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Customer Reviews

Excellent Album.

This is a superb recording. I've seen the Messiah performed many times, and I have listened to many recordings, this is one of the best. Many Messiah fanatics will scoff when I say this, but another of my favorite recordings is the Bernstein recordings - its loud, bombastic, and powerful - it tends to blow over some of the nuance, which this recording does not. It is a composite recording, pulling from a variety of different scores, done with a period orchestra. It captures all of the nuance, yet is still powerful and joyous. The alto section leaves something to be desired and muddles what is otherwise a suberb choir. the soprano soloist is superb, crisp and clear, as is the tenor. The alto soloist fails to be tied down in the lower range as some are with this piece. The bass soloist is by far the weakest of the four, but still manages to deliver a satisfactory and strong performance. Tempos are well selected, dynamics well managed, A+ album.

Beautiful but . . .

I am a music novice. This album is truly beautiful. I love the soloists. My only dissappointment was the Hallelujah Chorus. I prefer a much bigger Hallelujah bursting with joy, praise and gratitude. I want to be blown away from beginning to end. This one is more dainty and subdued. For my taste too quiet and restrained. Perhaps those with more musical training would call this version more "authentic." I think I would buy this album again. But I do own other versions of Hallelujah that blow me away as I prefer.

The perfect compromise

This album's strength is that is avoids both extremes of Messiah recordings. It is historically informed with period instruments, but it utilizes a good size orchestra and chorus to push some umph into the sound. It also avoids the uber-bright and reedy tone of some Baroque choirs. It also is able to deliver the powerful emotions and drama of the score without entering the realm of bombastic or losing sight of the nuances. Special mention must be made of Anne Sofie von Otter's performance. She delivers a vocal performance in "He was despised" that I have never head achieved on another recording. It will take your breath away.


Born: May 9, 1955 in Stockholm, Sweden

Genre: Classical

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Mezzo-soprano Anne Sofie von Otter is known for her versatility in operatic roles, her interesting recital choices, and her willingness to take vocal risks. Her father was a Swedish diplomat whose career took the family to Bonn, London, and back to Stockholm while Anne Sofie was growing up. As a result, she gained fluency in several languages. She studied music at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. Her main voice teacher was Vera Rozsa, while Erik Werba and Geoffrey Parsons coached...
Full Bio

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Handel: Messiah (2 CD's), Anne Sofie von Otter
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  • $19.99
  • Genres: Classical, Music
  • Released: Aug 01, 1988

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