~HWV 056~

ARTS 47627-2
2 CDs
full price
Recorded in 2000.
Released in 2001.

Lynne Dawson (soprano)
Guillemette Laurens (mezzo-soprano)
Charles Daniels (tenor)
Antonio Abete (bass)

Coro della Svizzera Italiana
I Barocchisti (on period instruments)
Diego Fasolis, conductor





One more new version of the famous Messiah, and one which - although bringing nothing new - works very well. Even if Charles Daniels is less at ease than on Paul McCreesh’s recording (Archiv Produktion)- a slightly intrusive vibrato hides some instabilities - his performance is very convincing. There is some dryness in Guillemette Laurens’ voice but her interpretation is really interesting and dramatic. It has more relief than Antonio Abete’s performance, which is only "well sung".

The most beautiful moments of this recording come from Lynne Dawson: fine, sensitive and full of expressiveness, she offers a great performance in every one of her numerous arias. The choir and the orchestra are very good without being particularly virtuosic. Diego Fasolis’ approach is full of greatness and well balanced.

Of course there are many alternative recordings: Despite some excesses, Marc Minkowski’s (Archiv Produktion) fast tempos and virtuoso approach brings a particular theatricality in the choruses less evident in other excellent versions by Chrisopher Hogwood (DECCA/L'Oiseau Lyre), McCreesh, and now Diego Fasolis. Yet Fasolis offers us a beautiful version; personal but which might be just another one to add to an expanding list. However, its low price should make this satisfying new version desirable for many people.

© Philippe Gelinaud - March  2002

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