Notes and Editorial Reviews
"Mackerras's recording probably introduced a whole new generation to the once familiar magnificence of Israel in Egypt, and in the normal run of gramophone history it would enjoyed a kinder fate than to be superseded within five years by the Christ Church, Oxford recording under Simon Preston (Argo ZRG817/8, 4/76). That in turn has had to face competition from a similarly intense virtuoso performance under John Eliot Gardiner (Erato STU71245, 1/80). Compared with these, Mackerras's version is milder, less sharply etched in detail, less dramatic in impact. Even so, it is firmly directed, with fine orchestral playing and spirited choral work. It may well appeal afresh to listeners who feel they have had just a bit too much of conductors
who burn so bright that their individuality tends to focus attention upon the performance rather than the work. The work itself, of course, has its own fire. Despite borrowings from Stradella and others, the inspiration is white-hot, and in the Plague choruses of Part 1 and ''The people shall hear'', in Part 2, Mackerras's forces rise worthily to the occasion."
-- Gramophone [11/1985]
Works on This Recording
Israel in Egypt, HWV 54 by George Frideric Handel
Patricia Clark (Soprano),
Paul Esswood (Countertenor),
Alexander Young (Tenor),
Michael Rippon (Bass),
Christopher Keyte (Bass),
Heather Harper (Soprano)
Sir Charles Mackerras
English Chamber Orchestra,
Leeds Festival Chorus
Written: by 1739; London, England
Date of Recording: 04/1970
Venue: Town Hall, Leeds, England
Length: 97 Minutes 24 Secs.
Average Customer Review: ( 1 Customer Review )
Marvelous Music and Performance April 17, 2014
By David G. (Lakebay, WA) See All My Reviews
"This is marvelous choral Handel, among the very best. Mackerras, as usual, is masterful in this great recording. The acoustics are full and the sound great. This long neglected work deserves better. Because Handel adapted motifs from several now forgotten composers -- thankfully preserving them here for posterity -- the work has been long criticized for its eclecticism and lack of originality. Nonsense. Composers borrow all the time, and Handel here integrates the music beautifully. The most dominated of all Handel oratoria by choruses, it ranks with the Messiah and Theodora as Handel's most endearing works. Very strongly recommended."