Helmuth Rilling

Händel: The Messiah [Highlights]

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If these highlights from George Frideric Handel's Messiah seem a bit unusual -- sung in German rather than in English, and sounding somewhat more Classical in orchestration than Baroque -- then it's because these are actually excerpts from the 1789 arrangement by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, commissioned by Baron Gottfried van Swieten for his musical society, Die Gesellschaft der Associierten Cavaliere. These excerpts from Helmuth Rilling's complete performance with the Gächinger Kantorei Stuttgart and the Bach Collegium Stuttgart give a fair representation of the full work, which is roughly three-quarters Handel's, one-quarter Mozart's; considering the number of changes in orchestration, inventive rewriting of some numbers, and trimming of others, the revamped oratorio was found deserving of inclusion in Mozart's catalog of works. The reconstructions are evident from the start in the Sinfonia, which has a much thicker orchestral texture than Handel's strings provided; other adjustments are noticeable in the arias, which have been cleverly adapted to fit the German translation by van Swieten, and in the choruses, which are often adorned with fanciful woodwind parts. Rilling's performance has a rich orchestral sound, and the solo vocalists are attractive, but the choir is a little remote in the overly resonant space, and the overall sound of the recording is a bit too reverberant for fine details to stand out. If you haven't heard Der Messias, K. 572, before, this album is a good introduction and worth checking out before investing in the full recording.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
Messiah, oratorio, HWV 56
1 02:51 Amazon
2 03:02 Amazon
3 03:17 Amazon
4 03:50 Amazon
5 01:39 Amazon
6 03:54
7 01:42
8 05:21 Amazon
9 02:21 Amazon
10 11:31 Amazon
11 02:01 Amazon
12 00:32 Amazon
13 02:10 Amazon
14 02:09 Amazon
15 04:55 Amazon
16 04:15 Amazon
17 05:23 Amazon
18 02:09 Amazon
19 02:25 Amazon
20 03:36 Amazon
21 03:07 Amazon
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