George Frideric Handel, Daniel Reuss - Solomon (re-issue)

Published Thursday 12th January 2017
George Frideric Handel, Daniel Reuss - Solomon (re-issue)
George Frideric Handel, Daniel Reuss - Solomon (re-issue)

STYLE: Choral
RATING 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 164152-
LABEL: Harmonia Mundi Heritage HMX2921949.50
FORMAT: CD Album
ITEMS: 2

This product is currently not available from Cross Rhythms Direct


Reviewed by Steven Whitehead

If you want to know the story of King Solomon, the son of King David and ruler of Israel in the 10th century BC, you should open your Bible and read 1 Kings 1-11 and 2 Chronicles 1-9 but if you would rather hear some good tunes then Georg Frideric Handel's Oratorio of 1749 has them. Handel was 63 years old when he composed 'Solomon', selecting three highlights of the king's life: the building of the Jerusalem Temple, his famous judgment over who was the true mother of a baby that so vividly demonstrated his divinely gifted wisdom, and the visit of the Queen of Sheba whose arrival at the opening of Act Three is one of Handel's greatest hits. This two CD set is a re-issue of a 2007 recording by the RIAS Kammerchor and Akademie fur Alte Musik Berlin under Daniel Reuss with soloists Sarah Connolly (alto) as Solomon, Susan Gritton (soprano) as one of his many wives, Carolyn Sampson (soprano) as the Queen of Sheba, Mark Padmore (tenor) as Zadok the Priest, and David Wilson-Johnson (bass) as a token Levite. Having Solomon sung by an alto takes a little getting used to and this reviewer also muddled the two sopranos but that is my problem, not theirs. All the singing, whether choral or solo, is effortless and while Handel enthusiasts can and do debate the merits or otherwise of Reuss' direction this listener thoroughly enjoyed the two and a half hours and is happy to recommend this set, particularly at its two-for-one price.

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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