Notes & Reviews:
Set in a time of ancient Rome's persecution of the Christians, Handel's late masterpiece Theodora tells of the tragic martyrdom of the heroine and her lover Didymus. The challenging nature of the libretto with its religious conflict, cruelty, self-sacrifice and brothel scene was discomforting for contemporary audiences, and despite Handel's magnificent music the oratorio was his least successful. This is part of a series of Handel oratorios from Martini and Junge Kantorei. In 1968, with Fritz Eitel, the youth pastor of the Evangelical Church of Hesse and Nassau, Joachim Carlos Martini founded the Junge Kantorei, to the direction of which he has for some years chiefly devoted himself. At the same time he conducts the Frankfurt Baroque Orchestra, established together with friends. Both organizations have concentrated attention on the oratorios of Handel, with comprehensive performances of this repertoire.
David's Review Corner
He generally uses brisk tempos, even when voices are adding florid decoration, and obtains commendable playing from the period instruments of the Frankfurt Baroque. Without any unwanted sounds, it has the quality of a studio recording, the balance between voices and orchestra being exemplary.
American Record Guide, July / August 2012
The chorus, placed more forward than usual, has a lovely but somewhat hazy homogeneity, with rather woolly diction. The period orchestra does well, and the opposition of second violins to firsts is deliciously captured. Martini's direction is intelligent and well grounded.
Recording information: Basilika Kloster Eberbach, Eltville am Reim, Germany (05/23/2010).
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Works DetailsHandel, George Frideric : Theodora
- Conductor: Joachim Martini
- Ensemble: Junge Kantorei
- Running Time: 157 min. 15 sec.
- Period Time: Baroque
- Form: Cantata/Oratorio
- Written: 1749