Messiah by Handel (HWV 26)
Oratori in three parts, foundling hospital version 1754

Coproduction Outhere Music, Le Concert Spirituel

With Alpha Classics

Release 13 October 2017

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Why yet another Messiah?

Hervé Niquet, conductor

Sandrine Piau, soprano
Katherine Watson, soprano
Anthea Pichanick, contralto
Rupert Charlesworth, tenor
Andreas Wolf, bass-barytone

Le Concert Spirituel, choir and orchestra

Recorded from 20 to 22 December 2016 at Notre-Dame-du-Liban (Paris)
Recording producer, editing and mastering Manuel Mohino

‘I went through the different scores that exist and decided on the very interesting 1754 version, which features five soloists. You must remember that, when Handel arrived somewhere to perform his oratorio, he had soloists of varying standards available to him. So he quickly revised his score accordingly... All this is directly related to the reality of Handel’s situation as a concert promoter. In those days, to earn a living from his music, a composer absolutely had to get his works performed and make a profit on the evening. The idea of not retouching a work to avoid “spoiling” or “distorting” it is a much more modern one. There must be around a dozen versions of Messiah (I won’t list them all). The 1754 version is rarely played because it calls for five soloists: two sopranos, alto, tenor and bass... I’ve opted here for an operatic interpretation, taking its cue from the drama inherent in this account of the life of Christ.’  (Hervé Niquet)

This CD-book edition also includes a fascinating portrait of Hervé Niquet, an interview organised around thirty keywords (from ‘Dance’ to ‘Nerves’) that sheds new light on one of the most atypical conductors on today’s musical scene.

Trailer du CD Le Messie de Haendel