Handel - "Samson"

7:30 pm, 2 October 2021

Windsor Parish Church

Handel’s oratorio ‘Samson’ is one of the most magnificent works which he ever composed. The story of Samson and Dalilah is famous and the choruses featured in this work are amongst the best and varied which Handel ever composed. ‘Samson’ also includes two brilliant solo duets (for Samson and Dalilah, and Samson and Harapha) and there are numerous solo arias of outstanding quality. In Act 1 Samson sings his famous aria ‘Total eclipse’. The second Act opens with one of Handel’s most beautiful contralto arias ‘ Return, oh God of hosts’ (beautifully sung on disc by the famous Kathleen Ferrier) and just before the end of ‘Samson’ there is one of Handel’s best known arias, ‘Let the bright Seraphim’. Kiri te Kanawa sang this aria at Prince Charles and Diana’s wedding at London’s St. Paul’s Cathedral and the brilliant Australian soprano, Joan Sutherland, made herself famous singing this aria when Handel’s ‘Samson’ was given a number of dramatic performances on Covent Garden Opera’s stage. After this she was given the leading role in Donizetti’s best known opera ‘Lucia di Lammermoor’.

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