Loading Events


The numbers below include tickets for this event already in your cart. Clicking "Get Tickets" will allow you to edit any existing attendee information as well as change ticket quantities.
Tickets are no longer available

Not far from Handel’s statue in the Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens was a statue of the seventeenth-century English poet John Milton. Though he died in 1674, Milton’s legacy extended well into the eighteenth century. Handel seems to have first become captivated by Milton’s poetry following an evening in November 1739 spent with Lord Shaftesbury, when the host’s brother-in-law read aloud the entirety of John Milton’s epic tragic drama Samson Agonistes.

The interest this experience sparked in Handel for Milton’s poetry resulted in some of his most ambitious vocal music — first in L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato (1740) and ultimately in Samson (1743), set to a libretto adapted by Newburgh Hamilton. With Carolyn Sampson and Mark Padmore, two of the most accomplished Handel singers active today, in this final programme from St Giles’s Cripplegate Church (which also hosts a statue of Milton) we trace how Milton’s poetry inspired Handel to use music as a means of advancing and extending poetic meaning.


I. Overture: Larghetto e staccato
II. Allegro
III. Presto
IV. Largo
V. Allegro
VI. Menuet: Un poco larghetto

Total Eclipse (Mark Padmore)
Why does the God of Israel sleep? (Mark Padmore)
To fleeting pleasures make your court (Carolyn Sampson)
Duet: Traitor to love (Carolyn & Mark)
Thus when the sun (Mark Padmore)

Come pensive nun (Carolyn Sampson)
Come, come
There in holy passion
Let me wander (Mark Padmore)
Or let the merry bells (Carolyn Sampson)
As steals the morn (Carolyn Sampson £ Mark Padmore)

Featured Artists

The English Concert
Harry Bicket Director
Carolyn Sampson Soprano
Mark Padmore Tenor


Go to Top