HANDEL: Solomon, HWV 67 (Christopher Tingay/ Elisabeth Scholl/ Frankfurt Baroque Orchestra/ Joachim Carlos Martini/ John Cran/ Junge Kantorei/ Knut Schoch/ Mark Buecker/ Nicola Wemyss) (Naxos: 8.557574-75)
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Universally recognized as one of Handel's finest masterpieces, Solomon is the most sensuous of his biblical oratorios. Magnificent, intricate choruses, seven of which are in eight voice parts, alternate with rapturous, intimate love music, as when Solomon, on the completion of his Temple, beckons his Queen towards the cedar grove.
Part II deals with Solomon's wisdom in deciding who is the mother of the new-born baby. Part III, which opens with the ever popular 'Arrival of the Queen of Sheba', portrays the visit of the Queen and her amazement at the splendour of Solomon's court, yet another instance of Handel paying astute homage to his patron, George II.
\A thoughtful performance of a musically satisfying piece" is how 'BBC Music Magazine' described the Junge Kantorei under Joachim Carlos Martini on Handel's 'Athalia' (8554364-65
), and 'Classics Today' highly praised the soloists and instrumentalists in Handel's 'Deborah' (8.554785-87
): "Eva Wolak has a rich, dark sound, fine exclamatory powers, and good coloratura technique... Deborah, the Hebrew Judge, is nobly done by Elisabeth Scholl... Martini and his energetic forces, with exciting string and harpsichord attacks underpinning the more warlike utterances, are a definite plus in this live recording"."