Classics of the Phonograph

Handel’s ‘Messiah’: Old and new


Handel's Messiah is probably the most often-recorded Baroque work (after Vivaldi's Four Seasons). The commentary about what version to perform is immense and controversial. Older recordings resemble Victorian performances with gigantic choruses. In recent decades, leaner, authentic instrument performances have become more popular, and there are recordings in between the extremes. We will sample old and newer performances.