© Silvia Lelli

Georg Friedrich Händel

HWV 56 Oratorio in three parts for solos, choir, and orchestra with text by Charles Jennens

conductor Antonio Greco
soprano Maria Grazia Schiavo
mezzo-soprano Victoria Massey
tenor Mert Süngü
bass Christian Senn

Ensemble Cremona Antiqua
Coro Costanzo Porta

Everybody has heard Händel’s world-famous Halleluja at least once: its jubilant choir, which suddenly rises to celebrate Isaiah’s ecstatic vision of the fulfilment of all prophecies in Christ, is the expressive heart of this masterpiece oratorio. A masterpiece that marked the triumph of this genre, which Händel had committed to when prospects for Italian opera had started to decline. Händel had received the text in 1741 from librettist Charles Jennens, who had compiled it from King James’s Bible and from the psalms included with the Book of Common Prayer. The score was completed in just over three weeks, and success was immediate since the first performance in April 1742 in Dublin, when the local press declared that “the best Judges allowed it to be the most finished piece of Musick.”

The Programme
The Text