It is a little ritual I have - to play through a recording of the Messiah in the days before Christmas, and the St Matthew Passion in Holy Week.
Today I am doing the Messiah - and the recording I have chosen is a comparatively ancient one, one that makes me feel comfortable and on familiar territory. This is the jaunty and exuberant Decca/London recording from 1976. The pleasure one derives from the superb chorus work, and Sir Neville's typically enthusiastic and loving approach with the Academy of St Martins at the peak of their form, is added to the deeply moving participation by our lamented friend Philip Langridge. We also have other old Glyndebourne friends Anna Reynolds and Gwynne Howell in the line up. Here are two more totally natural full hearted honest performances. And the quartet is completed by the great Dutch soprano Elly Ameling.
Try to hear this through this Christmas. You can get it from Spotify which everyone should be subscibing to I would have thought.......it is playing in every room thanks to my Sonos system, another minor miracle of the 21st century.