View Poll Results: What is your favourite of Handel's Oratorios (excluding "Messiah")?

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  • Athalia

    2 6.67%
  • Esther

    3 10.00%
  • Israel in Egypt

    12 40.00%
  • Jephtha

    6 20.00%
  • Judas Maccabaeus

    6 20.00%
  • La Resurrezione

    2 6.67%
  • Saul

    4 13.33%
  • Samson

    5 16.67%
  • Semele

    3 10.00%
  • Solomon

    11 36.67%
  • Theodora

    5 16.67%
  • Other (please specify!)

    4 13.33%
Multiple Choice Poll.
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Thread: Handel's Other Oratorios

  1. #1
    Senior Member Winterreisender's Avatar
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    Default Handel's Other Oratorios

    The perpetual fame of the Messiah seems to have overshadowed many of the other great oratorios that Handel left behind. Many concert venues insist of performing this trusty warhorse year in year out, much to the tragic neglect of Solomon, Israel in Egypt and countless others. So I thought a thread would be in order to rectify this deficiency...

    Feel free to discuss the relative merits of Handel's other oratorios, recommend recordings, and post clips/highlights.

    I will also add a poll where you can vote for your favourites. (Messiah is of course disqualified). Vote for 2 or 3 if you like.
    Last edited by Winterreisender; Jun-08-2014 at 14:46.

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  3. #2
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    I would recommend Jephtha as being on the level of Messiah. It is the last oratorio Handel wrote and is a fitting cap to a glorious career. Also Semele and Solomon are both extraordinary.

    Choose Gardiner for any of them and you won't go wrong.
    Facts don't care about your feelings.

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  5. #3
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    As a matter of fact, thanks to this poll, I will play my Gardiner/Jephtha set today.

    A perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon!!!
    Facts don't care about your feelings.

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  7. #4
    Senior Member Winterreisender's Avatar
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    When I was starting out with Handel's oratorios, I found these two box sets immensely helpful:

    John Eliot Gardiner doing Israel in Egypt, Jephtha, Saul and Solomon.
    Handel oratorios1.jpg

    and Christopher Hogwood doing Messiah, Athalia, Esther and Resurrezione.
    Handel oratorios2.jpg

    Solomon is probably my favourite as it contains many joyous and jubilant choruses, e.g. "From the Censer" which kicks off Act 2:

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  9. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Winterreisender View Post
    When I was starting out with Handel's oratorios, I found these two box sets immensely helpful:

    John Eliot Gardiner doing Israel in Egypt, Jephtha, Saul and Solomon.
    Handel oratorios1.jpg

    and Christopher Hogwood doing Messiah, Athalia, Esther and Resurrezione.
    Handel oratorios2.jpg

    Solomon is probably my favourite as it contains many joyous and jubilant choruses, e.g. "From the Censer" which kicks off Act 2:
    "From the Censer" could have been the inspiration for Moderation of Internet Forums 250 years later!!!

    All fine sets, by the way!!
    Facts don't care about your feelings.

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  11. #6
    DrMike
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    At some point in the past, I have listened to Saul, Solomon, and Theodora. I can't say that any of them left any lasting impressions on me, although I should give them another listen. Can't vote here.

    But I will plug another composer whose name begins with Ha, who also wrote some nice oratorios:
    Haydn - The Creation, The Seasons

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    Alexander's Feast is one of my favourites, and is often overlooked.


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    Another vote for Israel in Egypt. Though a fine work, I think Solomon goes on too long with that stuff in the middle about dividing the baby. Personally, I put Judas Maccabeeas third on my list.

  15. #9
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    They are all favorites, so I picked them all.

  16. #10
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    I voted other for this wonderful work and in particular this recording, which I think is the only existing recording of this oratorio:

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000069CUU/

    This Old Testament oratorio is about Nabal (whose name means fool), a wealthy mean-spirited fellow who spurns David during David's exile from the court of Saul. David plans to have revenge upon Nabal, but Nabal's wife, Abigail, pledges loyalty to the future king, so David relents. When Nabal hears about it he drops dead, leaving Abigail free to become one of David's wives, which she is more than happy to be.
    Media lies and dishonest governors managed to get Americans give up their liberties over a virus with a >99% survival rate.

  17. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by steph01 View Post
    Alexander's Feast is one of my favourites, and is often overlooked.

    A favourite of mine too but, as it doesn't have a religious subject, I don't think it qualifies as an oratorio.

    My vote goes to "Israel in Egypt", a lovely piece which I haven't heard for too long now, an omission I will soon remedy.
    Last edited by Animal the Drummer; Nov-05-2017 at 20:24.

  18. #12
    Senior Member ArtMusic's Avatar
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    I voted all of them, they are masterpieces of the 18th century. Solomon, Theodora are good starting points.
    "You must have no dependence on your own genius. If you have great talents, industry will improve them; if you have but moderate abilities, industry will supply their deficiency." Sir Joshua Reynolds, PRA, FRS, FRSA (1723 - 1792)

  19. #13
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    I think Solomon is marvelous and years ago I saw a performance of Israel in Egypt at Lincoln Center. The recording of that oratorio with Preston is quite good. Acis and Galatea is a nice, pastoral work.
    Last edited by cougarjuno; Nov-06-2017 at 02:05.

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  21. #14
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    I admit to not being a Handel fan; he just doesn't speak to me, though clearly he does to others
    That said, I voted for Judas Maccabeus. It's on a Handel set that I have and I did enjoy it.

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  23. #15
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    My favorite is his last oratorio, Jephtha. A deeply felt composition!

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