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- Handel was 63 years-old when he composed Solomon, one of his final masterpieces. It caused the composer serious financial difficulties in 1749 on account of the exceptional forces it required – but under the baton of Daniel Reuss, it finds a crack British cast devoted to its noble cause. This monumental oratorio depicts the three highpoints of the biblical king’s life: the building of the temple, the famous judgment, and the visit of the Queen of Sheba.
"the Harmonia Mundi recording is almost unreservedly enjoyable. Abetted by his crack period orchestra and 40-strong chorus, Reuss is responsive alike to the oratorio’s ceremonial splendour and its fragrant pastoral tinta...
Where the earlier recordings each have at least one unsatisfactory soloist, Reuss’s solo line-up could hardly be bettered...with Sarah Connolly, who sings with glowing, even tone, ardour (in the love scene), and rapt inwardness in Solomon’s two ‘nature’ arias. Susan Gritton makes a gently sensuous queen (her musing ‘With thee th’unshelter’d moor I’d tread’ a highlight) and probes the full poignancy and anguish of the first harlot’s music..Carolyn Sampson characterises with gusto as the second harlot, and beautifully softens her bright, vernal tone in ‘Will the sun forget to streak?’ The priests are in the expert hands of Mark Padmore (exemplary in his bouts of coloratura) and the gravely sonorous David Wilson-Johnson.
If you want this magnificent work complete, McCreesh’s is the version to go for, while for consistently glorious Handel singing the new Harmonia Mundi recording, impressively directed by Reuss, takes the palm." Gramophone Choice
- Sarah Connolly
Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin
- 2 CD - 2h 35mn 0s
release date. 2016-09-02