Arts

MUSIC REVIEW

To all, this ‘Messiah’ provides a good night

’Twas two weeks before Christmas, which means, all around, G.F. Handel’s “Messiah’’ is apt to be found./ Behind Martin Pearlman, Boston Baroque was the latest, last weekend, to take up the yoke./ With period instruments, playing and style, the group has been mounting the work for a while./ And after three decades, it’s still the same quest: a “Messiah’’ of period-accurate zest.

This writer, when last he heard Pearlman’s rendition, made bold to perceive some fatigue in that mission./ But this year’s edition had éclat to burn, infusions of thoughtful dash most every turn./ It still was like Pearlman’s “Messiahs’’ years past: It still gave each number a danceable cast./ It still scaled the orchestra down, lean and clear; it still was the fastest “Messiah’’ you’ll hear./ But also were more hints of charm than before, more bounce at the edges, more lilt to the fore./ Much of the joy was the chorus’s doing: in excellent form, the group always pursuing/ finesse and precision and diction and flair, all rendered with effortless, rigorous care.

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