Handel: Jephtha

Composer Georg Frideric Handel
Artist John Mark Ainsley Jephtha
Michael George Zebul
Christiane Oelze Iphis
RIAS-Kammerchor
Akademie fur Alte Musik Berlin
Marcus Creed conductor
Format 3 CD
Cat. number 94668
EAN code 5028421946689
Release April 2013

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About this release

George Frideric Handel, widely considered one of the foremost composers of his generation, became the pride of Britain despite the fact that he was German-born. Famed for his large-scale vocal works, he was the inventor of the English oratorio, a genre that brought him much success.

Jephtha was Handel’s final oratorio, written in 1751 while the composer was suffering badly from his failing eyesight. Based on the tale of Jephtha from the Book of Judges, the title character makes a promise to God that, in the event that he should triumph over the Ammonites, he will sacrifice the first living creature he meets. Unluckily this proves to be his beloved daughter, Iphis. As in the Renaissance version of the story, Iphis is saved by an angel who decrees that, instead of dying, Iphis will dedicate her life to God in the Temple.

In the title role is renowned British lyric tenor John Mark Ainsley, who continues to enjoy an active international career. German soprano Christiane Oelze plays the doomed Iphis, while contralto Catherine Denley takes on the role of her cautious mother, Storgè.

Other information:
- Recorded in June 1992, Kirche ‘Zur frohen Botschaft’, Berlin-Karlshorst
- One of the best recordings of Handel’s large scale and impressive oratorio Jephtha, played on period instruments by the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin conducted by specialist Markus Creed, and a splendid cast of soloists: John Mark Ainsley, Christianne Oelze, Catherine Denley and Michael George.
- Contains liner notes on the work and biographies of the ensembles and conductor, complete sung texts on www.brilliantclassics.com.

Track list

Disk 1

  1. Jeptha: Overture
  2. Jeptha: Menuet
  3. Jeptha: Act 1: Scene 1: Accompagnato: It must be so (Zebul)
  4. Jeptha: Act 1: Scene 1: Air: Pour forth no more unheeded prayr’s (Zebul)
  5. Jeptha: Act 1: Scene 1: Chorus: No more to Ammon’s god and king
  6. Jeptha: Act 1: Scene 2: Recitative: But Jephtha comes (Zebul/Jephtha)
  7. Jeptha: Act 1: Scene 2: Air: Virtue my soul shall still embrace (Jephtha)
  8. Jeptha: Act 1: Scene 2: Recitative: ’Twill be a painful separation (Storgè)
  9. Jeptha: Act 1: Scene 2: Air: In gentle murmurs will mourn (Storgè)
  10. Jeptha: Act 1: Scene 3: Recitative: Happy this embassy, my charming Iphis (Hamor)
  11. Jeptha: Act 1: Scene 3: Air: Dull delay, in piercing anguish (Hamor)
  12. Jeptha: Act 1: Scene 3: Recitative: Ill suits the voice of love (Iphis)
  13. Jeptha: Act 1: Scene 3: Air: Take the heart you foundly gave (Iphis)
  14. Jeptha: Act 1: Scene 3: Recitative: I go – My soul inspir’d by thy command (Hamor)
  15. Jeptha: Act 1: Scene 3: Duet: These labours past, how happy we (Iphis/Hamor)
  16. Jeptha: Act 1: Scene 4: Recitative: What mean these doubtful fancies (Jephtha)
  17. Jeptha: Act 1: Scene 4: Accompagnato: If, Lord, sustain’d by thy almighty pow’r (Jephtha) – Recitative: ’Tis said. Attend, ye Chiefs (Jephtha)
  18. Jeptha: Act 1: Scene 4: Chorus: O God, behold our sore distress
  19. Jeptha: Act 1: Scene 5: Recitative: Some dire event hangs o’er our heads (Storgè)
  20. Jeptha: Act 1: Scene 5: Air: Scenes of horror, scenes of woe (Storgè)
  21. Jeptha: Act 1: Scene 6: Recitative: Say, my dear mother (Iphis/Storgè)
  22. Jeptha: Act 1: Scene 6: Air: The smiling dawn of happy days (Iphis)
  23. Jeptha: Act 1: Scene 7: Recitative: Such, Jephtha, was the haughty king’s reply (Zebul/Jephtha)
  24. Jeptha: Act 1: Scene 7: Chorus: When his loud voice in thunder spoke

Disk 2

  1. Jeptha: Act 2: Scene 1: Recitative: Glad tidings of great joy (Hamor)
  2. Jeptha: Act 2: Scene 1: Chorus: Cherub and Seraphim, unbodied forms
  3. Jeptha: Act 2: Scene 1: Air: Up the dreadful steep ascending (Hamor)
  4. Jeptha: Act 2: Scene 1: Recitative: ‘Tis well. Haste, haste, ye maidens (Iphis)
  5. Jeptha: Act 2: Scene 1: Air: Tune the soft melodious lute (Iphis)
  6. Jeptha: Act 2: Scene 2: Recitative: Heav’n smiles once more (Jephtha)
  7. Jeptha: Act 2: Scene 2: Air: His mighty arm (Jephtha)
  8. Jeptha: Act 2: Scene 2: Chorus: In glory high
  9. Jeptha: Act 2: Scene 3: Symphony
  10. Jeptha: Act 2: Scene 3: Recitative: Hail, glorious conqueror! (Iphis)
  11. Jeptha: Act 2: Scene 3: Air: Welcome, as the cheerful light (Iphis) – Chorus: Welcome thou, whose deeds conspire
  12. Jeptha: Act 2: Scene 3: Recitative: Horror! Confusion! (Jephtha)
  13. Jeptha: Act 2: Scene 3: Air: Open thy marble jaws, O tomb (Jephtha)
  14. Jeptha: Act 2: Scene 3: Recitative: Why is my brother thus afflicted? (Zebul/Jephtha)
  15. Jeptha: Act 2: Scene 3: Accompagnato and Arioso: First perish thou – Let other creatures (Storgè)
  16. Jeptha: Act 2: Scene 3: Recitative: If such thy cruel purpose (Hamor)
  17. Jeptha: Act 2: Scene 3: Air: On me let blind mistaken zeal (Hamor)
  18. Jeptha: Act 2: Scene 3: Quartet: O spare your daughter! (Storgè/Hamor/Jephtha/Zebul)
  19. Jeptha: Act 2: Scene 4: Recitative: Such news flies swift (Iphis)
  20. Jeptha: Act 2: Scene 4: Accompagnato: For joys so vast (Iphis)
  21. Jeptha: Act 2: Scene 4: Air: Happy they! (Iphis)
  22. Jeptha: Act 2: Scene 4: Accompagnato: Deeper and deeper still (Jephtha)
  23. Jeptha: Act 2: Scene 4: Chorus: How dark, O Lord, are thy decrees!

Disk 3

  1. Jeptha: Act 3: Scene 1: Arioso: Hide thou thy hated beams (Jephtha)
  2. Jeptha: Act 3: Scene 1: Accompagnato: A father, off ring up (Jephtha)
  3. Jeptha: Act 3: Scene 1: Air: Waft her, angels (Jephtha)
  4. Jeptha: Act 3: Scene 1: Accompagnato: Ye sacred priests (Iphis)
  5. Jeptha: Act 3: Scene 1: Air: Farewell, ye limpid springs (Iphis)
  6. Jeptha: Act 3: Scene 1: Chorus: Doubtful fear and reverend awe (Priests)
  7. Jeptha: Act 3: Scene 1: Symphony
  8. Jeptha: Act 3: Scene 1: Recitative: Rise, Jephtha (Angel)
  9. Jeptha: Act 3: Scene 1: Air: Happy, Iphis, shalt thou live (Angel)
  10. Jeptha: Act 3: Scene 1: Arioso: For ever blessed be (Jephtha)
  11. Jeptha: Act 3: Scene 1: Chorus: Theme sublime
  12. Jeptha: Act 3: Scene 2: Recitative: Let me congratulate (Zebul)
  13. Jeptha: Act 3: Scene 2: Air: Laud her, all ye virgin train (Zebul)
  14. Jeptha: Act 3: Scene 2: Recitative: O let me fold thee (Storgè)
  15. Jeptha: Act 3: Scene 2: Air: Sweet as sight to the blind (Storgè)
  16. Jeptha: Act 3: Scene 2: Recitative: With transport, Iphis (Hamor)
  17. Jeptha: Act 3: Scene 2: Recitative: My faithful Hamor (Iphis)
  18. Jeptha: Act 3: Scene 2: Quintet: All that is in Hamor mine (Iphis/Hamor/Storgè/Jephtha/Zebul)
  19. Jeptha: Act 3: Scene 2: Chorus: Ye house of Gilead