Kantorei, Frankfurt Baroque Orchestra - Handel: Solomon Oratorio In Three Parts

Published Sunday 1st October 2006
Kantorei, Frankfurt Baroque Orchestra - Handel: Solomon Oratorio In Three Parts
Kantorei, Frankfurt Baroque Orchestra - Handel: Solomon Oratorio In Three Parts

STYLE: Choral
RATING 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 20734-
LABEL: Naxos Barogue Choral 855757475
FORMAT: CD Album
ITEMS: 1

This product is currently not available from Cross Rhythms Direct


Reviewed by Steven Whitehead

'Solomon' is an oratorio in three parts, each part revolving around Solomon's relationships with different women. First on is "Pharaoh's Daughter", sung by the soprano Elisabeth Scholl. Next we meet two women from the opposite end of the social continuum. The singers are the Scottish soprano Nicola Wemyss with Elisabeth Scholl doubling up as "Second Woman". They present Solomon with a dilemma: which is the true mother of a baby boy? Solomon, with God's help, finds the solution. And finally the "Queen of Sheba" (Nicola Wemyss again) arrives to see if Solomon is as glorious as rumour has told. With so much emphasis being placed on female voices it seems a strange decision for Handel to write the part of Solomon for a mezzo-soprano (here sung by Ewa Wolak) which means we have to listen very carefully to the words to be sure who is singing (no bad thing). Despite some memorable music the oratorio was not a success when first performed in 1748 although it remained one of the composer's personal favourites. This live recording released on the budget label Naxos gives us a chance to hear who is right. My vote goes to Handel.

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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