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Handel: Solomon / McGegan, Mead, Labelle, Slattery


Release Date: 09/18/2007 
Label:  Carus   Catalog #: 83242   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Dominique LabelleMichael SlatteryRoderick WilliamsTimothy Mead
Conductor:  Nicholas McGegan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Winchester Cathedral ChoirGöttingen Festival Orchestra
Number of Discs: 3 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 2 Hours 37 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

This is a hybrid Super Audio CD playable on both regular and Super Audio CD players.

Although a return visit to my previous favorite Solomon--John Eliot Gardiner and the Monteverdi Choir on Philips, from 1984--confirms its continued place as the reference version, this new one, recorded live at the gorgeously rebuilt Frauenkirche Dresden in May, 2007, offers solid competition, its crisp articulation, lively tempos, strong dramatic atmosphere, and vibrant sound making a satisfying all-around impression. And happily, there's not anything significant in the way of stage or audience noise to distract from the music.

Soloists are critical in this work, and although Gardiner's have the collective edge in consistency of
Read more technique, Nicholas McGegan's need make no apologies, especially the Solomon of countertenor Tim Mead (Gardiner uses mezzo Carolyn Watkinson; Handel wrote the part for a contralto) and tenor Michael Slattery as Zadok, both of whom contribute some very lovely singing. Solomon features some of Handel's most magnificent choruses and orchestral passages, opulently scored and here fully exploited in (and benefiting from) the large acoustic space of the Frauenkirche. McGegan moves things along with a keen sense of theatrical pacing, giving his singers room but never allowing the big numbers to drag. Some of the best arias and most exciting choruses come in Acts 2 and 3, and McGegan and his able forces really shine here, leading up to a powerful climax in the big double chorus "Praise the Lord" in Act 3. In all, this is a grand and glorious effort, worthy of Handel's extraordinary, delightfully extravagant, unusually colorful depiction of an equally grand and glorious subject. Recommended!

--David Vernier, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

1. Solomon, HWV 67 by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Dominique Labelle (Soprano), Michael Slattery (Tenor), Roderick Williams (Baritone),
Timothy Mead (Alto)
Conductor:  Nicholas McGegan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Winchester Cathedral Choir,  Göttingen Festival Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1749; London, England 
Venue:  Live  Frauenkirche, Dresden, Germany 
Language: English 

Sound Samples

Solomon, HWV 67: Act I: Overture
Solomon, HWV 67: Act I Scene 1: Your harps and cymbals sound to great Jehovah's praise (Chorus of Priests)
Solomon, HWV 67: Act I Scene 1: Air: Praise ye the Lord for all His mercies past (Levite)
Solomon, HWV 67: Act I Scene 1: With pious hearts, and holy tongue (Chorus of Priests)
Solomon, HWV 67: Act I Scene 1: Air: Almighty pow'r, who rul'st the earth and skies (Solomon)
Solomon, HWV 67: Act I Scene 1: Recitative: Imperial Solomon, thy pray'rs are heard (Zadok)
Solomon, HWV 67: Act I Scene 1: Air: Sacred raptures cheer my breast (Zadok)
Solomon, HWV 67: Act I Scene 1: Throughout the land Jehovah's praise record (Chorus of Israelites)
Solomon, HWV 67: Act I Scene 1: Recitative: Bless'd be the Lord, who look'd with gracious eyes (Solomon)
Solomon, HWV 67: Act I Scene 1: Air: What though I trace each herb and flow'r (Solomon)
Solomon, HWV 67: Act I Scene 2: Recitative: And see my queen, my wedded love (Solomon)
Solomon, HWV 67: Act I Scene 2: Air: Bless'd the day when first my eyes (Queen)
Solomon, HWV 67: Act I Scene 2: Recitative: Thou fair inhabitant of Nile (Solomon, Queen)
Solomon, HWV 67: Act I Scene 2: Duet: Welcome as the dawn of day (Queen, Solomon)
Solomon, HWV 67: Act I Scene 2: Recitative: Vain are the transient beauties of the beauties (Zadok)
Solomon, HWV 67: Act I Scene 2: Air: Indulge thy faith and wedded truth (Zadok)
Solomon, HWV 67: Act I Scene 2: Recitative: My blooming fair, come, come away (Solomon)
Solomon, HWV 67: Act I Scene 2: Air: Haste, haste to the cedar grove (Solomon)
Solomon, HWV 67: Act I Scene 2: Recitative: When thou art absent from my sight (Queen)
Solomon, HWV 67: Act I Scene 2: Air: With thee th'unshelter'd moor I'd tread (Queen)
Solomon, HWV 67: Act I Scene 2: Recitative: Search round the world, there never yet was seen (Zadok)
Solomon, HWV 67: Act I Scene 2: May no rash intruder disturb their soft hours (Chorus)
Solomon, HWV 67: Act II Scene 1: From the censer curling rise (Chorus of Israelites)
Solomon, HWV 67: Act II Scene 1: Recitative: Prais'd be the Lord, from Him my wisdom springs (Solomon)
Solomon, HWV 67: Act II Scene 1: Air: When the sun o'er yonder hills (Solomon)
Solomon, HWV 67: Act II Scene 1: Recitative: Great prince, thy resolution's just (Levite)
Solomon, HWV 67: Act II Scene 1: Air: Thrice bless'd that wise discerning king (Levite)
Solomon, HWV 67: Act II Scene 2: Recitative: My sovereign liege, two women stand (Attendant, Solomon) - Scene 3: Thou son of David, hear a mother's grief (First Harlot)
Solomon, HWV 67: Act II Scene 3: Trio: Words are weak to paint my fears (First Harlot, Second Harlot, Solomon)
Solomon, HWV 67: Act II Scene 3: Recitative: What says the other to th'imputed charge? (Solomon, Second Harlot)
Solomon, HWV 67: Act II Scene 3: Air: Thy sentence, great king (Second Harlot)
Solomon, HWV 67: Act II Scene 3: Recitative: Withhold, withhold the executing hand! (First Harlot)
Solomon, HWV 67: Act II Scene 3: Air: Can I see my infant gor'd (First Harlot)
Solomon, HWV 67: Act II Scene 3: Recitative: Israel, attend to what your king shall say (Solomon)
Solomon, HWV 67: Act II Scene 3: Duet: Thrice bless'd be the king (First Harlot, Solomon)
Solomon, HWV 67: Act II Scene 3: From the east unto the west (Chorus of Israelites)
Solomon, HWV 67: Act II Scene 3: Recitative: From morn to eve I could enraptur'd ding (Zadok)
Solomon, HWV 67: Act II Scene 3: Air: See the tall palm that lifts head (Zadok)
Solomon, HWV 67: Act II Scene 3: Recitative: No more shall armed bands our hopes destroy (First Harlot)
Solomon, HWV 67: Act II Scene 3: Air: Beneath the vine, or fig-tree's shade (First Woman)
Solomon, HWV 67: Act II Scene 3: Swell, swell the full chorus (Chorus of Priests)

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