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“Taking Milton as his starting point, Handel illustrated in music the contrasts of mood and character between the cheerful and the thoughtful. Then, prompted by his librettist, Charles Jennens, he added compromise in Il Moderato, the moderate man. The sequence of brief numbers is a delight, particularly in a performance as exhilarating as Gardiner’s, with excellent soloists, choir and orchestra. The recording is first rate.”
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