Thomas Cooley (Samson) and Sophie Daneman (Dalila) lead a first class cast in this new recording of Handel’s sacred oratorio. Nicolas McGegan is the conductor on this recording that continues Carus’s exploration of the oratorio and operatic works of George Frederic Handel.
“…Thomas Cooley makes a tragic Samson, from his first soliloquy on his mental anguish, through a heart-rending 'Total eclipse' to his humility and returning strength in Act III. Sophie Daneman is a convincing Dalila, though every sustained note acquires a rather prominent vibrato. Doubling as 'An Israelite woman' in Act III, her first passage-work in 'Let the bright Seraphim' is thrilling. Mcgegan, Nicholas's chorus numbers almost 50, large by today's fashion, but transparent and characterful in its roles as Israelites and Philistines...The SACD recording retains crystal clarity in the dangerously reverberant acoustic of Dresden’s Frauenkirche.” BBC MUSIC MAGAZINE
“…Mcgegan, Nicholas's pacing and conducting of the arias and choruses… is exemplary. The Göttingen Handel Festival Orchestra play with plenty of expertise and personality… Thomas Cooley is the finest Samson on disc since Anthony Rolfe Johnson… sensitively singing his farewell aria "Thus when the sun", but also bringing plenty of colour and animation to athletic music.” GRAMOPHONE