Handel: Samson

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LABELS: Archiv
WORKS: Samson
PERFORMER: Alexander Young, Martina Arroyo, Norma Procter, Thomas Stewart, Ezio Flagello Munich Bach Choir & Orchestra/Karl Richter
CATALOGUE NO: 453 245-2 ADD 1969
Karl Richter’s Handel performances have made at least as many enemies as friends in the UK. It is not hard to see why, for German taste used to lean more towards Kapellmeister Handel than impresario Handel, which is mainly, after all, Handel in England. But, whereas Richter’s infrequent and weighty forays into Handel opera always seemed to me well nigh intolerable, his oratorio performances often had an imposing gravitas. His Samson is fairly solid and four-square, but the excellence of choir and orchestra, the choice of tenor Alexander Young for the title role and the generally strong supporting cast make for enjoyment. Nicholas Anderson