Københavns Ungdomssymfoniorkester



Handel, "Israel in Egypt"

Conductor: Torsten Mariegaard

15th of March at 16:00, in

22nd of March at 15:00, in

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Notes from the conductor

When speaking of Händel (1685 – 1759) and his oratorios, people often think of “Messiah”, the most frequently performed choral piece within classical music. But Händel wrote several other oratorios with fine musical qualities, although these have not received the same acknowledgment as Messiah. Among these is the oratorio Israel in Egypt which KUSO will perform in collaboration with the choir Rudersdal Koret in March 2020.

Händel began and finished Israel in Egypt in 1739 and used the texts from Genesis 1 and 2. However, as these were not particularly suitable for music, his librettist used the texts of Psalms 105 and 106, which included a re-enactment of the events in the two books of Genesis. Besides, he used a single verse from Psalm 78 and various passages from the book of Exodus.

The oratorio originally consisted of three parts, but today only the second and third part is performed since the first part is very long-drawn and makes the performance of the whole oratorio very long.

At its first performance in London, the oratorio was a failure. In addition to removing the 1st movement, Händel tried to add more soloist sections and make other changes, but still, the English audience did not embrace the music. The posterity, however, has been more gentle, but the music is still not performed very often and generally only in two parts.