[Clifford Barlett's] new edition of Handel's Messiah. . . scores high marks for the care taken to present what Bartlett describes as a 'standard version of the work . . . The practical advantages of the full score derive mainly from the clarity of its typography, the economy of sides occupied by what elsewhere often involves a succession of irritating page turns, and a sense that the whole enterprise has been coaxed through the press with maximum care.
Likewise, the vocal score is uncluttered and easy to use. * Early Music Today Aug 99 * . . . For organists/pianists who have for many years done battle with various versions of the accompaniment to Messiah . . . Timothy Morris's piano reduction will be eagerly scrutinized. This is clearly not a 'made easy' version, not a simple reduction to a skeleton of Handel's lively orchestral textures, but it is a lot more playable than commercially available adaptations hitherto . . . Publishing standards are high, clarity ideal, cost (of the vocal score at
least) extremely good. In short, this is an excellent new performing score of a key choral work, edited in the light of modern performance practice influenced but not overwhelmed by the authenticity movement. A most finished piece of Musick indeed. * Organists Review May 99 * . . . provides the musician with a reliable, well-edited score of a performing version, I cannot imagine this could be bettered . . . Not before have all the rich additional material and revisions been included so accessibly in a single edition . . . They also have some hugely useful suggestions for performance and information about conventions and textual history from the editor What is impressive is the breadth of information that is presented in user-friendly terms . . . This is certainly an extremely helpful and practical edition which will serve as a very useful resource for performer and scholar alike. * Early Music May 99 * Indeed the OUP version is notable for its economy. It is clear, uncluttered and as near as possible to what Handel wrote . . . All users will find the Introduction to the vocal score interesting. The choral conductor will find additional information and helpful, practical guidance in the full score . . . Mention of orchestral parts brings me to an important characteristic of the whole of this edition - clarity, and a felling of spaciousness. Players welcome this, and
for the orchestral librarian of the Northern Sinfonia, the orchestra in the Huddersfield launch the parts are the clearest he has worked with in 35 years experience. . . . This is undoubtedly a quality production. If a choir is contemplating a new set of Messiah (and the scores and parts are readily
compatiible with other editions) this one must be at the top of the shortlist. * Howard Layfield, Mastersinger Spring 99 * In the succinct comentary to the full score, there is a useful guidance over rhythmic conventions and a heartening open-mindedness about the validity of a wide variety of interpretations . . . The printing and layout are examplary, and the vocal score is very competitive in price. The full score is exceptional value and is extremely practical. * Martin Neary, Early Music Review Dec 98 * Such simple practical aids will save much rehearsal time: one hopes that other publishers of choral works will follow suit . . . The text is an eminently practical one, not least in the keyboard reduction which lies easily under the fingers. Rapid semiquaver runs in thirds and sixths are avoided wherever possible, yet the essentials of the orchestral texture are always present in an effective transcription for piano or organ which can be used both for rehearsals and
for performances without orchestra. * Choir & Organ Jan 99 * The stated purpose of the edition is to present a score in modern notation that represents what Handel wrote, doing so with the minimum of editorial interference in order to allow performers to make thier own decisions about how to interpret it . . . The result of this editorial restraint is a refreshingly uncluttererd score which can be used by experts and non-specialists alike . . . The music is clearly drawn and printed on good quality paper with no perceptible
show-through. Where movements occupy more than a single page the title and number is shown in small print on each page, and the initial page number for each item in the vocal score is printed in the full score for ease of cross-referencing. * Choir & Organ Jan 99 * The players loved the parts - clear and clean, and I loved the edition; almost everyone in the Hall (the sell-out audience of 1200+ and all the performers) had a marvellous evening . . . I know Clifford and like his work very much indeed - please convey my congratulations to him and the setters and printers, and yourselves, of course, as publishers, for doing everyone such a great favour in producing this wonderful new edition - it's the one for me!! * Colin Touchin, Director of Music, University of Warwick * Bartlett's line on performance practice is sensible and non-didactic . . . The result is an edition that's clean and unfussy, refreshingly uncluttered by superfluous grace-notes or odd-looking demi-semiquaver ornaments . . . Bartlett's edition, however, makes it perfectly possible to reconstruct the 1742 Dublin, 1743 London, or 1750 revised Messiah, according to taste, which should afford music directors hours of innocent fun. * The Singer December 98 *show more