I love Handel’s Messiah. In my opinion, it is one of the best works of biblical theology across all genres of art and literature. I make it an annual tradition to listen to it straight through. I wanted a great version. So, being no music critic, I went searching for the answer to the question: What is the best recording of Handel’s Messiah?
Here’s what I found:
Music Critics Association
Several recordings tied for second:
- Andrew Davis conducting the Toronto Symphony and Toronto Mendelssohn Choir.
- Sir Colin Davis conducting the London Symphony Orchestra.
- Two Robert Shaw Orchestra versions: one with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chamber Choir and a remastered recording on RCA/Red Seal.
- The 1976 Decca recording conducted by Sir Neville Marriner, released on CD in 1995.
- Two versions conducted by Sir Charles Mackerras and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (1996 version on ASV, 2006 version on Signum UK), both featuring Felicity Lott, Robert Lloyd, and Phillip Langridge.