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FULL JEPHTA (Handel) Ludwigsburg 2022 Carolyn Sampson, Lucy de Butts, Tim Mead, Roderick Williams

Video Recording from: YouTube     FULL VIDEO          Qries

Information on the Performance
Information about the Recording
  • Published by: Bachakademie Stuttgart  
  • Date Published: 2023  
  • Format: Streaming
  • Quality Video: 4 Audio:4
  • Subtitles: nosubs  
  • Video Recording from: YouTube     FULL VIDEO

Jephtha (HWV 70) is an oratorio (1751) by George Frideric Handel with an English language libretto by the Rev. Thomas Morell, based on the story of Jephtha in Judges (Chapter 11) and Jephthes, sive Votum (Jeptha, or the Vow) (1554) by George Buchanan. Whilst writing Jephtha, Handel was increasingly troubled by his gradual loss of sight, and this proved to be his last oratorio. In the autograph score, at the end of the chorus “How dark, O Lord, are thy decrees” he wrote “Reached here on 13 February 1751, unable to go on owing to weakening of the sight of my left eye.”

The story revolves around Jephtha’s rash promise to the Almighty that if he is victorious, he will sacrifice the first creature he meets on his return. He is met by his beloved daughter Iphis. However, an angel intervenes to stop the sacrifice, and Iphis only needs to dedicate her life to the Lord. This is an unusual interpretation of the Bible story, although one which has been current since the Middle Ages. The more common interpretation is that Jephthah chooses to sacrifice his daughter, but a short reprieve is arranged, after which Iphis dutifully returns and is killed.

Staged performance of material based on biblical subjects was forbidden in Great Britain at the time the work was premiered. Handel’s final masterpiece was presented at Covent Garden Theatre on 26 February 1752, with the composer conducting, and with a cast that included John Beard as Jephtha and two divas of the opera stage, Giulia Frasi, Handel’s prima donna since 1749, and Caterina Galli. It was presented without scenery or costumes and divided into three acts.

Today the work is recognized as one of Handel’s most sublime masterpieces and is sometimes fully staged as an opera.

From Wikipedia

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