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December 11, 2017 / basabbott

Handel’s Messiah

Review

Messiah
Burgate Singers

18th century religious music was resilient in the face of deism and the Enlightenment.
Undeterred, Handel and others were inspired to compose great and lasting works.
Burgate Singers and Sinfonia, under Alain Judd’s calorie-burning direction, showed all the dexterity required – piquant, jaunty, ecstatic.
The Pastoral Symphony had a hushed intimacy during which departed singers were remembered, in this 40th anniversary concert.
Tenor Guy Elliott had a voice that was both relaxing and arresting. Bass Niall Anderson was more granite-like, a voice for the darkness and the light. Mezzo-soprano Hannah Bennett had a mature, experienced voice in a young frame.
Appearances by soprano Aurelia Jonvaux are like a special gift on the tree, with a loving, translucent clarity in her singing.
Her rendering of I Know That My Redeemed Liveth was like a palate-cleanser after the heady, joyful momentum of the Hallelujah Chorus.
The Amen gave the impression of a formidable army of Christian soldiers marching against the forces of darkness.

Basil Abbott

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