Handel: Israel in Egypt, HWV54

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Handel: Israel in Egypt, HWV54


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1st March 2010




1 hour 45 minutes


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Handel: Israel in Egypt, HWV54

Three-part Original Version from 1739

Rosemary Joshua (soprano), Atsuko Suzuki (soprano), Gerhild Romberger (alto), Kobie van Rensburg (tenor), Simon Pauly (baritone), Thomas Hamberger (bass-baritone), Harald Hoeren (harpsichord) & Christoph Lehmann, Max Hanft (organ)

Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks & Concerto Köln, Peter Dijkstra (director)

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Georg Friedrich Händel’s great choral oratorio, “Israel in Egypt” is the most valuable gift the composer ever gave to choral music. The chorus functions as protagonist in this powerful work, which tells the Old Testament story of Exodus with telling dramatic intensity. Two multiple prize-winning, major ensemble, Concerto Köln, the well known period instrument ensemble and the Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks, joined forces for the first time in November of 2008. The strong individual characteristics of the vocal soloists combine impressively with the chorus and orchestra for a multi-layered interpretation that is concurrently borne by a clear, common musical objective. This recording features the original three-part version from 1739.

Live-recording; Munich, Prinzregententheater, Nov. 2008

Booklet Notes: English, German, French

Libretto: English, German

George Frideric Handel: Israel in Egypt, HWV 54

Part I: Symphony

Part I: The sons of Israel do mourn (Chorus)

Part I: How is the mighty fall'n! (Chorus)

Part I: He put on righteous (Chorus)

Part I: Quartet: When the ear heard him (Soprano 1, Alto 2, Tenor, Bass 1)

Part I: How is the mighty fall'n! (Chorus)

Part I: He deliver'd the poor that cried (Chorus)

Part I: Part I: How is the mighty fall'n! (Chorus)

Part I: The righteous shall be had (Soprano 1, Alto 2, Tenor, Bass 1, Chorus)

Part I: Their bodies are buried in peace (Chorus)

Part I: Quartet: They shall receive (Soprano 2, Alto 2, Tenor, Bass 1)

Part I: The merciful goodness of the Lord (Chorus)

Part II: Recitative: Now there arose a new king over Egypt (Tenor)

Part II: And the children of Israel sighed (Alto, Chorus)

Part II: Recitative: Then sent He Moses (Tenor)

Part II: They loathed to drink of the river (Chorus)

Part II: Aria: Their land brought forth frogs (Alto)

Part II: He spake the word (Chorus)

Part II: He gave them hailstones for rain (Chorus)

Part II: He sent a thick darkness over all the land (Chorus)

Part II: He smote all the first-born of Egypt (Chorus)

Part II: But as for his people (Chorus)

Part II: He rebuked the Red Sea (Chorus)

Part II: And Israel saw that great work (Chorus)

Part III, "Moses Song": Moses and the children of Israel sung this song (Chorus)

Part III, "Moses Song": Duet: The Lord is my strength and my song (Soprano 1 Soprano 2)

Part III, "Moses Song": He is my God (Chorus)

Part III, "Moses Song": Duet: The Lord is a man of war (Bass 1, Bass 2)

Part III, "Moses Song": Thy right hand, O Lord is become glorious (Chorus)

Part III, "Moses Song": And with the blast of thy nostrils (Chorus)

Part III, "Moses Song": The enemy said, I will pursue (Tenor)

Part III, "Moses Song": Thou didst blow with the wind (Soprano)

Part III, "Moses Song": Who is like unto Thee, O Lord (Chorus)

Part III, "Moses Song": The people shall hear (Chorus)

Part III, "Moses Song": Thou shalt bring them in (Alto)

Part III, "Moses Song": The Lord shall reign for ever and ever (Soprano, Chorus)

Part III, "Moses Song": Sing ye to the Lord (Soprano, Chorus)

Gramophone Magazine

August 2010

“Concerto Köln play with muscularity...the Bavarian Radio Chorus does not seem to be very large, although it makes a grand old-fashioned choral society noise...Its English pronunciation is flawless...Dijkstra achieves another worthy entry into a competitive discography”

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