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HANDEL, G.F.: Jephtha [Oratorio] (Biondi)

The Classical Shop
release date: May 2011

Recorded in 24 Bit / 96Khz
album available as a Studio Master
Originally recorded in 2011


Stavanger Symphony Orchestra

Biondi, Fabio

James Gilchrist


Collegium Vocale Gent


Record Label


Total Time - 157:28
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HANDEL, G.F.: Jephtha [Oratorio] (Biondi)




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Jephtha, HWV 70

1 Overture 5:03
2 Menuet 1:23
3 Act I Scene 1: Accompagnato: It must be so, or these vile Ammonites (Zebul) 1:37
4 Act I Scene 1: Air: Pour forth no more unheeded prayr's (Zebul) 4:56
5 Act I Scene 1: No more to Ammon's god and king (Chorus) 3:06
6 Act I Scene 2: Recitative: But Jephtha comes (Zebul, Jephtha) 0:56
7 Act I Scene 2: Air: Virtue my soul shall still embrace (Jephtha) 4:01
8 Act I Scene 2: Recitative: Twill be a painful separation, Jephtha (Storge) 0:33
9 Act I Scene 2: Air: In gentle murmurs will I mourn (Storge) 4:30
10 Act I Scene 3: Recitative: Happy this embassy, my charming Iphis (Hamor) 0:46
11 Act I Scene 3: Air: Dull delay, in piercing anguish (Hamor) 2:37
12 Act I Scene 3: Recitative: Ill suits the voice of love (Iphis) 0:29
13 Act I Scene 3: Air: Take the heart you fondly gave (Iphis) 3:08
14 Act I Scene 3: Recitative: I go, my soul, inspir'd by thy command (Hamor) 0:27
15 Act I Scene 3: Duet: These labours past, how happy we (Iphis, Hamor) 4:25
16 Act I Scene 4: Recitative: What mean these doubtful fancies of the brain? (Jephtha) 2:23
17 Act I Scene 4: O God, behold our sore distress (Chorus) 4:49
18 Act I Scene 5: Recitative: Some dire event hangs o'er our heads (Storge) 0:31
19 Act I Scene 5: Air: Scenes of horror, scenes of woe (Storge) 3:57
20 Act I Scene 6: Recitative: Say, my dear mother, whence these piercing cries (Iphis, Storge) 0:55
21 Act I Scene 6: Air: The smiling dawn of happy days (Iphis) 2:00
22 Act I Scene 7: Recitative: Such, Jephtha, was the haughty king's reply (Zebul, Jephtha) 0:36
23 Act I Scene 7: When his loud voice in thunder spoke (Chorus) 4:04
24 Act II Scene 1: Recitative: Glad tidings of great joy to thee, dear Iphis (Hamor) 1:20
25 Act II Scene 1: Cherub and Seraphim, unbodied forms (Chorus) 3:34
26 Act II Scene 1: Air: Up the dreadful steep ascending (Hamor) 4:56
27 Act II Scene 1: Recitative: Tis well. Haste, haste, ye maidens (Iphis) 0:23
28 Act II Scene 1: Air: Tune the soft melodious lute (Iphis) 3:36
29 Act II Scene 2: Recitative: Heav'n smiles once more on his repentant people (Jephtha) 0:41
30 Act II Scene 2: Air: His mighty arm, with sudden blow (Jephtha) 5:19
31 Act II Scene 2: In glory high, in might serene (Chorus) 2:48

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1 Act II Scene 3: Symphony 0:46
2 Act II Scene 3: Hail, glorious conqueror! (Iphis) 0:24
3 Act II Scene 3: Air and Chorus: Welcome, as the cheerful light … Welcome thou, whose deeds conspire (Iphis, Chorus) 2:04
4 Act II Scene 3: Recitative: Horror! Confusion! (Jephtha) 0:28
5 Act II Scene 3: Air: Open thy marble jaws, O tomb (Jephtha) 3:08
6 Act II Scene 3: Recitative: Why is my brother thus afflicted? (Zebul, Jephtha) 1:13
7 Act II Scene 3: Accompagnato and Arioso: First perish thou, and perish all the world! - Let other creatures (Storge) 2:07
8 Act II Scene 3: Recitative: If such thy cruel purpose, lo, your friend (Hamor) 0:25
9 Act II Scene 3: Air: On me let blind mistaken zeal (Hamor) 1:54
10 Act II Scene 3: Quartet: O spare your daughter! (Storge, Hamor, Jephtha, Zebul) 1:58
11 Act II Scene 4: Recitative: Such news flies swift (Iphis) 1:28
12 Act II Scene 4: Air: Happy they! (Iphis) 3:06
13 Act II Scene 4: Accompagnato: Deeper and deeper still, thy goodness, child (Jephtha) 3:02
14 Act II Scene 4: How dark, O Lord, are thy decrees! (Chorus) 8:31
15 Act III Scene 1: Arioso: Hide thou thy hated beams (Jephtha) 2:21
16 Act III Scene 1: Air: Waft her, angels, through the skies (Jephtha) 4:32
17 Act III Scene 1: Accompagnato: Ye sacred priests, whose hands ne’er yet were stain'd (Iphis) 0:39
18 Act III Scene 1: Air: Farewell, ye limpid springs and floods (Iphis) 5:25
19 Act III Scene 1: Doubtful fear and reverend awe (Chorus) 3:16
20 Act III Scene 1: Symphony 1:15
21 Act III Scene 1: Recitative: Rise, Jephtha, and ye rev’rend priests, withhold (Angel) 1:15
22 Act III Scene 1: Air: Happy, Iphis, shalt thou live (Angel) 4:00
23 Act III Scene 1: Arioso: For ever blessed be Thy holy name (Jephtha) 1:00
24 Act III Scene 1: Theme sublime of endless praise (Chorus) 4:00
25 Act III Scene 2: Recitative: Let me congratulate, this happy turn (Zebul) 0:32
26 Act III Scene 2: Air: Laud her, all ye virgin train (Zebul) 2:05
27 Act III Scene 2: Recitative: O let me fold thee in a mother's arms (Storge) 0:19
28 Act III Scene 2: Air: Sweet as sight to the blind (Storge) 2:09
29 Act III Scene 2: Recitative: With transport, Iphis, I behold thy safety (Hamor) 0:32
30 Act III Scene 2: Recitative: With transport… - Aria: 'Tis Heaven's all ruling power… (Hamor) 4:51
31 Act III Scene 2: Recitative: My faithful Hamor, may that Providence (Iphis) 0:23
32 Act III Scene 2: Quintet: All that is in Hamor mine (Iphis, Hamor, Storge, Jephtha, Zebul) 3:46
33 Act III Scene 2: Ye house of Gilead, with one voice (Chorus) 3:58
34 Applause 0:47
 James Gilchrist Soloist
 Biondi, Fabio

After finishing the chorus ‘How dark, O Lord, are thy decrees’ in February 1751, Handel noted in the autograph score that he couldn’t continue his work on Jephtha because of eye problems. Later in the year, he regained his eyesight and was able to complete the work in the autumn. The problems returned however, and in January 1753 a London newspaper reported that ‘Mr Handel has at length, unhappily, quite lost his sight’. Jephtha was thus to become Handel’s last oratorio, and indeed his last major work. It is nevertheless no less a masterpiece than his earlier works, and contains some of his noblest music. The plot of this ‘Sacred Drama’ is loosely based on the story of Jephtha in the Old Testament: a father who in order to win the the Israelites’ struggle against the Ammonites makes a rash promise to God, and after his victory is compelled to sacrifice his own daughter. The situation gives rise to music of touching poignancy, as well as great choral set-pieces. This rousing live performance, recorded in 2008 in the Stavanger Concert Hall, boasts a roster of soloists headed by the fine British tenor James Gilchrist as Jephtha, as well as the eminent Belgian choir Collegium Vocale Gent, all backed up by the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra. At the helm of these large forces is Fabio Biondi, the Baroque violinist and conductor who since 2005 has been artistic director of the Stavanger orchestra in the baroque and classical repertoires.


                               ****    (Good)

Pierre Schwickerath - Pizzicato magazine - October 2012

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