Handel’s “Messiah” is one of the most sung oratorios in the world and its great choruses and arias can be heard on countless classical collections. From its premiere to the present day, this great sacred work enjoys almost unbroken popularity and has always fascinated audiences and musicians
alike. In the chapter “Resurrection of George Frideric Handel” of his book “Decisive Moments in History”, Stefan Zweig provides a particularly colourful description of Handel’s “Messiah”. Starting from the fresh spirit of the work, he creates a lively story that lets the reader look over his shoulder as he composes the work. In it, he illustrates the timelessness and special position of this great composition in the context of music history.
In September 2019, the choir and orchestra of the Gaechinger Cantorey, under the direction of their principal conductor Hans-Christoph Rademann, got to the bottom of this singular work and, together with an excellent quintet of soloists, recorded this stirring and masterly interpretation.
George Frideric Handel (1685-1759)
Dublin Version, 1742
Dorothee Mields, soprano
Benno Schachtner, alto
Tobias Knaus, alto
Benedikt Kristjánsson, tenor
Tobias Berndt, bass
Recorded in the Margarethenkirche Gotha
A production of Accentus Music
Supersonic pizzicato, 04/2020
“Hans-Christoph Rademann has recorded Handel’s Messiah in the Dublin version of 1742. One of the main features of his interpretation are probably the sometimes rather slow tempos, which however increase the contrast to the fast parts. Fortunately, such tempos are no obstacle to a light, supple music-making, which also shows a great wealth of details. There are choral movements that just fly by. But the really important thing is that Rademann brings the Messiah back from England to the continent. His recording is fundamentally different from those known from Great Britain. It is a perfect example of musical Brexit. Rademann’s Messiah is all in all much lighter, brighter, fresher, but also more contemplative, intimate and less brilliant than performances from British choirs. […] To discover the Messiah in such a new way is truly enriching.”