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Handel: Jephtha / Creed, Oelze, Gooding, Ainsley, Kohler

Handel / Rias-kammerchor / Creed
Release Date: 05/28/2013 
Label:  Brilliant Classics   Catalog #: 94668    Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Catherine DenleyMichael GeorgeAxel KöhlerJohn Mark Ainsley,   ... 
Conductor:  Marcus Creed
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin RIAS Chamber ChorusAcademy for Ancient Music Berlin
Number of Discs: 3 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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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.

-- Graham Lock, BBC Music Magazine
Reviewing original release of this recording
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Works on This Recording

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

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