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Handel at his most lyrical, and that's saying a lot.
Sound nuts will be especially impressed: the blend of HIP orchestra and hall is just perfect. Vocals, choir and orchestra are provided all the aural elbow room they need, whatever dynamic. Crisp, resounding (trumpets and tymp) and crystal clear recording throughout. Vinegary oboe and strings addictive. I knew I would love the performance from the very first notes. My old stand-by on Archiv with Lott and Parrott sounds comparably flat and opaque, especially noticeable in the final number for Chorus, Trumpets and Soprano.
The two "hits" for soprano -- "What Passions Cannot Music Raise," and "The Soft, Complaining Flute" are ravishingly beautiful, though Mary Bevan is no Felicity Lott, but then, who is? If you only collect random tracks to play during dinner or before bed, these would fit the bill.
Fillers include the BbM Concerto Grosso Fugue on a single note! (Not quite) and a Cantata for Tenor.
Edits: 07/02/17Follow Ups:
That's my old stand-by too (unfortunately)! ;-)
Actually, we don't need to go quite that far back:
Unfortunately, we still have to deal with the blanched sound of boy sopranos and altos in the chorus on this recording. (Darn these first-world problems!)
BTW, I must say that I'm surprised you're not a partisan of Lennie's recording of this work, given what you posted about Bernstein's Nelson Mass.
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