Handel: Samson

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4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

WORKS: Samson
PERFORMER: Baker, Watts, Tear, Shirley-Quirk, Luxon, Lott, Burrowes, Oliver Langridge; London Voices ECO/Raymond Leppard
CATALOGUE NO: 2292-45994-2 ADD (1978)
Samson, with a libretto based on Milton’s Samson Agonistes, was the first oratorio Handel wrote after Messiah and it initially proved the more popular of the two in London. A solemn work, it ideally needs a defter touch and more nimble pacing than Raymond Leppard gives it here. But there is plenty of fine singing and Handel’s splendid music, particularly Samson’s lively exchanges with Dalila and Harapha, finally carries the day. Graham Lock