Bach Musica NZ: Handel Samson
Bach Musica NZ presents Handel’s dramatic oratorio Samson.
Rita Paczian conductor
Joanna Foote Soprano
Katie Trigg Alto
Andrew Grenon Tenor
Joel Amosa Bass
Samuel McKeever Bass
Handel composed Samson immediately after Messiah in 1741. It proved an instant success and has never fallen out of favour since then.
The libretto is based on Milton’s Samson Agonistes. As Milton was blind, he could emphasise with the blindness of Samson, as indeed could Handel whose sight was also beginning to fail. It is a highly operatic work, from a famous operatic composer. The chorus’s role is like the Greek chorus in that it sets the scene, offers moral comments, describes the action in thrilling detail and thus gives a backdrop to the various soloists whose characters are vividly portrayed through Handel’s dramatic writing.
The oratorio is dramatic and tragic, but it ends joyfully with its brilliant soprano aria Let the Bright Seraphim followed by the final triumphant chorus Let their celestial concerts all unite. Samson's great deed has brought redemption to God's people and the work ends triumphantly with a great hymn of praise, in endless morn of light.
Andrew Grenon is featured in the title role of Samson.