An Elijah as a devout and moving experience...
This Elijah is both: calming and very beautiful (listen to the octet 'Denn er hat seinen Engeln befohlen' or the divine quartet 'Wirf dein Anliegen auf den Herrn'). Of course once Elijah has done his bit and the Real God performed the much asked-for miracle, the choir are full of joy and sing their hearts out. But this incident typifies this whole performance. Although it was recorded live there is neither any evidence of an audience present nor any tangible sense of occasion in this performance, but there is a strong sense of being in a place of worship, not just in occasional glimpses of the monastery's lavish acoustic but also in Jürgen Budday's restrained direction, allowing his singers to relish the work's more devout moments and never trying to force the pace. So we have some of the slowest tempi on disc. The choir clearly are at ease with Budday's approach and produce a glorious luminosity in such reflective choruses as 'Siehe, der Hüter Israels'.
Also the superb soloists are all utterly convincing in their roles: Jolanta Michalska-Taliaferro is a magnificently wicked Queen as she spits out her venom against Elijah, while Heidi Elisabeth Meier could hardly be more angelic as she calmly exhorts Elijah to 'Rest in the Lord' (after his profoundly moving 'Es ist genug').
Polished orchestral playing further enhances Budday's interpretation of the work as a profound statement of Christian faith, while the recording is as flawless as one would expect from a state-of-the-art studio, let alone a 12th-century monastery.
5 Stars (out of 5 Stars)
An Amazon.uk customer on 5 Mar. 2016 (Verified Purchase of the CD)