Handel: Messiah, HWV 56

Handel: Messiah, HWV 56

With a masterpiece as beloved—and familiar—as Messiah, Handel’s great choral retelling of the life of Christ, it’s easy to imagine that there’s nothing new to be said. Harry Christophers and his virtuoso chamber choir The Sixteen prove otherwise: by 2008, when they made this recording they had over two decades’ experience with historically-informed performances of Handel. With a line-up of soloists that includes the great tenor Mark Padmore, this is a performance that combines epic sweep with a truly theatrical flair. And the great choruses—“For unto us a child is born,” “Lift up your heads,” and of course the “Hallelujah!” chorus—have a thrilling immediacy when sung with the precision and clarity of The Sixteen’s handpicked singers.

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