Handel: Der Messias
The Gachinger Kantorei Stuttgart and Bach Collegium Stuttgart with Helmuth Rilling
ARTHAUS 101 175
I am not being difficult in calling this Der Messias for this recording is given in Mozart's edition and sung in German. Familiar phrasing is often somewhat startling on the ear and the romantic approach to the orchestration and tempi far less familiar than it once was, now that most performances at least nod towards original instrument practise even if using modern instruments. Solo numbers are often swapped around and - to take just one example - For unto us is remodelled for solo quartet with the chorus only coming in for Wonderful Counsellor making the whole closer to a Mozart act end than Handel. And peace on earth uses timps with the male voices in a most un-peaceful way.
That said, the musical quality is so good that the whole is highly enjoyable once one accepts that this is Handel seen through Mozart's eyes. Needless to say there is no counter-tenor and no organ!