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Händel: Jephtha / Creed, Ainsley, George, Denley, Oelze

Release Date: 06/28/1994 
Label:  Berlin Classics   Catalog #: 1057   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Julia GoodingJohn Mark AinsleyMichael GeorgeCatherine Denley,   ... 
Conductor:  Marcus Creed
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin RIAS Chamber ChorusAcademy for Ancient Music Berlin
Number of Discs: 3 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 2 Hours 40 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Jephtha, first performed in 1752, was Handel’s last major work, written while he was struggling with poor health and failing eyesight. Yet the score contains some of his most powerful and moving music, notably the chorus’s bleak paean to blind faith, ‘How dark, O Lord, are Thy decrees!’ Jephtha is also one of his more operatic oratorios and, if many Baroque operas require the suspension of disbelief, this libretto (by Thomas Morell) may need modern listeners to suspend their distaste at the perversities of its 18th-century pietism. Handel’s wonderfully humane music cuts through all such sanctimony, however, as if – as the Handel scholar Winton Dean has argued – in highlighting the themes of personal suffering and capricious fate, Handel Read more implicitly ‘makes Jehovah the villain of the piece’. This new recording, under the direction of Marcus Creed, is generally very fine, if a touch monochromatic. Soprano Christiane Oelze, as Iphis, is outstanding in a team of experienced Handelian soloists.

Performance: 4 (out of 5), Sound: 4 (out of 5)

-- Graham Lock, BBC Music Magazine Read less

Works on This Recording

Jephtha, HWV 70 by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Julia Gooding (Soprano), John Mark Ainsley (Tenor), Michael George (Bass),
Catherine Denley (Mezzo Soprano), Christiane Oelze (Soprano), Axel Köhler (Countertenor)
Conductor:  Marcus Creed
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin RIAS Chamber Chorus,  Academy for Ancient Music Berlin
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1752; London, England 
Date of Recording: 06/1992 
Venue:  Kirche zur frohen Botchaft, Berlin 
Length: 160 Minutes 7 Secs. 
Language: English 

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