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George Frederic Handel: Susanna
By Christopher Lowrey, Ciara Hendrick, Colin Balzer, Emily Fons, FestspielOrchester Gottingen, Laurence Cummings, NDR Chor, and Raimund Nolte. By George Frideric Handel (1685-1759). Classical. CD (3 discs). Accent #ACC 26406. Published by Accent (NX.ACC-26406).
Item Number: NX.ACC-26406
The Old Testament narrative of Susanna is a popular motif in the domain of art history. Many portrayals of Susanna being watched by two lusting elders as she bathes exist. Likewise, the scene of the supposed adulteress appearing before the judges who seal her fate and sentence her to death inspired such painters as Rembrandt, Giorgione, Gentileschi, and Corinth. After the patriotic 'victory oratorios', the oratorio Susanna marks a turning point in Handel's composition. In adopting this as his subject, Handel chose a heroine who is neither a queen nor a prophet. The piquant account from the Book of Daniel drew from him magnificent inventiveness in the music, which also includes passages in the lighter vein characteristic of the English 'ballad opera' popular at the time. Susanna's virtue, however, is extolled in monumental choruses. The present live recording is a production of the 2016 International Handel Festival in Gottingen, highly praised by the critics at their performances in Gottingen, Berlin, and Wroclaw. With Laurence Cummings, the Festival's Artistic Director, a renowned Handel specialist stands at the helm of the Gottingen Festival Orchestra, assisted by an excellent vocal cast and the NDR Choir.