[ Avie / 2 CD ]
Release Date: Monday 24 October 2011
Apollo's Fire and their founder/director Jeannette Sorrell present a unique dramatic approach to Handel's Messiah: 2 CDs plus a DVD exploring the work as theatrical entertainment.
Jeannette Sorrell and Apollo's Fire celebrate the holiday season with a unique release of Handel's Messiah: a 3-disc set including 2 CDs and a DVD, presenting a dramatic approach which explores the work as the theatrical entertainment which Handel intended - an oratorio being a dramatic work, and Handel's bold declaration that Messiah was "A Sacred Oratorio." While the theatrical/spiritual duality caused criticism in Handel's lifetime, Sorrell believes it is one of the key reasons the work continues to speak so directly to modern audiences. The DVD includes footage from rehearsals, concerts and recording sessions, interviews with soloists, principal players and Sorrell.
"The 18-strong Apollo's Fire ensemble...plays with great crispness and vigour, offering terse supporting musical pillars to the voices and emphasizing rhythmic vigour over a sense of line...the instrumental playing here is pretty near faultless...There are some very fine solo voices...Forsythe can articulate Handel's typically breath-defying runs in 'Rejoice greatly' with a dazzling purity and total mastery of tone which has few equals on disc." International Record Review