Monday 7 May 2012

Israel in Egypt at St. Andrew's Hall

On the evening of Saturday 28th April 2012 I was back in Norwich City Centre for the Keswick Hall Choir and Academy of St. Thomas concert at St. Andrew's Hall, Norwich when they performed Handel's Israel in Egypt. This performance featured Nicki Kennedy - soprano, Rebecca Mundy - soprano, Andrew Radley - countertenor and Joshua Ellicott - tenor. The Academy of St. Thomas were conducted by John Alpin.

Handel’s oratorio Israel in Egypt was written three years before the Messiah in 1738 and, like the Messiah, is somewhat atypical of the composer’s oratorios. Scored for double chorus and an orchestra using trombones, trumpets, timpani, woodwinds and strings with continuo, Israel in Egypt contains relatively little solo material but is dominated by large-scale virtuosic choruses that fully exploit Handel’s lavish and sophisticated word-painting.

This was a wonderful night at St. Andrew's Hall as the Keswick Hall Choir and the Academy of St. Thomas brought us a performance of the highest quality of this splendid piece from Handel. The Lord shall reign for ever and ever. I will sing unto the Lord, for he hath triumphed gloriously, the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea.

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