Handel, “Samson” (1743)
Handel composed Samson right after finishing Messiah. Both oratorios were composed at a furious pace.
The libretto (see below) was by Newburgh Hamilton, who based it on Milton’s poem Samson Agonistes, which in turn was based on the figure Samson in Chapter 16 of the Old Testament Book of Judges.
I think Samson is almost equal, if not equal, to Messiah. It is a splendid work; there is such magnificent music and genuine feeling in it.