Ahead of its WA premiere, the organist reckons Handel’s oratorio offers more than just The Queen of Sheba’s ubiquitous arrival.
Handel’s Solomonis a wonderful score, yet with the exception of the ubiquitous Arrival of the Queen of Shebahas always fared badly on CD and in live performance compared to, say, Saulor Samson. Why do you think that might be?
I think perhaps because there are no ‘easy listening’ tunes in the arias and the choruses are generally much longer than those of, say, Messiah. It has to be said that the word painting and general ingenuity of the choruses are not at the level of Messiahor Samson, and accounts for why Solomonappears to be around fourth in terms of the most performances Handel conducted of his own oratorios.
Solomon is an oratorio that you need to experience as a whole performance for it to make sense. You can’t get away with the usual excerpts disc movements here! While performances are often edited, judicious cuts ensure that the libretto and music build the story in a leaner and perhaps more powerful way.
Joseph Nolan, Organist and Master...