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Saul, oratorio (London 1739)

RIAS Kammerchor Berlin, Concerto Köln, René Jacobs
    • Apple Music

    The most dramatic of oratorios. Although oratorios are not intended to be staged, Handel’s Saul is something of an exception – for one thing, it contains extremely precise stage directions which were printed in the wordbooks distributed at performances. Hence audiences at the first English oratorios could construct a form of mental theatre, aided by Handel’s dazzling musical depiction of the action: as we listen, we can see Goliath’s gigantic strides, the course of the Jordan, or Saul throwing his javelin.

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    • Henry Waddington
    • Finnur Bjarnason
    • Michael Slattery
    • Rosemary Joshua
    • Emma Bell
    • Lawrence Zazzo
    • Jeremy Ovenden
    • Gidon Saks
    • Concerto Köln
    • Conductor


    · Symphony Allegro - Larghetto - Allegro - Andante larghetto (8'00)
    · ACT ONE
    Scene I
    1. ChorusHow excellent Thy name, o Lord (2'37)
    · 2. Air Soprano An infant raised by thy command
    3. Trio Alto, tenore, basso Along the monster atheist strode (2'08)
    · 4. Soprano, alto, tenore, basso The youth inspired by Thee, o Lord
    5. Chorus How excellent Thy name, o Lord (3'55)
    · Scene II
    6. Recit & 7. Air Michal He comes, he comes! - O God-like youth!
    8. Recitative Abner, Saul, David Behold, o King, the brave, victorious youth (3'38)
    · 9. Air David O king, your favours with delights
    10. Recitative Jonathan Oh early piety! (5'21)
    · 11. Air Merab What abject thoughts a prince can have!
    12. Recitative Merab Yet think, on whom this honour you bestow (2'13)
    · 13. Air JonathanBirth and fortune I despise! (4'56)
    · 14. Recitative High Priest Go on, illustrious pair!
    15. Air High Priest While yet thy tide of blood runs high (2'45)
    · 16. Recitative Saul, Merab Thou, Merab, first in birth, be first in honour
    17. Air Merab My soul rejects the thought with scorn
    18. Air Michal See, with what a scornful air
    19. Air Michal Ah, lovely youth, wast thou designed (3'19)
    · 20. Symphony Andante allegro
    21. Recitative Michal Already see the daughters of the land
    Scene III
    22. Chorus Welcome, welcome, mighty king! (2'47)
    · 23. Accompagnato Saul What do I hear?
    24. Chorus David his ten thousands slew
    25. Accompagnato Saul To him ten thousands
    26. Air Saul With rage I shall start burst his praises to hear (2'17)
    · Scene IV
    27. Recitative Jonathan, Michal Imprudent women!
    28. Air Michal Fell rage and black despair possessed (2'58)
    · 29. Recitative High Priest This but the smallest part of Harmony
    30. Accompagnato High Priest By thee this universal frame (2'47)
    · Scene V
    31. Recitative Abner Racked with infernal pains
    32. Air David O Lord, whose mercies numberless (3'51)
    · 33. Symphony Largo
    34. Recitative Jonathan 'Tis all in vain, his fury still continues (2'14)
    · 35. Air Saul A serpent, in my bosom warmed
    36. Recitative Saul Has he escaped my rage? (2'22)
    · 37. Air Merab Capricious man (3'38)
    · Scene VI
    38. Accompagnato Jonathan O filial piety!
    39. Air Jonathan No, cruel father, no! (3'00)
    · 40. Air High Priest O Lord, whose providence
    41. Chorus Preserve him for the glory of Thy name (3'37)
    · ACT TWO
    Scene I

    42. Chorus Envy! Eldest born of hell! (2'47)
    · Scene II
    43. Recitative Jonathan Ah! dearest friend
    44. Air Jonathan But sooner Jordan' stream, I swear (2'36)
    · 45. Recitative David, Jonathan Oh strange vicissitude!
    46. Air David Such haughty beauties rather move (5'07)

    · 47. Recitative Jonathan My father comes
    Scene III
    48. Recitative Saul, Jonathan Hast thou obeyed my orders (0'42)
    · 49. Air Jonathan Sin not, o king, against the youth
    50. Air Saul As great Jehovah lives
    51. Air Jonathan From cities stormed, and battles won (4'54)
    · Scene IV
    52. Recitative Jonathan, Saul Appear, my friend
    53. Air David Your words, o king, my loyal heart
    54. Recitative Saul Yes, he shall wed my daughter! (1'49)
    · Scene V
    55. Recitative Michal A father's will has authorised my love
    56. Duet Michal, David O fairest of ten thousand fair
    57. Chorus Is there a man (4'18)
    · 58. Symphony Largo - Allegro (4'35)
    · Scene VI
    59. Recitative David Thy father is as cruel
    60. Duet David, Michal At persecution I can laugh (1'37)
    · Scene VII
    61. Recitative Michal, Doeg Whom dost thou seek
    62. Air Michal No, no let the guilty tremble (2'14)
    · Scene VIII
    63. Recitative Merab Mean as he was, he is my brother now
    64. Air Merab Author of peace, who canst controul (3'32)
    · Scene IX
    65. Symphony Allegro (1'06)
    · 66. Accompagnato Saul The time at length is come
    Scene X
    67. Recitative Saul, Jonathan Where is the son of Jesse? (1'29)
    · 68. Chorus Oh fatal consequence of Rage (4'46)
    Scene I

    69. Accompagnato Saul Wretch that I am
    70. Recit - Accompagnato Saul 'Tis said, here lives a woman (3'15)
    · Scene II
    71. Recitative Witch, Saul With me what would'st thou
    72. Air Witch of Endor Infernal spirits (2'50)
    · Scene III
    73. Accompagnato Samuel, Saul Why hast thou forced me from the realms of peace (2'42)
    · 74. Symphony Allegro (0'33)
    · Scene IV
    75. Recitative David, Amalekite Whence comest thou?
    76. Air David Impious wretch, of race accurst! (2'52)
    · 77. March Grave (3'03)
    · Scene V
    78. Chorus Mourn, Israel (3'27)
    · 79. Air High Priest Oh let it not in Gath be heard (2'07)
    · 80. Air Merab From this unhappy day (2'39)
    · 81. Air David Brave Jonathan is bow never drew
    82. Chorus Eagles were not so swift as they (2'09)
    · 83. Air Michal In sweetest harmony they lived!
    84. Solo David and Chorus O fatal day!
    85. Recitative Abner Ye men of Judah, weep no more! (9'06)
    · 86. Chorus Gird on thy sword, thou man of might (5'01)

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