Solomon, the great king of the United Monarchy of Judah and Israel, is a subject that inspires music of special grandeur, and Handel's two-and-a-half-hour oratorio is appropriately elaborately scored, with an orchestra larger than usual and the use of double chorus in some movements. A performance of the work in German, rather than the original English, and one that is not particularly attuned to period performance practice, might not seem like an ideal representation of the work, but this version featuring Rundfunkchor Berlin and Rundfunk-Sinfonie-Orchester Berlin ought not to be rejected out of hand. By the late eighteenth century, Handel's English oratorios had become huge hits in German translation, and they have a centuries-old performance history in German-speaking countries. (A nineteenth century German edition of Handel's works by Friedrich Chrysander, the translator of Salomo, was by far the most ambitious and closest to complete version, until a comprehensive edition was begun in the 1950s.) This recording, while it may not be the version closest to Handel's original performing forces, does in fact represent a strong record of a long tradition of German performance practice, and as such is of considerable interest. Conductor Heinz Rögner's reading of the score may not be especially revelatory, but it is dramatically and musically solid, capturing both the music's majesty and moments of intimacy, and he keeps things moving at an exciting pace. The large cast of soloists is secure and consistent, and their voices are warm and appealing. Their performances are somewhat reserved and a little reverential, but they avoid the vocal mannerisms that can sometimes make English performance of Handel sound painfully affected. In spite of its use of a translation, Rögner's version of Salomo makes a fine introduction to the work and does justice to its standing as one of the composer's finest works.