Handel’s Judas Maccabaeus

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On this special episode of the Choral Mix we honor Chanukah, the Festival of Lights. We explore selections from George Frideric Handel’s Judas Maccabaeus.

Handel, a master at oratorio, composed this work of three acts in 1747, and conducted it more than 40 times. The oratorio is similar in nature and length to the Messiah, running for over two hours. It was a marvelous success in its day specifically because of its favorable depiction of Judas Maccabeus, son of a Jewish priest.

Listen for tympani and trumpet fanfare as the temple is reclaimed, setting the stage for the menorah to be lit for eight days and nights.

Our episode showcases two recordings of the oratorio. Act I is performed by the Maulbronn Chamer Choir with Musica Florea under the direction of Jürgen Budday. Acts II & III are performed by the Namur Chamber Choir with Les Agrémens under the baton of Leonardo Garcia Alarcòn.



Judas Maccabaeus, HWV 63 by George Frideric Handel

1747; London, England


Conductor: Jürgen Budday

Orchestra/Ensemble: Maulbronn Chamber Choir, Musica Florea

Performers: Marc LeBrocq (Tenor), Catherine King (Mezzo Soprano), Charles Humphries (Countertenor),

Sinead Pratschke (Soprano), Christopher Purves (Bass)

Label: K & K Verlagsanstalt // Release Date: 07/29/2008


Act I

1. Overture*

2. Mourn ye afflicted children (Chorus)

5. For Sion lamentation make (Chorus)

8. O Father, whose Almighty power the heavens, and earth and seas adore (Chorus)

9. Recitative: I feel the Deity within (Simon)

10. Aria: Arm, arm, ye brave (Simon) - We come in bright array (Chorus)

18. Lead on, lead on (Chorus)

20. Disdainful of danger, we'll rush on the foe (Chorus)

24. Hear us, O Lord (Chorus)


Conductor: Leonardo Garcia Alarcòn

Orchestra/Ensemble: Namur Chamber Choir, Les Agrémens

Performers: Etienne Debaisieux (Bass), Fabian Schofrin (Counter Tenor), Alejandro Meerapfel (Baritone),

Makoto Sakurada (Tenor), Mariana Rewerski (Mezzo Soprano)

Label: Ambronay // Release Date: 07/13/2010


Act II

23. Chorus: Fall'n is the foe

30. Duet: Hail, hail

3. Recitative: O Judas

4. Air: Ah wretched

8. Air: Sound an alarm

13. Duet: Oh never bow we down



21. Chorus: See the conquering hero comes

22. Chorus: Sing unto God

28. Air: Rejoice O Judah Alleluia Amen


* Overture is performed by Namur Chamber Choir, Les Agrémens