| SITE RATING:
Sargent's 1959 Messiah
is easily the best of the trio which he recorded in his lifetime.
The tempos are moderate, the sound is brilliantly remastered
clear, the soloists are sparkling, and the Huddersfield Choral Society
and Royal Liverpool Philharmonic are large and grand without being
weighty, and best of all, everyone seems fully
invested in the text. The soloists are especially fine here,
Marjorie Thomas giving a thrilling vocal performance, not
"technically" proficient, especially by today's high standards, but
her tone and investment in the part is stunning; the same can be said
of bass James Milligan, who has a wondrous tessitura, and tenor
Richard Lewis is not behind him one whit. Soprano Elsie
is equally invested, and sings the part as if it was written expressly
for her. This is a truly expansive recording, with the choir
orchestra sounding as if they were recording within a huge cathedral -
there's a presence and vibrancy to the sound that is thrilling to hear.
The remastering here is beautiful, with great depth and
captured in the sound - this recording stands easily as one of my
favorites of the large, old-school Messiahs.