| SITE RATING: 8/10
is certainly one of the more idiosyncratic performances to be captured
on video, but is beautifully shot, and generally well performed; and,
being one of the few Mozart arrangments filmed, devotees will want to
investigate. Arthaus video has certainly afforded this Messias
a gold-medal treatment, with a thick booklet included, very good
picture and audio quality, and excellent production values.
of the gorgeous cathedral fill quiet moments, and multiple camera
angles are used to good effect. The performance itself cannot
considered definitive, Rilling makes odd choices with tempos, plowing
through the Overture, but taking other movements more slowly than
typical, or giving some choruses a martial air ("Behold The Lamb of
God"). It's interesting, but the overall effect is more
and affected than Rilling perhaps anticipated. The
Stuttgart plays modern instruments with great style and passion, while
the Gachinger Kantorei sings well, with a dry, but effective
performance. Among the soloists, tenor Roberto Sacca sings
youthful flair, mezzo-soprano Cornelia Kallisch is weighty and pulls
plenty of vibrato into her arias; soprano Donna Brown is a fiery,
passionate presence; while bass Alastair Miles sings beautifully, with
just a touch of hollowness to his tone. I enjoyed this
presentation overall, and Rilling's strong conducting hand, felt in
every movement, is unusual and surprising enough to keep me interested.
A polished, professional Messias.