Laurence Cummings’ second year as Artistic Director at the Göttingen Handel Festival has been hailed a big success by German and International music critics alike.
Many reviewers noted in particular how good the orchestra sounded under Cummings, with Manuel Brug from Die Welt writing “the orchestra suddenly has real bite and body to it” and Joachim Lange saying “the Handel Festival Orchestra sounds at its best” (Thüringischen Landeszeitung).
Michel White, writing in The Daily Telegraph, described how Cummings “led a totally engrossing performance of the obscure opera at the heart of this year’s festival programme, Siroe King of Persia” and that the oratorio Joseph and his Brethren was “stunningly directed from the keyboard”.
In her 5-star review in the UK Financial Times, Shirley Althorp describes the performance of Siroe as a high-point in the festival’s 93-year history:
“This is new artistic director Laurence Cummings’ first opera in Göttingen, and it must count as a high point in the festival’s history….. Together, Cummings and [director] Karaman have created an evening of Handel that looks and sounds as fresh as if it had been written yesterday, a four-hour roller-coaster ride as gripping as a good Bond film and as delightful as a joyous encounter…. Cummings hits every tempo bang in the middle, so that phrases are light and airy, architecture is solid yet soaring, recitatives feel like free speech, and it is often hard not to stand up and dance. His orchestra is superb. This is both musical discovery and pure joy; this is how Handel should be.”