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John W Barker
American Record Guide, May 2016

The soloists are very fine. Some goodly embellishments are ventured: Zazzo is particularly outstanding on that count. And his lovely countertenor voice makes him a worthy exponent of the mezzo-alto part.

Despite Bavarian origins, the choir sings its English words with little sign of accents. They sing with fine discipline and sonority. The work that Dijkstra draws from them gives us the high points of the performance… © 2016 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide



Robert Levine
Stereophile, May 2016

Performance:
Sonics:

Soprano Julia Doyle begins too delicately, but grows more certain as Messiah continues, and delivers with love “How beautiful are the feet.” Countertenor Lawrence Zazzo’s “He was despised” is simply gorgeous. And Steve Davislim’s tenor is big enough for an effective “He shall break them” and agile enough for “Ev’ry valley.”

Diction is perfect from soloists and choir alike, and instrumental playing is accurate, expressive, and articulate. This is grandeur without pomp. © 2016 Stereophile



Huntley Dent
Fanfare, March 2016

Dijkstra’s rhythms spring and dance all the time… There’s a pleasing warmth and roundness to the singing and playing here. The small B’rock Belgian Baroque Orchestra displays a sweet, feathery string sound using gut strings that never grows zingy. Dijkstra is an excellent orchestral conductor, which helps to unify everything that happens… © 2016 Fanfare Read complete review




Michael Cookson
MusicWeb International, February 2016

…the most satisfying performance is that given by soprano Julia Doyle. There is a depth of purity to Doyle’s voice and with seemingly effortless delivery she expresses the text with unassailable reverence.

Counter-tenor Lawrence Zazzo gives a captivating performance marked by natural assurance, fluid and attractive tone and an innate feeling for the text.

Renowned for his work with choirs and vocal ensembles, Dijkstra’s experience shines through like a beacon in this lively reading. He clearly has a perceptive ear for rhythm, phrasing and dynamic. © 2016 MusicWeb International Read complete review



Rad Bennett
RadsReferenceReviews, December 2015

The soloists are all splendid—Julia Doyle, soprano; Lawrence Zazzo, counter tenor; Steve Davislim, tenor; and Neal Davies, bass. It’s the strongest roster, and certainly the most even, of any Messiah recording. The chorus is as good as you could hope to hear this side of heaven, and the instrumentalists do a lot more than “just accompany.” Tying everything together is conductor Dijkstra, who makes this the most convincing Messiah ever. © 2015 RadsReferenceReviews Read complete review




David Vernier
ClassicsToday.com, December 2015

…it’s Lawrence Zazzo’s lovely, rich, fluid countertenor that you most remember. The voice sounds absolutely natural (no throaty, hooty quality), and likewise his interpretations of arias such as “O thou that tellest…” and “He was despised”, so often merely interminable and tedious, are delivered with such clear beauty, heartfelt simplicity, and again, naturalness, that we truly hear them anew, and without even a fleeting urge to look at the clock. © 2015 ClassicsToday.com Read complete review



Joseph Newsome
Voix des Arts, December 2015

Uniting the Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks with the B’Rock Belgian Baroque Orchestra Ghent under the baton of Dutch conductor Peter Dijkstra, this Messiah is unexpectedly one of the most successful recorded performances of this monumental score. © 2015 Voix des Arts



David Vickers
Gramophone, December 2015

The Bavarian Radio Choir’s spotless English, dramatic intensity in powerful minor-key statements (‘Surely he hath borne our griefs’), polished shaping of lightly tripping fugal choruses (‘His yoke is easy’), and fulsome sonorities in the grand conclusions to Parts 2 and 3 (the splendid account of ‘Hallelujah’ features horns doubling an octave below the trumpets) make them a match for any number of topnotch British specialist choirs. © 2015 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone




Blair Sanderson
AllMusic.com, December 2015

…the practices of Handel’s time are carefully observed, and the free ornamentation, touches of improvisation, buoyant rhythms, brisk tempos, and crisp instrumental colors of the 18th century are everywhere in evidence. …listeners will find this to be one of the most exciting performances available on disc. Highly recommended. © 2015 Allmusic.com Read complete review



John Quinn
MusicWeb International, November 2015

The choir’s contribution is one of the great pleasures of this performance. The singing is consistently alert and precise—as you’d expect from a professional ensemble—and their diction is crystal clear, allowing us to hear that their pronunciation of the English text is faultless. The choir is capable of producing a nice, full sound but this is never overdone. © 2015 MusicWeb International Read complete review




AnnaPicard
BBC Music Magazine, November 2015

Handel’s Messiah is a work of tireless brilliance. Each of its three parts has a distinct character in which the narratives of nativity, crucifixion and resurrection are rehearsed with extraordinary tenderness.

Soprano Julia Doyle sings with sweetness and candour, decorating ‘I know that my Redeemer liveth’ vivaciously. © 2015 BBC Music Magazine





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