<< -- 3 -- Robert Hugill INSPIRING AND MEMORABLE
Jacobs is a very interventionist conductor, he is never content to simply let the music jog along. This can reap rewards but the result can sometimes be confusingly kaleidoscopic. In Solomon the singers and players were generally very responsive and created a coherent whole. Where I departed company was in the extra bits that he added, the aforementioned harpsichord flourishes and linking passages at cadences and the addition of a semi-chorus to the First Harlot's Beneath the vine, or fig-tree's shade.
The tenor and bass soloists, Jeremy Ovenden and Henry Waddington, deserve mention. Sometimes the contributions by Zadok and the Levite can seem an unnecessary hold up to the action. But both Ovenden and Waddington proved to be stylish and convincing interpreters.
In the judgement scene Hansen, Arnet and Christensson gave full weight to Handel's remarkable drama. In this little scene he comes closest to the sort of operatic drama that would replace opera seria. The scene even includes a trio in which each of the three characters expresses their own point of view, something truly rare in Baroque Opera.
There was the odd slip in ensemble which made one think that the rehearsal schedule was a little rushed, but there were many, many wonderful things in this concert. Malin Christensson was heartbreaking as the first Harlot and Marie Arnet's final aria, Will the sun forget to streak, was movingly memorable. All in all an inspiring and memorable evening.
Copyright © 12 April 2006
Robert Hugill, London UK
ORCHESTRA OF THE AGE OF ENLIGHTENMENT