Handel's Messiah performed by the Minnesota Orchestra

by Brian Newhouse, Minnesota Public Radio
December 21, 2012

St. Paul, Minn. — If you've heard Handel's Messiah a hundred times — or perhaps never — you're in for something special Friday, December 21 at 8 p.m. We recorded this performance at Orchestra Hall, Minneapolis on Sunday evening, December 12, 2011 and it was a treat.

Whatever British conductor Nicholas Kraemer did while rehearsing the pared-down Minnesota Orchestra (only 30 players) and Minnesota Chorale (50 voices) from their usual ranks worked big time. There was such a freshness and joy and clarity, as if the singers and players were reading a manuscript. The soloists that Kraemer and the Orchestra picked to join them were also exceptional.

I have to single out the Canadian soprano Suzie LeBlanc. Hers isn't a big peal-the-paint-off-the-back-wall voice. Think instead of a single gorgeous strand of spun silver, handled with unbelievable finesse and imagination as she ornamented Handel's arias. This is a Messiah for those who've heard it countless times, or who want to discover for the first time why this piece is so beloved.

On Now

Listen to the Stream
  • Piano Concerto No. 3 7:47 Sergei Rachmaninoff
    Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra
    Gustavo Dudamel
    Yuja Wang, piano
    Buy Now
  • The Minstrel Boy 7:45 Trad.
    Paul Robeson, bass-baritone
    Lawrence Brown, piano
    Buy Now
Playlist
Other MPR Radio Streams
Choral Stream
MPR News
Radio Heartland

You can now listen to Classical and Choral Music on your iOS (iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad) or Android device.

Classical Notes Blog

Read more