[ Erato CDs + DVD / 3 CD/DVD ]
Release Date: Friday 24 November 2023
"A lifetime of performing Messiah has brought me enough courage to record this singularly famous piece of music. With the finest musicians and soloists on the planet surrounding me, I'm finally ready to lay down my personal interpretation for posterity." The American conductor John Nelson, especially famed for his interpretations of Berlioz, conducted Handel's most celebrated oratorio at Coventry Cathedral in the heart of England in November 2022. "In today's turbulent world, I hope that this concert of Messiah in this symbolic location can be a powerful message of hope." The performance is now released as a three-disc set - comprising the audio version (2 CDs) and the video (1 DVD). Nelson's chosen version of the score reflects Messiah's evolution over the period from 1741 (the original autograph) to the early 1750s, when a 'standard' version of the oratorio took shape. In addition, the CDs offer eight bonus tracks - alternative versions of now-familiar arias. Joining John Nelson are the historically informed orchestra and choir of The English Concert, soprano Lucy Crowe, countertenor Alex Potter, tenor Michael Spyres and bass Matthew Brook. As the Times wrote of the performance: "From shadowy strings in 'For behold, darkness shall cover the earth' to gilded trumpets and exuberant timpani in the final chorus, this was Handel straight from the opera house: dramatic and eloquent."