Georg Friedrich Händel (1685-1759)


Georg Friedrich Händel (1685-1759)
Jephtha (1752)

Oratorio in three parts on a libretto by Thomas Morell, according to the Book of Judges and Jephthes sive Votum by George Buchanan, premiered on February 26, 1752 at Covent Garden in London.

Jeremy Ovenden Jephtha
Sophie Harmsen Storgé
Déborah Cachet Iphis
Tim Mead Hamor
Edwin Crossley-Mercer Zebul
Soprano du Choeur de Namur Un ange

Chœur de Chambre de Namur
Choirmaster, Thibaut Lenaerts

Les Talens Lyriques
Conductor, Christophe Rousset

“Handel’s last oratorio, Jephtha, is an unusual work. The biblical, sacrificial theme gives it a very strong emotional dimension, through the expression of the father’s doubt, the mother’s revolt, and the extremely touching acceptance of Jephtha’s daughter. These three very moving main characters create a dramatic intensity comparable that of Iphigénie, sentenced to die at the stake. Then comes the voice of the angel, suddenly brightening the scene. What I also like about Handel’s oratorio is the large-scale choruses. Handel becomes German again. He develops here a contrapuntal dimension, with density in the harmony. In short, there is not only vocality here: the orchestral and choral writing makes this a truly monumental work.”

– Christophe Rousset