What I wanna do is sing along with the Messiah on CD, in the privacy of my own home. (Look, you have fun your way, I’ll have fun mine…)
So I needed a vocal score. So I looked in my old faithful Dover reprints catalog and sent away for “Handel’s Messiah”. What I got, first, turned out to be an “Abridged” edition (by one Alfred Mann), so there are some chunks missing towards the end, and second, it turned out to be–different. Some of the notes are slightly different than what the choir on the CD is singing. (I don’t mind that it was the full orchestral score, I can read along with the voices. I’d like just a voice/piano score, but full score will do.)
So now I’m looking on amazon.com, and they’ve got three different versions of “handel messiah score” that I can see.
Something billed as “Messiah in Full score”, with a purple cover, which doesn’t have a name for the edition. It’s $10.50.
Something billed as “Messiah Vocal Score, Novello Edition”. It’s 20 bucks.
And something at least with a name that I recognize, the G. Schirmer’s edition, “Messiah, An Oratorio, Complete Vocal Score”. Okay, but that’s from, like, 1910. Is it obsolete? I don’t wanna buy it if it’s not going to be what the choir is singing on the CD, either. But it’s only $7.50.
So I’m in a quandary. The Novello edition looks like what I want–but not if it’s some newfangled revisionist edition. The Schirmer’s at least has a name I recognize, but it may be out-of-date. And the Purple Book, it’s another full score, but it’s only $10.50, but who knows what it may or may not have edited out?
So, any advice, information, input?