composer(s):Handel, George Frideric
Period(s) Baroque (1600-1750)
Genre Classical Music
Category Choral - Sacred
Catalogue 8.570131-32
Label Naxos
Quality   320kbps
Album Price
USD 15.98

USD 13.98


Handel’s most popular and joyous oratorio, a work of unfailing melodic invention and dramatic expressiveness, has become almost a British national institution, regularly performed by all manner of choirs and orchestras. This new recording provides the only modern re-construction of Handel’s unique London performances in 1751, when he used boy treble voices not only for the choruses but for the arias as well. It is both a celebration of the British chapel choir tradition and a window onto a particular time and place in the history of Handel’s own performances of his masterpiece.


Review By Naxos,

One swallow may not mean a summer, but a sudden fistful of Messiahs surely heralds the onset of Christmas. This one brings a new variation to a familiar theme by offering a reconstruction of Handel’s London performances of April-May 1751, when he used trebles from the Chapel Royal for the arias as well as the choruses. Edward Higginbottom has drawn on his own choir, that of New College, Oxford, to recreate the ethereal soprano solos with boys’ voices, amid a collegiate ensemble much like the composer’s own.

Review By Penguin Guide,January 2009

In his 1751 reconstruction Higginbottom used boy trebles not only for the choruses but for the soprano arias we well. Rejoice greatly is, however, allotted to the solo tenor, Toby Spence, who sings very pleasingly throughout. Higginbottom also uses the period-instrument Academy of Ancient Music, now producing orchestra sound of great transparency and refinement, and also the sweetest of string sounds. However, almost certainly, David Blackadder uses a bold modern instrument to play the obbligato in The Trumpet shall sound, strongly sung by Eamonn Dougan. Tempi are lively and the whole performance goes with a swing, with warmth and vitality the keynotes. For unto us a child is born sparkles, but Hallelujah has all the weigh one could want. The solo



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