I have meant since last Christmas to purchase this CD of Handel's Messiah, which comes strongly recommended by the folks at The Beehive, whose musical tastes I greatly respect. And after eleven months, I finally got A Round Tuit. It was the fast approach of Christmas that provided the extra kick I needed to actually seek it out. However, The Queen says that Handel's Messiah is not merely for Christmas, but is to be listened to all year round, and who am I to argue with royalty? She provided a wonderful little history of the oratorio last year, along with CD and libretto recommendations.
We have always only listened to a full orchestra version, so I am anxious to hear Emma Kirkby and the rest of the group of ancient music artists give their rendering of the way The Messiah might have been performed during Handel's time. She has such a beautiful, pure voice.
(Your Majesty, I am trying to get out of the mindset of Messiah-at-Christmas-alone, but it requires the changing of habits set when I was young and impressionable. It's just that we began practicing in September and performed it at Christmas for so many years. You have challenged my preconceived notions and early prejudices...)