Venue : St John's Smith Square, London
Address : London, SW1P 3HA
Following performances of Handel’s Israel in Egypt and Joshua in 2014 and 2015 respectively, the Holst Singers and Stephen Layton return to St John’s Smith Square to perform the third work in the Handel Oratorio Series, Solomon, a work which is universally recognised as one of Handel’s finest masterpieces.
Handel’s Solomon recounts three episodes from the life of the renowned Old Testament king who, according to the books of Kings I and Chronicles II, was a wise and fabulously wealthy King of Israel. The marvellous and vivid music celebrates the joys of the completion of Solomon’s temple and the sensuality of Solomon’s devotion to his queen, the moving nature of his famous judgement in the case of two women who both claim a baby as their own, and the majesty and wonder of the visit of the Queen of Sheba to Solomon’s magnificent empire. For the standards of its day, unusually substantial forces are called for, with a large orchestra, five soloists and a five-part chorus which often expands into eight parts.
A first class roster of soloists and the expert baroque orchestra Music for Awhile join the Holst Singers to perform Solomon using a new edition by Stephen Layton, giving new insight into Handel’s seemingly infinitely varied and masterfully constructed music.