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Notes and Editorial Reviews
"Richter brings a solid, disciplined richness to Handel. The big choruses are supported by the organ, and the harpsichord is exuberantly present just about everywhere. The Munich Bach Choir sometimes sings with a German accent but doesn't muff an eighth note. The soloists are all native English speakers, and paramount among them is Alexander Young, the best Handel tenor of his time. He combines agility with persuasive heroic strength, and he is a superb actor. His unparalleled flamboyance of declamation brings every word to life (listen to the confrontation with Dalila); you remember both the character and the music. Arroyo sounds both voluptuous and repentant as Dalila, Procter is a composed, stately Micah with an absolutely steady
contralto, and Flagello thunders imposingly as Harapha. Stewart's handsome baritone limns a suave, solicitous Manoa. The American tenor Jennings is the least renowned of these singers, and he does have a bland, forgettable voice; but he's an excellent technician who easily tosses off the most difficult passages. Armstrong and Donath divide the arias for the remaining Israelite and Philistine bystanders with almost equal distinction, though neither Archiv nor MHS specify who sings what. To Armstrong fall the ripest plums, "Let the bright Seraphim" and "With plaintive notes," and she manages admirably, though Donath's silvery voice is probably more appealing. If I tell you that Donath sings "It is not virtue," you should be able to sort out the rest—the timbres are quite different."
-- Ralph V. Lucano, Fanfare[11/1998]
Works on This Recording
Samson, HWV 57 by George Frideric Handel
Martina Arroyo (Soprano),
Thomas Stewart (Baritone),
Helen Donath (Soprano),
Ezio Flagello (Bass),
Norma Procter (Alto),
Alexander Young (Tenor),
Jerry J Jennings (Tenor),
Sheila Armstrong (Soprano)
Munich Bach Orchestra,
Munich Bach Choir
Written: by 1743; London, England
Date of Recording: C1969
Average Customer Review: ( 1 Customer Review )
Remarkable recording August 20, 2014
By Michael Sturgulewski (Miami, FL) See All My Reviews
"Stylistically Richter is right on the button, however the incredible vocal cast could hardly be improved upon. I've been waiting for this CD reissue as along as CD's have been around! Glad to have it back."