Second Overture In Solomon
George Frideric Handel
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The work begins with Solomon and his people celebrating the consecration of the Temple he has built in Jerusalem. Solomon rejoices in his married happiness to his one wife (unlike the biblical Solomon, who is stated to have had hundreds of wives and concubines), and promises to build his queen a palace for her. They express their love for each other and retire for the night as flower-scented breezes and nightingales' songs lull them to rest. The wisdom of Solomon is presented in the famous biblical story of the two harlots who each claimed a baby as her own. Solomon offers to solve the case by splitting the infant in half with his sword but the real mother rejects this solution and offers to hand the child over to the other woman, as Solomon knew the true parent would do. The First Harlot and the chorus praise Solomon's judgement.