With an outstanding solo quartet and a great chorus and orchestra, Davis leads a sterling performance that challenges the supremacy of his 1966 Philips recording of Messiah. Davis leads a dramatic performance; the famous "Hallelujah" chorus appropriately grand, the final "Amen" bristling with brazen energy, both sung with extraordinary tonal coloring and precise articulation by the chorus, which also shines in a lithe "He shall purify" and a vividly virtuoso "For unto us a child is born." Soprano Susan Gritton's solos are a delight, whether in the measured "Behold, a virgin shall conceive" or her exuberant "Rejoice greatly." The vocal purity of her "I know my redeemer liveth" makes this track a highlight. Alto Sara Mingardo's darker tones are especially moving in her arias and dramatic in "He was despised."
Rossellini's final film relates the story of Christ in the director's unsentimental, realistic style.
Based on the book of the same name by H.S. Ede, eccentric director Ken Russell created this biographical drama of a great early 20th century artist who died tragically young. Henri Gaudier (Scott Anthony) is only 18 years old, a self-taught Parisian sculptor of enormous talent but prone to rash, exuberant behavior. Henri meets and begins a platonic but emotionally intense relationship with Sophie Brzeksa (Dorothy Tutin), a cultured Polish woman 20 years his senior. The relationship between Henri and Sophie remains inspired and impassioned, if not sexual, and her air of intelligent refinement positively impacts his life and work. Eventually, the couple moves to London, where Henri takes his partner's last name, and his star rises in the art world as the chief proponent of Vorticism, an offshoot of Cubism and Futurism. In real life, Henri Gaudier-Brzeska was a signer of the Vorticist Manifesto and a founder of The London School along with his patron, Ezra Pound, but his genius was not recognized until after his death.