Five star review for Messiah

Five star review for Messiah

“…a thrilling first Messiah of the season”

You might like to read the five star review in The Observer for the Messiah at the Gresham Centre in London last week, with VOCES8, VOCES8 Scholars, Apollo5 and Barnaby Smith.

“[Handel] would surely, too, have delighted in the bristling, youthful economy and grace of a small-scale performance last week by Voces8, together with Apollo5 and Voces8 scholars: two dozen singers in all, with excellent soloists drawn from the ensemble, all conducted with infectious energy by Barnaby Smith. They unite under the title of the VCM Foundation, a vocal music education charity that engages some 100,000 people around the world in live music and singing. This community quest is as much part of their mission as performing to the highest professional level.

With the Academy of Ancient Music providing fiery orchestral colour, this Messiah rocked along with breathtaking fervour, but left space for contemplation too. The arrival of the angel to the surprised shepherds (“And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them”) had fearful radiance; the bass aria “Why do the nations so furiously rage together” was sung with charging, urgent anger. The chorus, impeccably drilled, exploited that exciting transition from the dark harmonies of “Since by man came death” to the explosive, redemptive brilliance of “For as in Adam”. This first Messiah of the season was a winner.

“With the Academy of Ancient Music providing fiery orchestral colour,  this Messiah rocked along with breathtaking fervour, but left space for contemplation… This first Messiah of the season was a winner.” THE OBSERVER