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Track 1: Handel: Joshua: Part One


Handel: Joshua

Achsah: Jennifer Vyvyan, soprano
Othniel: Norma Procter, contralto
Joshua: Peter Pears, tenor
Caleb: Trevor Anthony, bass
Aldeburgh Festival Choir and Orchestra
George Cleall, conductor
Continuo: Raymond Leppard, harpsichord; Terence Weil cello

BBC Transcription Service recording of a performance given on 21 June 1958 in Aldeburgh Parish Church as part of the 1958 Aldeburgh Festival

CRQ 456 and CRQ 457 - Handel Joshua Part One, and Parts Two and Three - are each priced at £4 to allow the set to be purchased for the same price as a single download: £8.


from CRQ 456 Handel Joshua Part One Aldeburgh 1958 Vyvyan, Procter, Pears, Anthony, Aldeburgh Festival Chorus and Orchestra, Cleall conductor, released May 4, 2021
Joshua (HWV 64) is an oratorio by George Frideric Handel. It was composed in a month, between 19 July 1747 and 19 August 1747, six months before the beginning of the oratorio season, and is Handel's fourth oratorio based on a libretto by Thomas Morell. The oratorio premiered on 9 March 1748 at the Covent Garden Theatre, London. Joshua is based on the Biblical story of Joshua as the leader of the ancient Israelites. The story follows the Israelites from their passage over the Jordan River into Caanan and through the Battle of Jericho. The work also includes a love story elaborated from a few hints in the Biblical narrative between Caleb's daughter Achsah and Othniel, a young soldier.
Joshua was the fourth oratorio Handel had written within the span of twenty months. Following the Jacobite rising of 1745 in England, Handel produced a series of English oratorios based on military themes: Occasional Oratorio, Judas Maccabaeus, Alexander Balus, Joshua, and Solomon. The military conquests the Israelites achieve in the oratorio were seen as parallels to the victory of the Hanoverian regime in crushing the Jacobite rebellion. Joshua was one of his shortest oratorios, containing no genuine overture, only a brief orchestral movement simply titled, "Introduction." Joshua also included at least five pieces borrowed from other Handel compositions. Part one was completed on 30 July 1747, Part two on 8 August and Part three on 19 August.
Handel's second-most-famous chorus, "See the Conq'ring Hero Comes" was first penned for Joshua. It was an immensely popular number and Handel soon added it to Judas Maccabaeus, which had premiered the season before. The chorus is more often thought of in connection with Judas because of its relatively greater fame. When a friend said to Handel that in his opinion the composer had written better things than "See the Conq'ring Hero Comes", Handel replied "You will live to see it a greater favourite with the people than my other fine things."

Part One
The Children of Israel celebrate the end of their journey over the Jordan River and into the land of Canaan, praising God for his blessings and Joshua for his leadership. An angel appears to Joshua and appoints him to lead an army against Jericho. Joshua prepares his soldiers for the attack. Othniel, one of Joshua's warriors, is betrothed to Achsah and readies himself to part from his love and go into battle with Joshua.
(From wikipedia)




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