Handel - Messiah (1754) | Alpha ALPHA362

Handel - Messiah (1754)

£22.46

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Label: Alpha

Cat No: ALPHA362

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 2

Genre: Vocal/Choral

Release Date: 6th October 2017

Contents

Artists

Sandrine Piau (soprano)
Katherine Watson (soprano)
Anthea Pichanick (contralto)
Rupert Charlesworth (tenor)
Andreas Wolf (bass-baritone)
Le Concert Spirituel

Conductor

Herve Niquet

Works

Handel, George Frideric

Messiah, HWV56

Artists

Sandrine Piau (soprano)
Katherine Watson (soprano)
Anthea Pichanick (contralto)
Rupert Charlesworth (tenor)
Andreas Wolf (bass-baritone)
Le Concert Spirituel

Conductor

Herve Niquet

About

Why yet another Messiah? ‘I went through the different scores that exist and decided on the very interesting 1754 version, which features five soloists. You must remember that, when Handel arrived somewhere to perform his oratorio, he had soloists of varying standards available to him. So he quickly revised his score accordingly... All this is directly related to the reality of Handel’s situation as a concert promoter. In those days, to earn a living from his music, a composer absolutely had to get his works performed and make a profit on the evening. The idea of not retouching a work to avoid “spoiling” or “distorting” it is a much more modern one. There must be around a dozen versions of Messiah (I won’t list them all). The 1754 version is rarely played because it calls for five soloists: two sopranos, alto, tenor and bass... I’ve opted here for an operatic interpretation, taking its cue from the drama inherent in this account of the life of Christ.’  – Hervé Niquet

This CD-book edition also includes a fascinating portrait of Hervé Niquet, an interview organised around thirty
keywords (from ‘Dance’ to ‘Nerves’) that sheds new light on one of the most atypical conductors on today’s musical
scene.

Reviews

At a running time of just under two hours, the quicksilver music-making causes much of the oratorio to skip by briskly without having sufficient rhetorical space and textural depth to guarantee a profound emotional impact – although there are plenty of things to enjoy along the way. ... Niquet’s high-wire interpretation is commendably inquisitive and often surprisingly intimate.  David Vickers
Gramophone February 2018
I’ve been seriously impressed; this is now my favourite recent Messiah.  (Disc of the Week)
Record Review (BBC Radio 3) 14 October 2017

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