On this special episode of the Choral Mix, we honor Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights. We will explore selections from George Frideric Handel’s Judas Maccabaeus, which celebrates the restoration of the temple in Jerusalem from the Romans.
Handel, a master at oratorio, composed this work of three acts in 1747, and conducted it more than 40 times. The full length of the oratorio is similar in nature to that of the Messiah, and runs in its completion for over two hours. It was a marvelous success in its day specifically because of its favorable depiction of Judas Maccabaeus, son of a Jewish priest.
Listen for tympany and trumpet fanfare as the temple is reclaimed, setting the stage for the menorah to be lit for 8 days and nights.
George Frederic Handel
Oratorio in Three Acts, in English
Libretto by Thomas Morell
Heather Harper, soprano (Israelite Woman)
Helen Watts, contralto (Israelite Man)
Alexander Young, tenor (Judas Maccabeaus)
John Shirley-Quirk, baritone (Simon)
English Chamber Orchestra
Amor Artis Chorale, John McCarthy, chorus master
Wandsworth School Boys Choir, Russell Burgess, director
Johannes Somary, conductor
7. Chorus, Israelites
O Father, whose almighty power
8. Recitative, Simon
I feel, I feel the Deity within
9. Aria, Simon
Arm, Arm, ye brave!
14. Chorus, Israelites
Leah on, lead on!
15. Recitative, Judas
So willed my father, now at rest
16. Male Chorus, Israelite Men
Disdainful of danger, we’ll rush on the foe
20. Chorus, Israelites
Hear us, oh Lord, on Thee we call
21. Chorus, Israelites
Fallen is the foe; so fall Thy foes, oh Lord!
25. Duet, Chorus, Israelite Woman and Man, Chorus
Hail, Hail, Judea, happy land!
1. Israelite Messanger
Oh Judas, oh my brethren!
2. Israelite Woman and Chorus
Ah! Wretched, wretched Israel
6. Aria, Judas
Sound and alarm! Your silver trumpets sound
12. Duet, Israelite Woman, Man
Oh! Never, never bow we down
19. Chorus, Youths
See the conquering hero comes!
21. Duet and Chorus
Sing unto God, and high affections raise
To our great God be all the honor given
28. Aria, Simon
Rejoice, oh Judah! And in songs divine