Christmas Music for Varied Sensibilities

As she did with the music of Bach on earlier albums, Geisler brings a tasteful and respectful attitude to these excerpts from Handel’s lofty score.

For all the modernity of her electronic instruments, her interpretations hold faithfully to tradition. The textless “chorus” consists of layer upon

layer of the “ooh” and “aah” sounds standard to today’s sample-playback devices, but the strangest thing about the album, really, is the orthography

of the title. “MESSIAH” (EXCERPTS) Boston Baroque; Martin Pearlman, conductor (Telarc)

Telarc’s Christmas present features by and large the same selections

that are heard on Geisler’s disc, but they are performed by human beings instead of computer-driven synthesizers.

Boston Baroque is a reputable “early music” organization, and the liner notes suggest that this performance is in various ways “authentic”;

particular attention is paid, Pearlman writes, to the “dramatic”

style of the choral singing. Like Geisler’s treatment, though, it sounds

on the whole quite conventional. RUTLAND BOUGHTON: “BETHLEHEM” The Holst Singers, City of London Sinfonia (Hyperion)


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