Handel: Solomon

Album cover art for upc 5400439004498
Label: Ricercar
Catalog: RIC449

Blondeel, Gwendoline; Lowrey, Christopher; Millenium Orchestra; Wolf, Andreas; Chœur de Chambre de Namur; Labin, Ana Maria; García Alarcón, Leonardo; Newlin, Matthew

Handel’s oratorio Solomon is now regarded by its performers and its listeners as one of his greatest compositions. This was not, however, always the case. Solomon was not performed outside of London during Handel’s lifetime, an unusual occurrence during his British career. The work had therefore enjoyed only a limited success, although we may well wonder why, when oratorios sung in English had been so successful until then. Could it have been the obvious lack of theatricality in the libretto, or the public’s growing indifference to the genre? Or was he afraid to alienate the Anglican church, given the rumours of lines with erotic connotations in the first and third acts? Here, Leonardo García Alarcón and his singers and instrumentalists offer us a flamboyant version of the work that would certainly have won over the most hesitant of London listeners in 1749!

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