HANDEL: Belshazzar, review

Thrilling: Rosemary Joshua sings Nitocris in Handel's 'Belshazzar'

This new recording grippingly responds to Handel's theatrical genius, says Geoffrey Norris.

A new year. A new CD label. A new recording of Handel’s dramatic 1745 oratorio “Belshazzar”, that monumental three-acter lasting just short of three hours and boasting some of Handel’s most inspired, humane, thrilling music. Les Arts Florissants, the specialist Baroque ensemble, ventures out independently with a handsomely produced three-disc set of Handel’s “study of a civilisation in decline”, to quote the authoritative Handel scholar, the late Winton Dean. Allan Clayton’s bright, impetuous characterisation of Belshazzar stands as ...

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