THE PASSION: Adrian Snail with the London Philharmonic Orchestra (Kingsway music, f5.25).
ADRIAN SNALL is the doyen of the arcane world of Chrtian rock music. Backed by the London Philharmonic orchestra, the strong astringent text (mostly taken from the Living Bible) is highlighted with percussion, electric guitar and synthesiser. It's wonderful what can be done to music and what's more, you can actually hear the words. The music builds up to a swelling climax at the Resurection, "1 have seen the Lord — Jesus is alive.'" A deafening silence, then Jesus sings gently, "Life so full I give to you, As the Father sends me, so I send you, spread my light throughout all life. Peace be with you."
Some of the female soloists were perhaps a little too musically lightweight and I would have liked to have heard the Philharmonic brought out a little more in the final mixing. Once or twice there was too much beat and not enough music.
But, despite that, it is an excellent album, and one I would recommend to anyone who has difficulty in sitting through eight sides of Messiah.