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George Frideric Handel arr. Felix Mendelssohn – Israel in Egypt, HWV 54 – The King’s Consort, Robert King (2016) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

George Frideric Handel arr. Felix Mendelssohn – Israel in Egypt, HWV 54 – The King’s Consort, Robert King (2016)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 01:22:03 minutes | 1,48 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: | Digital Booklet | © Vivat Music

Mendelssohn’s astonishing 1833 reconstruction of Handel’s great oratorio Israel in Egypt came about thanks to Mendelssohn’s lifetime fascination with the music of Handel. In London in 1829, the 20-year-old Mendelssohn excitedly studied sixty volumes of Handel’s music. Israel in Egypt particularly fascinated him. He saw that Handel’s manuscript contained movements not included in what was then the only available published score. Four years later, in 1833 in Düsseldorf, he performed, to great acclaim, his version of Handel’s Israel in Egypt.
That historic performance has itself now been painstakingly reconstructed from fragments and sources across Europe: and radically different it is to Handel’s 1739 score. The large and colourful orchestra play nineteenth-century instruments, producing vivid new sonorities, and including very different orchestrations. With no organ at his performance, Mendelssohn scored the continuo part into the orchestra, making especial use of a pair of clarinets. He also added a series of recitatives, accompanied by the delicious combination of two solo cellos and a double bass. There are significant changes to the order of movements, as well as new numbers. The text is sung in German, and the work starts with a thrilling, pure-Mendelssohn overture, which mixes life and energy with moments of exquisitely shifting instrumental colours.

Mendelssohn’s 1833 score was reconstructed by Robert King for performance in the Leipzig Gewandhaus Mendelssohn Festival before heading into the studio. There is fine solo singing from sopranos Lydia Teuscher and Julia Doyle, alto Hilary Summers, tenor Benjamin Hulett, and bass Roderick Williams, and striking chorus work from the large double-choir. Incorporating early nineteenth-century performing practice – bringing a notably different approach to portamento, rubato, vibrato, trills and slurring – and pitched at A=430, here is a familiar work in wholly new clothing.

George Frideric Handel (1685-1759) arr. Felix Mendelssohn
Israel in Ägypten, HWV 54
Erster Teil ‘Exodus’
1 Overture 9’31
2 Nun kam ein neuer König 0’23
3 Aber die Kinder Israels schrien 3’23
4 Da sandt’er Moses 0’39
5 Aber die Zaub’rer auch 0’32
6 Und Frösche ohne Zahl 2’22
7 Die Plage wich 0’14
8 Er sprach das Wort 2’06
9 Dies neue Wunder 0’31
10 Doch Pharao trotzt 0’25
11 Hagel statt Regen 2’17
12 Pharao sah’s an 1’05
13 Moses verließ die Stadt 0’14
14 Als Pharao alles friedlich ruhen sah 0’33
15 Er sandte dicke Finsternis 3’17
16 Doch als nun Pharao 0’37
17 Er schlug alle Erstgeburt’ 2’40
18 Aber mit seinem Volke 4’31
19 Und Israel war befreit 0’19
20 Hoffnung lindert unsre Schmerzen 3’38
21 Er gebot der Meerflut / Er führte sie hindurch 1’51
22 Aber die Fluten überwältigten 1’07
Zweiter Teil ‘Moses’ Gesang’
1 Moses und die Kinder Israel 0’57
2 Ich will singen meinem Gott 2’34
3 Der Herr ist mein Heil 4’19
4 Er ist mein Gott 0’48
5 Die Tiefe deckte sie 1’56
6 Deine Rechte, o Herr 2’00
7 Die Himmel sind dein 2’30
8 Und von dem Hauch 3’02
9 So dachte der Feind 2’15
10 Aber du ließest wehen 2’12
11 Wer ist dir gleich, o Herr 2’24
12 Das hören die Völker 5’30
13 Bringe sie hinein 3’21
14 Der Herr ist König (I) 0’38
15 Denn die Reiter Pharaos 0’33
16 Der Herr ist König (II) 0’38
17 Und Mirjam die Prophetin 0’31
18 Singet unserem Gott 3’17 

Lydia Teuscher soprano
Julia Doyle soprano
Hilary Summers alto
Benjamin Hulett tenor
Roderick Williams bass
Choir of The King’s Consort
The King’s Consort
Robert King conductor 


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