This highlights album of George Frideric Handel's Messiah offers the usual favorites from this revered oratorio, performed in exquisite period style by Ivars Taurins and the Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra. The recordings were made at several concerts in December 2011 at Koerner Hall, the Royal Conservatory, Toronto, though the extremely clean and resonant high-definition sound of the 24-bit recording shows little sign of audience presence. The vocal soloists are outstanding in their dramatic expression and seemingly spontaneous ornamentation, and the Tafelmusik Chamber Choir is utterly transparent in texture, fluid in line, precise in rhythm, and clear in articulation. Listeners who enjoy these excerpts should consider acquiring Tafelmusik's two-CD recording of the complete Messiah, which has become a perennial holiday favorite of the group's many fans.
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AllMusic Review by Blair Sanderson
Recitativo: Behold, a virgin shall conceive / Air & Chorus: O thou that tellest good tidings to Zion