George Fr. Handel · Samson
S A M S O N
The English Oratorio HWV 57,
performed according to the traditions of the time
by Sinéad Pratschke (Soprano),
Michael Chance (Countertenor),
Mark Le Brocq (Tenor),
Raimund Nolte (Baritone),
David Thomas (Bass),
Monastery Baroque Orchestra,
Maulbronn Chamber Choir (Maulbronner Kammerchor)
Conductor: Jürgen Budday
A concert recording from the church of the German
UNESCO World Heritage Site Maulbronn Monastery
DDD · Double Album · c. 150 Minutes
his live recording is part of a cycle of oratorios and masses, performed in the basilica of Maulbronn Abbey under the direction of Jürgen Budday. The series combines authentically performed oratorios and masses with the optimal acoustics and atmosphere of this unique monastic church. This ideal location demands the transparency of playing and the interpretive unveiling of the rhetoric intimations of the composition, which is especially aided by the historically informed performance. The music is exclusively performed on reconstructed historical instruments, which are tuned to the pitch customary in the composer's lifetimes (this performance is tuned in a' = 415 Hz).
mmediately after the "Messias", which was created within the 24 days between august, 22. and september, 14. 1741, Händel started to compose "Samson." At october, 29. 1741 he finished the last act, which means that those two biggest oratories, the "Messias" and "Samson," came into being within ten successive weeks only. Samson's dramaturgical fundament comes from the book "judges" of the bible. John Milton, England's most important baroque poet, has formed his epos "Samson Agonistes" by following freely the outlines of the bible. Newburgh Hamilton transformed it for Händel's oratory.
It descibes the betrayal, the remorse and the victory of Samson, the israelean army commander, whose power grew with his hair, as the legend tells us. The work starts one year after the capture and blinding of Samson, when the priests of the pagan god Dagon are celebrating their greatest triumph. In his last struggle Samson, accompained by his father Manoah and his friend Micah, has to stand the temptations of the seductress Dalila and the giant Harapha, which are both followers of god Dagon and his priests. When his strenghs returns, Samson smashes the pillars of Dragon's temple and buries the enemies and himself under the rubble.
Come, come and liter your moaning now, for our hero, Samson, died as Samson. In death and life winner, he gave ruin to our enemies, never ending glory to himself...
ublishing Authentic Classical Concerts entails for us capturing and recording outstanding performances and concerts for posterity. The performers, audience, opus and room enter into an intimate dialogue that in its form and expression, its atmosphere, is unique and unrepeatable. It is our aim, the philosophy of our house, to enable the listener to acutely experience every facet of this symbiosis, the intensity of the performance, so we record the concerts in direct 2-Track Stereo digital HD. The results are unparalleled interpretations of musical and literary works, simply - audiophile snapshots of permanent value. Flourishing culture, enthralling the audience and last but not least also you the listener, are the values we endeavor to document in our editions and series.
The concerts at the UNESCO World Heritage Maulbronn Monastery supply the ideal conditions for our aspirations. It is, above all, the atmosphere of the romantic, candle-lit arches, the magic of the monastery in its unadulterated sublime presence and tranquillity that impresses itself upon the performers and audience of these concerts. Renowned soloists and ensembles from the international arena repeatedly welcome the opportunity to appear here - enjoying the unparalleled acoustic and architectural beauty of this World Heritage Site, providing exquisite performances of secular and sacred music, documented by us in our Maulbronn Monastery Edition.
Andreas Otto Grimminger & Josef-Stefan Kindler, K&K Verlagsanstalt
An impressive oratorio
Samson, an impressive oratorio in three movements Georg F. Handel, is performed in a historical setting by Sinéad Pratschke, Michael Chance, Marc LeBrocq, Raimund Nolte, David Thomas, Maulbronner Kammerchor and Barockorchester der Klosterkonzerte. Juergen Budday conducts this double-CD box set concert recording made at the convent church in Maulbronn in 1999.
...The sound in this monastery is excellent. This is a beautiful recording of one of Handel's finest oratorios, and is highly recommended.
***** I could not be happier with this superb recording
I have been listening to Jephtha and Samson quite extensively, and I must say that these two recordings are truly impressive. First, the cast of soloists is an absolutely superb assembly of historically-informed performers. It would be hard to find singers any better than Emma Kirkby, Steven Varcoe, Michael Chance. I found all of the performances by the soloists nearly impeccable.
Second, I suspected that the recordings themselves might be filled with ambient and background noises since these were the result of live performances.
I have been extremely pleased with the technical aspects of the recordings: they are 'clean' and clear with very little extraneous sounds. The engineering of these recordings is highly commendable!!
Finally, the orchestral playing by the Barockorchester der Klosterkonzerte and the participation of the Maulbronner Kammerchor are nearly flawless. The string playing is especially strong, and the choruses - filled with drama and emotion - are executed at the highest possible level. Even the pronunciation and intonation of the English is perfect.
In sum, I could not be happier with these two superb recordings. Already possessing several recorded versions of each of these masterful oratorios, I felt that it would be difficult to match the strength and quality of, for example, the performance under John Elliot Gardiner.
These two new additions by K&K Verlagsanstalt to the recorded Handel repertoire are magnificent models, exemplary of how to bring these monumental works to life for the modern audience. The crisp, clear recording, the excellent engineering, the incredible acoustics, the superb performances make these two of the best Handel compact discs I have purchased in a long time.
I should be most happy if you would keep my name on your mailing list, since I would like to be informed when your fine enterprise releases any more Baroque repertoire. These are performances to be treasured and are of the highest caliber of historically-informed practice.