Linn Records' recording of the original 1742 Dublin version of Handel's Messiah has won a Classic FM Gramophone Award - and it's available as a multichannel SACD, or as studio-quality, CD-quality and MP3 downloads.
The disc, performed by the Dunedin Consort and Players conducted by John Butt, recreates the first performances of the famous oratorio, given in Dublin in April and June 1742. Apart from being somewhat shorter than the versions commonly performed these days, the performance, recorded at Greyfriars Kirk in Edinburgh, uses smaller forces than today's 'big band' Messiahs.
The recording took top honours in the Baroque Vocal section of the Awards, presented in London last week, the judges describing it as 'fresh-sounding, exuberantly performed and profoundly moving.' The conductor made an acceptance speech which lived up to all those qualities!
The 'Dublin Messiah' is available on hybrid SACD, with multichannel and stereo SACD versions plus conventional CD-quality stereo, from good record shops or online from the Linn Records website. On the same site you can also download the recording as Studio Master-quality FLAC or WMA files, CD-quality in the same choice of formats, and 320kbps MP3. The SACD is £15, the master-quality files £18, the CD-quality version £11 and the MP3 £8.
For more details of the Classic FM Gramophone Awards, see here.