Sunday, 22 June 2008

113. George Friedric Handel - Judas Maccabaeus (1747)


Title: Judas Maccabaeus
Performer: King's Consort
Director: Robert King
Year: 1992
Length: 2 hours 30 minutes


Handel is a master of Oratorios, after the amazing Messiah we get Judas Maccabaeus, another pretty good one. It is not, however, as good as Messiah, and of course it is not as immediately recognisable as a piece of music.

Still, there is plenty to like here, this is a much more warlike piece of music than Messiah, for obvious reasons, the theme lends itself to it. And that is quite good, but frankly it is only apparent in the second and third act, and it becomes a kind of bottom heavy piece. The first act, beautiful as it is, does not have the same "oomph" of the rest of the work.

We are fast approaching the end of the baroque, and this piece is very much a part of it, this is baroque taken to its pinnacle, much like the Messiah oratorio. Honestly if you only need one Handel oratorio go with Messiah, but if you want to explore further, this would be a good place to go.

Final Grade



From Wikipedia:

"See, the Conqu'ring hero comes", from Judas Maccabaeus, became well-known later as the music was invariably played by brass bands at the opening of new railway lines and stations in Britain during the 19th century and is one of the movements in Sir Henry Wood's Fantasia on British Sea Songs.

O Lovely Peace:

No comments: