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Handel: Solomon / Martini, Et Al


Release Date: 07/25/2006 
Label:  Naxos   Catalog #: 8557574   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Matthias ViewegNicola WemyssElisabeth SchollKnut Schoch,   ... 
Conductor:  Joachim Carlos Martini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Frankfurt Junge KantoreiFrankfurt Baroque Orchestra
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 2 Hours 40 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

After years as a successful opera composer in London, Handel adapted to changes in fashion and turned to oratorios, therefore creating for himself a second career. One of the real masterpieces of this period is Solomon. Premiered in 1749, it's a love story (the Queen of Sheba and Solomon woo and coo) that has as its dramatic centerpiece the story of the two women who claim to be the birth mother of the same child. The work is filled with marvelous, big choruses (some in eight parts), is scored for large orchestra, and has a grandeur that is undeniable.

This is a fine performance of it, with a rich-voiced mezzo, Ewa Wolak, in the title role. (Oddly enough, it was composed for a mezzo; on his recording, Paul McCreesh uses the
Read more remarkable countertenor Andreas Scholl--historically incorrect but superb nonetheless.) Here, Wolak sings with assuredness and involvement if not quite enough emphasis. Elisabeth Scholl sings the Queen with pure tone and imbues the Second Woman with passion. Tenor Kurt Schoch does well with the difficulties of Zadok the Priest's coloratura, however Matthias Vieweg does not hold up the bass end of the scale well. Chorus and Orchestra are excellent, although the chorus seems to be recorded from a great distance. The McCreesh is the preferred performance--it's certainly more dramatic--but this new one is less than half the price of the other and presents the work honestly and with dignity. (Naxos provides a synopsis but no libretto.)

--Robert Levine, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

1.
Solomon, HWV 67 by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Matthias Vieweg (Bass), Nicola Wemyss (Soprano), Elisabeth Scholl (Soprano),
Knut Schoch (Tenor), Ewa Wolak (Alto)
Conductor:  Joachim Carlos Martini
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Frankfurt Junge Kantorei,  Frankfurt Baroque Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1749; London, England 
Date of Recording: 05/30/2004 
Venue:  Live  Eberbach Cloister, Etvilla am Rhein 
Length: 160 Minutes 7 Secs. 
Language: English 

Sound Samples

Solomon, HWV 67: Part I: Overture
Solomon, HWV 67: Part I: Allegro
Solomon, HWV 67: Part I Scene 1: Your harps and cymbals sound (Chorus of Priests)
Solomon, HWV 67: Part I Scene 1: Air: Praise ye the Lord (Levite)
Solomon, HWV 67: Part I Scene 1: With pious hearts (Chorus of Priests)
Solomon, HWV 67: Part I Scene 1: Accompagnato: Almighty pow'r! (Solomon)
Solomon, HWV 67: Part I Scene 1: Recitative: Imperial Solomon (Zadok)
Solomon, HWV 67: Part I Scene 1: Air: Sacred raptures (Zadok)
Solomon, HWV 67: Part I Scene 1: Throughout the land Jehovah's praise (Chorus of Israelites)
Solomon, HWV 67: Part I Scene 1: Recitative: Bless'd be the Lord (Solomon)
Solomon, HWV 67: Part I Scene 1: Air: What tho' I trace (Solomon)
Solomon, HWV 67: Part I Scene 2: Recitative: And see my Queen (Solomon)
Solomon, HWV 67: Part I Scene 2: Air: Bless'd the day (Queen)
Solomon, HWV 67: Part I Scene 2: Recitative: Thou fair inhabitant of Nile (Solomon, Queen)
Solomon, HWV 67: Part I Scene 2: Duet: Welcome as the dawn of day (Solomon, Queen)
Solomon, HWV 67: Part I Scene 2: Recitative: Vain are the transient beauties (Zadok)
Solomon, HWV 67: Part I Scene 2: Air: Indulge thy faith (Zadok)
Solomon, HWV 67: Part I Scene 2: Recitative: My blooming fair (Solomon)
Solomon, HWV 67: Part I Scene 2: Air: Haste to the cedar grove (Solomon)
Solomon, HWV 67: Part I Scene 2: Recitative: When thou art absent from my sight (Queen)
Solomon, HWV 67: Part I Scene 2: Air: With thee th'unshelter'd moor I tread (Queen)
Solomon, HWV 67: Part I Scene 2: Recitative: Search round the world (Zadok)
Solomon, HWV 67: Part I Scene 2: May no rash intruder (Chorus)
Solomon, HWV 67: Part II Scene 1: From the censer curling rise (Chorus)
Solomon, HWV 67: Part II Scene 1: Recitative: Prais'd be the Lord (Solomon)
Solomon, HWV 67: Part II Scene 1: Air: When the sun o'er yonder hills (Solomon)
Solomon, HWV 67: Part II Scene 1: Recitative: Great prince (Levite)
Solomon, HWV 67: Part II Scene 1: Air: Thrice bless'd that wise discerning king (Levite)
Solomon, HWV 67: Part II Scene 2: Recitative: My sovereign liege, two women stand (Attendant, Solomon, First Woman)
Solomon, HWV 67: Part II Scene 2: Air and Trio: Words are weak to paint my Fears (First Woman, Second Woman, Solomon)
Solomon, HWV 67: Part II Scene 3: Recitative: What says the other (Solomon, Second Woman)
Solomon, HWV 67: Part II Scene 3: Air: Thy sentence, great king (Second Woman)
Solomon, HWV 67: Part II Scene 3: Recitative: Withhold the executing hand (First Woman)
Solomon, HWV 67: Part II Scene 3: Air: Can I see my infant gor'd (First Woman)
Solomon, HWV 67: Part II Scene 3: Accompagnato: Israel, attend (Solomon)
Solomon, HWV 67: Part II Scene 3: Duet: Thrice bless'd be the king (First Woman, Solomon)
Solomon, HWV 67: Part II Scene 3: From the east unto the west (Chorus of Israelites)
Solomon, HWV 67: Part II Scene 3: Recitative: From morn to eve (Zadok)
Solomon, HWV 67: Part II Scene 3: Air: See the tall Palm (Zadok)
Solomon, HWV 67: Part II Scene 3: Recitative: No more shall armed bands (First Woman)
Solomon, HWV 67: Part II Scene 3: Air: Beneath the vine (First Woman)
Solomon, HWV 67: Part II Scene 3: Swell the full chorus (Chorus of Priests)
Solomon, HWV 67: Part III: Sinfonia, "Arrival of the Queen of Sheba"
Solomon, HWV 67: Part III: Recitative: From Arabia's spicy shores (Queen of Sheba, Solomon)
Solomon, HWV 67: Part III: Air: Ev'ry sight these eyes behold (Queen of Sheba)
Solomon, HWV 67: Part III: Recitative: Sweep the string (Solomon)
Solomon, HWV 67: Part III: Air and Chorus: Music, spread thy voice around (Solomon, Chorus)
Solomon, HWV 67: Part III: Air and Chorus: Now a diff'rent measure try (Solomon, Chorus)
Solomon, HWV 67: Part III: Recitative: Then at once (Solomon)
Solomon, HWV 67: Part III: Draw the tear from hopeless love (Chorus)
Solomon, HWV 67: Part III: Recitative: Next the tortur'd soul release (Solomon)
Solomon, HWV 67: Part III: Air and Chorus: Thus rolling surges rise (Solomon)
Solomon, HWV 67: Part III: Recitative: Thy Harmony's divine (Queen of Sheba)
Solomon, HWV 67: Part III: Air: Pious king, and virtuous queen (Levite)
Solomon, HWV 67: Part III: Recitative: Thrice happy king (Zadok)
Solomon, HWV 67: Part III: Air: Golden columns, fair and bright (Zadok)
Solomon, HWV 67: Part III: Praise the Lord (Chorus)
Solomon, HWV 67: Part III: Recitative: Gold now is common (Solomon)
Solomon, HWV 67: Part III: Air: How green our fertile pastures look (Solomon)
Solomon, HWV 67: Part III: Recitative: May peace in Salem ever dwell (Queen of Sheba)
Solomon, HWV 67: Part III: Air: Will the sun forget to streak (Queen of Sheba)
Solomon, HWV 67: Part III: Recitative: Adieu, fair queen (Solomon)
Solomon, HWV 67: Part III: Duet: Ev'ry joy, that wisdom knows (Solomon, Queen of Sheba)
Solomon, HWV 67: Part III: The name of the wicked (Chorus)

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