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David Denton
David's Review Corner, January 2010

Two hundred and forty years ago Handel’s Messiah received its first American performance in Trinity Church, New York, just twenty-eight years after its composition. The church’s new recording has no internationally famous soloists; no self-appointed Baroque expert at the helm; no period orchestra and makes no pretence of authenticity. So why have I enjoyed it so much when the catalogue is packed with highly acclaimed recordings? Simply because it reminds me of the performance that millions of us have been brought up with in their own local church. The Trinity Choir consists of twenty locally well-known professional singers from New York, and they form the chorus and provide eight singers who share between them the solo roles. It has, of course, arrived far too late for the Christmas market, which also reminds us that Handel originally intended the work for Lent or Easter and it is in more recent time be adapted for Christmas consumption. The nineteen members of the orchestra also prompt the thought that Handel was a pragmatist who would direct any configuration and number of instrumentalists that were available to him. The soloists decorate the vocal line with variable success, but otherwise this is a straightforward reading that includes every part of the conventional score. The small size of choir shows up in the complexity of “He trusted in God”, but elsewhere they convey a weight far greater than you would expect. I will not mention individual soloists as this is a team effort and all are satisfying, while the solo parts in the orchestra are capably handled. Owen Burdick avoids the mercurial tempos that have become fashionable, but never allows sentimentality to impede progress, though Why do the nations so furiously rage together is just a little optimistic. The sound quality is very good.

C. Michael Bailey
All About Jazz

"Burdick's Messiah is brand spanking new. Owen Burdick is the organist/director of music at New York City's Trinity Church, where Messiah received its New World debut in 1770. This is a sumptuous sensual version of the oratorio. The solos and choruses are full and warm. The orchestration is handsomely and intelligently rendered on a reduced scale."

Craig Zeichner

"Messiah is arguably Handel's most famous work, and has been recorded countless times. Owen Burdick and the Trinity Choir and Orchestra have made a recording that brilliantly captures the drama and piercing beauty of the oratorio. The soloists are drawn from the choir, and their strong, young voices are excellent. Burdick favors a light touch and snappy tempos that underscore the work's more Italianate flavors, especially in the Christmas section. Fear not -- this performance never lacks muscle, and the grand choruses are magnificent."

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