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3 CD set
Samson proved to be one of Handel's most popular oratorios during his lifetime, composed within weeks of Messiah. Thomas Randle sings a commanding title role ("Samson with attitude..." The Independent), with Lynda Russell's vocally seductive Dalila, and Catherine Wyn-Rogers' rich and expressive Micah. Samson opens with a pagan festival and closes with an elegy. Its finale is rightly established as one of the most famous arias of all time. "Let the bright Seraphim in burning row/ Their loud, uplifted angel-trumpets blow."