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Posted August 15, 2013
This recording is "flawless". Yes, there's no such thing as a single "definitive" edition of the Messiah, but this comes close. What I appreciate most is the purity of the voices, both chorus and soloists. Rufus Müller as tenor sings beautifully purely; Robin Blaze is the single best counter-tenor I've heard; Brett Polegato sings the single clearest version of "Thus saith the Lord of Hosts" I've heard. There is no excessive vibrato obscuring the music.
Other recordings may be good to own as well. Rene Jacobs comes to mind; his is great as well, if a bit "quirky". However, it is excellent more as an addition to a collection. Similarly with the Higginbottom recording with an all-male cast, and Marriner's with modern instruments. Taurins, however, is (in my opinion) the single best "default" recording to own: it contains fewer idiosyncrasies while still being a beautiful and musical interpretation.