Miriam Allan - Soprano
David Allsopp - Countertenor
Mark LeBrocq - Tenor
James Rutherford - Bass
Hanoverian Court Orchestra
Maulbronn Chamber Choir
Conductor: Juergen Budday
A concert hosted by Klosterkonzerte Maulbronn
at the UNESCO World Heritage Site
Maulbronn Monastery, 19th & 20th May 2007.
A release, recorded and created
by Andreas Otto Grimminger & Josef-Stefan Kindler
in co-operation with Juergen Budday.
2-CD-Box, DDD, ca. 140 minutes, EUR 33,-
KuK 07, ISBN 978-3-930643-07-3, EAN 42 6000591 053 7
Copyright by K&K Verlagsanstalt anno 2007
This recording is part of a cycle of old testament oratorios by G. F. Handel and is one of the many concerts performed at Maulbronn monastery over the past years. The series combines authentically performed baroque oratorios with the optimal acoustics and atmosphere of this unique monastic church. This ideal location demands the transparency of playing and the interpretive unveiling of the rhetoric intimations of the composition, which is especially aided by the historically informed performance. The music is exclusively performed on reconstructed historical instruments, which are tuned to the pitch customary in the composers lifetime (a = 415 Hz).
Of Handel's late oratorios, Joshua was one of the most successful. Of the operas composed after Samson, only Judas Maccabaeus was performed more frequently during the composer's lifetime, and the latter's popularity was mainly due to the fact that, after the first series of performances, "See the conqu'ring hero comes", originally written for Joshua, was included in it. Handel started to work on Joshua on 19 July 1747, only two weeks after he had finished writing the Alexander Balus oratorio. Eleven days later, the first act was already on paper. The second act was completed in an even shorter time - by 8 August - and the entire opus was finished by 19 August. The world première took place in Covent Garden on 9 March 1748.
Joshua was one of four oratorios written in quick succession between 1746 and 1748 that all have strong military traits. In 1847, Judas Maccabaeus followed, a work that was extremely popular inasmuch as it was performed at least 33 times during the composer's lifetime. It appears clear that, after Judas Maccabaeus, Handel and his librettist, Thomas Morell, were at pains to repeat the successful recipe of a Jewish hero and triumphant choruses, but this time adding the romantic subplot that Judas lacked. Morell had hardly recovered from the exertions of Alexander Balus before he was already tackling the new libretto, based on a bloodthirsty account in the Book of Joshua in the Old Testament. He turned the campaigns against Jericho, Ai and the five kings into one dramatic block and extended the roles of Othniel and Achsa to create the background needed to provide romantic relief and to contrast the otherwise almost completely warlike plot.
The unusual tempo of Handel's composition must have challenged Morell to the extreme and the result was more a sequence of events than a fully developed plot. But the characters are strong - Joshua an imperious/domineering (if also a sometimes unbearably conceited) hero, Kaleb the suitably patriarchal leader type, shortly before retirement and on the verge of leaving the battlefield forever, his daughter, Achsa, worried, occasionally disapproving and engaged to Othniel, who finds it difficult to strike the right balance between the role of the young warrior that has been thrust upon him and that of the devoted lover. Over and above all this, there is a small but important role for an angel. A later score gives this part to a tenor, but it is generally assumed that, as is to be expected, the angel was played by a female or boy soprano in earlier performances.
As is the case with many of Handel's oratorios, the later performances underwent numerous rearrangements of the original score and for reasons that sometimes had little to do with music. The present version keeps to the score used in the 1748 performances, with the one concession that Handel's undated change to the second half of "Hark! 'tis the linnet" (1752?) is included. This is the only change made later that did not affect the original sequence of the movements. Handel had surprisingly few boy voices at his disposal to sing the upper parts of his choruses. However, as voices generally broke very much later in those days, we can assume that there were some excellent singers among them. Handel's soloists usually joined in the 'Tutti' parts (which most certainly must have put a huge strain on them during performances). Our 21st century choir has no need of such support.
At three points in the score, Handel notes that the brasses ought to be brought in and there is a short rhythmic entry at each of these points, on the basis of which the musicians of the time (led by the first trumpet) then had to improvise the necessary music. Handel's lavish casting of the oratorio points to the fact that his performances were financially secured. The large orchestra comprises - apart from the usual strings, oboes and bassoons - two flutes, trumpets, horns and timpani, respectively. Moreover, certain 18th century reports on performances gave us the idea of including cembalo, organ and archlute as continuo instruments. The most stunning passages of Handel's Joshua make full use of brass and timbali, and the resulting music is very impressive. Dramatic events like the collapse of the walls of Jericho, the destruction of the city by fire, Joshua's ability to stop the sun and moon in their tracks and to rouse an army of demoralized soldiers to action, not to mention the return of the hero in triumph from the battle offer heroic material that would have inspired any composer.
It might therefore come as no surprise that the fall of Jericho in Act II led Handel to use one of his wonderful 'thunder choruses' that incidentally also greatly impressed Hadyn when he heard it during a lavish performance at Westminster Abbey in 1791. Supposedly, he was familiar with the music, but was only half aware of its effect until he actually got to hear it. In any case, Hadyn was convinced that only a genius like Handel could ever have written such an outstanding composition or could indeed write one like it at any point in the future. The solemn march around the Ark of the Covenant, which hastens the destruction along, is also one of Handel's most beautiful compositions, and its amazing solemnity is impressive, while Kaleb's aria that follows it, "See the raging flames arise" turns out to be wonderfully dramatic. Othniel's "Place danger around me" is an equally outstanding Handel aria. Joshua was also the original source for the chorus "See the conqu'ring hero comes" that was only put into Judas Maccabaeus when its potential as a crowd-puller was recognized after the first performances of Joshua. At the same time, the quieter, more contemplative moments also deserve a mention: Kaleb's resigned aria "Shall I in Mamre's fertile plain", the heavenly chorus that follows it and the chorus of the vanquished Israelites, "How soon our tow'ring hopes are crossed as well as Othniel's "Nations who in future story" are all examples of Handel's best lyrical style. And between the triumphs and catastrophes of the battle, the scenes with Achsa offer additional contrast, with arias ranging from the pensive "Oh, who can tell" to the bird calls in "Hark! 'tis the linnet" and the joyful, ever-popular "Oh had I Jubal's lyre".
Miriam Allan - Soprano (Achsah, Angel)
Miriam Allan, master class graduate of Emma Kirkby and Julianne Baird, last year won the London Handel Competition. The young Australian studied at Newcastle University (Australia) and graduated from there with several distinctions. She has performed the most important works of Bach, Handel and Purcell with leading choirs and orchestras such as the Australian Chamber Orchestra and the Sydney Philharmonic. She has also appeared as a guest with the Song Company and Sounds Baroque, including at their concertante performances. In addition to this - and rather unusual for such a young singer - she also gives recitals. These have so far focussed mainly on works from the 17th and 18th centuries, but now increasingly include Romantic and Modernist pieces. In the summer of 2003, she sang not only the title role in the Handel opera "Semele" for the Pinchgut Opera, she also appeared in the world premiere of "Dreaming Transportation" at the Sidney Festival and sang in the first Australian performance of Bach's St Mark Passion by the Sidney Philharmonic under Arno Volmer as well as performing in Pergolesi's "Stabat Mater". At the beginning of this year, Miriam Allan made her debut at the Leipzig Gewandhaus with the Bach Mass in B Minor.
David Allsopp - Alto (Othaniel)
David Allsopp attended the King's School in Rochester and was at the same time a chorister and Choral Scholar at the city's cathedral. Later he studied computer science at Cambridge University and graduated from there with distinction in 2004. He continued his career as a singer in Cambridge as a Choral Scholar und Lay Clerk with the famous King's College Choir. An important highlight from those days was the performance of the Chichester Psalms with Leonard Bernstein in Manchester, which received tremendous reviews from the critics. At the moment, David Allsopp holds the position of Countertenor Lay Clerk at Westminster Cathedral, but also continues to appear as a soloist with the King's College Choir under Stephen Cleobury, including an appearance in 2007 in a performance of Handel's Solomon in King's College Chapel. As a soloist, he has participated in performances of the Bach Mass in B Minor and the St John Passion in England and in other European countries. The Messiah and some of Handel's bigger oratorios are also part of his repertoire. Later this year, David Allsopp will make his debut at St. John's, Smith Square, London, with a performance of Israel in Egypt.
Mark LeBrocq - Tenor (Joshuah)
Mark LeBrocq studied English at St Catherine's College, Cambridge, where he was also a Choral Scholar. He received a scholarship from the Royal Academy of Music, where he studied under David Brown, and other scholarships from the Draper's Company and the Wolfson Trust. He has won many awards and distinctions at the Royal Academy of Music, including the Blyth Buesset Opera Prize, den Royal Academy of Music Club Prize and the Worshipful Company of Musician's Medal. He subsequently continued his education at the National Opera Studio. He was employed as a soloist with the English National Opera in London. Over the years, the tenor has worked with many important directors, including David Alden, David Poutney, Jonathan Miller, Niklaus Lehnhoff, Graham Vick and David Freeman. Mark LeBrocq has appeared as a concert singer in the USA, France, Germany, Spain and the Middle East as well as on all the big-name London stages. He regularly appears at concerts with the Gabrieli Consort under the direction of Paul McCreesh, with whom he has also performed Handel's Saul and Solomon. He has appeared with Monserat Caballé and Dennis O'Neill at Verdi Opera Galas in Bath, has sung the Mozart and Verdi Requiems at the Barbican Centre as well as the Mozart Requiem with The English Concert under Trevor Pinnock in Salzburg.. He sang Handel's Messiah with the Ulster Orchestra conducted by Gideon Kraemer and the Schubert Mass in E-Flat Major with the BBC Symphony Orchestra under Jiri Belohlavek.
James Rutherford - Bass (Caleb)
James Rutherford studied at the Royal College of Music and the National Opera Studio in London. In 2000, he was elected "New Generation Artist", a programme run by the BBC to support and provide awards for young artists. He has a very wide repertoire. He is equally comfortable with the Baroque operas of Handel (Rinaldo) and Bach oratorios as he is with Mozart (Le nozze di Figaro), Wagner (The Meistersinger), Verdi (Falstaff), Stravinsky und Benjamin Britten. His engagements have led him to the Paris Opera, the Welsh National Opera and, in London, to the Royal Opera House. He has sung with the Glyndebourne Touring Opera and appeared as a guest at the music festivals in Montpellier and Innsbruck. In Germany, he has sung "Rinaldo" with René Jacobs at the German State Opera in Berlin. Besides performing with famous English symphony orchestras, he has also appeared with the Berlin Philharmonic and the SWR Rundfunk Orchestra. In August 2006, James Rutherford won the first International Wagner Competition at the Seattle Opera.
Hanoverian Court Orchestra (Hannoversche Hofkapelle)
The Hanoverian Court Orchestra under concertmistress Anne Röhrig remains totally faithful to the tradition of historic court orchestras and performs both chamber music and symphonies. The sound of this ensemble is hallmarked by the fact that the musicians also have experience of playing with different music ensembles on the European Baroque scene and view historical performance practices as a means of keeping current. The repertoire of the Orchestra is not restricted to the many forms of Baroque music alone, but also includes classical works, with Mozart operas and the Romantic era being particularly favoured. Their constant involvement with 17th and 18th-century music has made the Court Orchestra musicians masters of their respective instruments. The result is the expressive and elegant style of playing that assures the orchestra its prominent position. The Hanoverian Court Orchestra has been the orchestra in residence at the Herrenhausen Festival Weeks since 2006.
Maulbronn Chamber Choir (Maulbronner Kammerchor)
The Maulbronn Chamber Choir was founded in 1983 and is directed by Juergen Budday. Today it counts as one of the top choirs in the Federal Republic of Germany. First place at the Baden-Württemberg Choir Competition in 1989 and 1997, second place at the 3rd German Choir Competition in Stuttgart in 1990 and First Prize at the 5th German Choir Competition in Regensburg in 1998 - these awards show the extraordinary musical calibre of this young ensemble. The Chamber Choir has managed to make quite a name for itself on the international scene, too. It was received enthusiastically by audiences and reviewers alike during its debut tour through the USA in 1983, with concerts in New York, Indianapolis and elsewhere. Its concert tours in many European countries, in Israel and Argentina (1993, 1997, 2003) as well as in South Africa and Namibia have also met with a similar response.
Juergen Budday is artistic director and founder of the Maulbronn Chamber Choir. He studied church music and musicology at the Academy of Music in Stuttgart from 1967 to 1974 and, since 1979, has taught at the Evangelical Theology Seminar in Maulbronn. This also involved his taking over as artistic director of the Maulbronn Monastery Concerts and the cantor choir. In 1992, he was named Director of Studies, in 1995 came the appointment as Director of Church Music and in 1998 he was awarded the 'Bundesverdienstkreuz" (German Cross of Merit) as well as the Bruno-Frey Prize from the State Academy in Ochsenhausen for his work in music education. Since 2002, Juergen Budday has also held the chair of the Choral Committee with the German Music Council. Together with the Maulbronn Chamber Choir, he has started a cycle of Handel oratorios that is planned to span several years, which involves working with the best-known singers in the genre (e.g. Emma Kirkby and Michael Chance, to name but a few) and has won him international recognition. At the Prague International Choir Festival, he received an award as best director. He has made several CD recordings that have received the highest praise from reviewers and include G.F. Handel's Messiah, Solomon, Belshazzar, Saul, Samson and Judas Maccabaeus.
Maulbronn Chamber Choir
Soprano ~ Teresa Frick, Susanne Fuierer, Ute Gerteis, Hannah Glocker, Elisabeth Hofmann- Ehret, Ilka Hüftle, Katja Körtge, Susanne Laenger, Heidi Lenk, Veronika Miehlich, Anne Nonnenmann, Silke Vogelmann, Irene Vorreiter
Alto ~ Erika Budday, Mirjam Budday, Barbara Hirsch, Marianne Kodweiß, Roswitha Fydrich-Steiner, Kathrin Gölz, Margret Sanwald, Angelika Stössel, Bettina van der Ham, Evelyn Witte
Tenor ~ Johannes Budday, Sebastian Fuierer, Andreas Gerteis, Ulrich Kiefner, Hartmut Meier, Mathias Michel, Konrad Mohl, Sebastian Thimm
Bass ~ Ingo Andruschkewitsch, Karl Bihlmaier, Jo Dohse, Bernhard Fräulin, Matthias Leeflang, Rainer Hirsch-Luipold, Eberhard Maier, Werner Pfeiffer, Conrad Schmitz
Hanoverian Court Orchestra
Concert Master ~ Anne Röhrig
Violins ~ Christoph Heidemann, Susanne Busch, Birgit Fischer, Stephanie Bücker, Barbara Kralle, Susanne Dietz, Eva Politt, Corinna Hildebrand
Violas ~ Judith Mac Carty, Hella Hartmann, Klaus Bona
Cellos ~ Dorothee Palm, Daniela Wartenberg
Bass viols ~ Cordula Cordes, Ulla Hoffmann
Cembalo, Organ ~ Bernward Lohr
Theorbe ~ Ulrich Wedemeier
Flutes ~ Brian Berryman, Martin Heidecker
Oboes ~ Annette Berryman, Julia Belitz
Bassoons ~ Marita Schaar, Tobias Meier
Horns ~ Thomas Crome, Malte Mory
Trumpets ~ Friedemann Immer, Ute Rothkirch
Timpani ~ Friethjof Koch
Oratorios by G. F. Handel
in the Maulbronn Monastery CD-Edition
Concert recordings of historically informed performances in English
with the Maulbronn Chamber Choir, conducted by Jürgen Budday
George Frideric Handel · Jephtha
Soloists: Emma Kirkby, Melinda Paulsen, Charles Humphries,
Julian Podger, Stephen Varcoe & Monastery Baroque Orchestra
George Frideric Handel · Samson
Soloists: Sinéad Pratschke, Michael Chance, Marc LeBrocq,
Raimund Nolte, David Thomas & Monastery Baroque Orchestra
George Frideric Handel · Judas Maccabaeus
Soloists: Sinéad Pratschke, Catherine King, Charles Humphries,
Marc LeBrocq, Christopher Purves & Musica Florea Prag
George Frideric Handel · Saul
Soloists: Nancy Argenta, Laurie Reviol, Michael Chance, Marc LeBrocq,
Michael Berner, Stephen Varcoe, Steffen Balbach & Hanoverian Court Orchestra
George Frideric Handel · Solomon
Soloists: Nancy Argenta, Laurie Reviol, Michael Chance,
Julian Podger, Steffen Balbach & Hanoverian Court Orchestra
George Frideric Handel · Belshazzar
Soloists: Miriam Allan, Michael Chance, Patrick van Goethem,
Mark LeBrocq, André Morsch & Hanoverian Court Orchestra
George Frideric Handel · Messiah
Soloists: Miriam Allan, Michael Chance, Mark LeBrocq,
Christopher Purves & Hanoverian Court Orchestra
The Maulbronn Monastery CD Series
Publishing culture in its authentic form entails for us capturing and recording for posterity outstanding performances and concerts. The performers, audience, opus and room enter into an intimate dialogue that in its form and expression, its atmosphere, is unique and unrepeatable. It is our aim, the philosophy of our house, to enable the listener to acutely experience every facet of this symbiosis, the intensity of the performance. The results are unparalleled interpretations of musical and literary works, simply - audiophile snapshots of permanent value.
The concerts in Maulbronn monastery, which we document with this edition, supply, the ideal conditions for our aspirations. It is, above all, the atmosphere of the romantic, candle-lit arches, the magic of the monastery in its unadulterated sublime presence and tranquillity that impresses itself upon the performers and audience of these concerts. Renowned soloists and ensembles from the international arena repeatedly welcome the opportunity to appear here - enjoying the unparalleled acoustic and architectural beauty of this World Heritage Site (monastery church, cloister gardens, lay refectory, etc.), providing exquisite performances of secular and sacred music.
Under the patronage of the Evangelical Seminar, the Maulbronn Monastery Cloister Concerts were instigated in 1968 with an abundance of musical enthusiasm and voluntary leadership. Within the hallowed walls of the classical grammar and boarding school, existent for more than 450 years, some of society's great thinkers, poets and humanists, such as Kepler, Hölderlin, Herwegh and Hesse received their first impressions.
The youthful elan, the constructive participation of the pupils, continuing the tradition of their great predecessors, constructs an enlightened climate in which artistic ambitions can especially thrive. Twenty-five concerts take place between May and September. Their success can be largely attributed to the many voluntary helpers from near and far. There is a break for winter.
Flourishing culture in a living monument, created for the delight of the live audience and, last but not least, you the listener, are the ideals we document with this series.
Jürgen Budday, Andreas Otto Grimminger & Josef-Stefan Kindler
Ye sons of Israel, ev'ry tribe attend, let grateful
songs and hymns to heav'n ascend:
In Gilgal, and on Jordan's banks proclaim
One first, one great, one Lord Jehova's name.
3. Recitative Joshua
Behold, my friends, what vast rewards are giv'n to
all the just, who place their faith in heav'n! Oh!
Had your sires obey'd divine command, they too,
like you, had reach'd the promis'd land; but rebels
to the laws th'Almighty gave, they, in the Desert,
met an early grave.
O Joshua, both to rule and bless ordain'd; when
Moses the eternal mansions gain'd, what boundless
gratitude to heav'n we owe, that did in thee a chief
so wise bestow! Courage and conduct shine in thee
complete, justice and mercy fill thy judgment seat.
4. Air Caleb
O first in wisdom, first in pow'r, Jehova, ev'ry
blessing show'r around thy sacred head! The
neighb'ring realms with envy see the happiness and
liberty o'er all thy people spread.
5. Recitative Achsah
Matrons and virgins, with unwearied pray'r, solicit
heav'n for thee, their fav'rite care. The first lawgiver
broke th' Egyptian chain; and, by thy hallow'd
aid, we Canaan gain.
6. Air Achsah
Oh! Who can tell, oh! who can hear of Egypt, and
not shed a tear? Or, who will not on Jordan smile,
releas'd from bondage on the Nile?
7. Recitative Joshua
Caleb, attend to all I now prescribe; one righteous
man select from ev'ry tribe, to bear twelve stones
from the divided flood, where the priests' feet and
holy cov'nant stood; in Gilgal place them: hence
twelve more provide, and fix them in the bosom
of the tide: these when our sons shall view with
curious eye, thus the historic columns shall reply:
8. Chorus & Joshua
To long posterity we here record the wondrous
passage, and the land restor'd:
In wat'ry heaps affrighted Jordan stood,
and backward to the fountain roll'd his flood.
9. Accompagnato Joshua
So long the memory shall last, of all the tender
10. Air Joshua
While Kedron's brook to Jordan's stream its silver
tribute pays; or while the glorious sun shall beam
on Canaan golden rays; so long the memory shall
last of all the tender mercies past.
11. Recitative Othniel
But, who is he? - Tremendous to behold! A form divine
in panoply of gold! With dignity of mien, and
stately grace, he moves in solemn, slow, majestic
pace; his auburn locks his comely shoulders spread,
a sword his hand, a helmet fits his head; his warlike
visage, and his sparkling eye bespeak a hero, or an
12. Air Othniel
Awful, pleasing being, say, if from heav'n thou
wing'st thy way? Deign to let thy servant know, if a
friend, or pow'rful foe?
13. Recitative Angel
Joshua, I come commission'd from on high, the captain
of the host of God am I; loose from thy feet thy
shoes, for all around the place wheron thou stand'st
its holy ground.
Low on the earth, oh! Prostrate let me bend, and
thy behests with reverence attend.
14. Accompagnato Angel
Leader of Israel, 'tis the lord's decree, that Jericho
must fall, and fall by thee: The tyrant king, and all
his heathen train, at their own idol-altars, shall be
slain: Th'embattl'd walls, and tow'rs, that reach the
sky, shall perish, and in dusty ruin lie; scatter'd in
air, their ashes shall be tossed, the place, the name,
and all remembrance lost.
15. Recitative Joshua
To give command, prerogative is thine: and humbly
to obey, the duty is mine.
16. Air Joshua
Haste, Israel haste, your glitt'ring arms prepare,
with valour abounding. The city surrounding, deal
death and dreadful war.
The Lord commands, and Joshua leads, Jericho
falls, the tyrant bleeds.
18. Accompagnato Othniel
In these blest scenes, where constant pleasure
reigns, and herds and bleating flocks adorn the
plains: where the soft season all its blessings sheds,
refreshing rivers, and enamell'd meads; here, in the
covert of some friendly shade, direct me, Love, to
Achsah, blooming maid.
O Othniel, Othniel!
'Tis my name I hear! Othniel, in melting accents,
strikes my ear.
O Othniel, Othniel! Valiant youth, may heav'n
reward thy love and truth!
19. Recitative Othniel
'Tis Achsah's voice, who, but that heav'nly fair,
could breathe so tender and so sweet a pray'r?
But see! he comes - he heard, and knows his pow'r.
Hail! Lovely virgin of this blissful bow'r, how
sweet the music of thy tuneful tongue!
These praises to the feather'd choir belong.
20. Air Achsah
Hark! 'tis the linnet and the thrush; in dulcet notes
they pour their throats, and wake the morn on ev'ry
bush: from morn to eve they chaunt their love, and
fill with melody the grove.
21. Recitative Othniel
O Achsah, form'd for ev'ry chaste delight, t'inspire
the virtuous thought and charm the sight; thy presence
gilds the variegated scene, to the green olive
adds a brighter green; while to the lily, blushes
to the rose, with deeper red the rich pomgranate
glows; the fruits their flavour, flow'rs their odour
prove, and here we taste true liberty and love.
22. Duet Achsah and Othniel
Our limpid streams with freedom flow, and feel no
icy chains; no moulded hail, no fleecy snow, pollute
our fruitful plains: The years one vernal circle
move, and still the same
~ like Othniel's love.
~ like Achsah's love.
23. Recitative Othniel
The trumpet calls; now Jericho shall know what
'tis to have a lover for a foe. The city conquer'd, I
shall hope to find thy father Caleb, like his Achsah,
May all the host of heav'n attend him round, and
angels waft him back, with conquest crown'd!
25. Recitative Joshua
'Tis well; six times the Lord hath been obey'd; low
in the dust the town shall soon be laid. Now the seventh
sun the gilded domes adorns, sound the shrill
trumpets, shout, and blow the horns.
26. A solemn March
during the circumvection of the Ark
of the Covenant.
27. Chorus & Joshua
Glory to God! The strong cemented walls, the
tott'ring tow'rs, the pond'rous ruin falls: The nations
tremble at the dreadful sound, heav'n thunders,
tempests roar, and groans the ground.
28. Recitative Caleb
The walls are levell'd, pour the chosen bands, with
hostile gore imbrue your thirsty hands; set palaces
and temples in a blaze, sap the foundations, and the
bulwarks raze. But, oh! Remember, in the bloody
strife, to spare the hospitable Rahab's life.
29. Air Caleb
See, the raging flames arise; hear, the dismal
groans and cries! The fatal day of wrath is come,
proud Jericho hath met her doom.
30. Air Achsah
To Vanity and earthly Pride, how short a date is
giv'n! The firmest rock, that shall abide, is confidence
31. Recitative Joshua
Let all the seed of Abrah'm now prepare to celebrate
this feast, with pious care. Ages unborn, by
this example led, shall bleed the lamb, and bake
Almighty ruler of the skies, accept our vows,
Thy mercy did with Israel dwell, when the firstborn
of Egypt fell. But, oh! What wonders did
the Lord at the Red Sea to us afford!He made our
passage on dry ground, while Pharaoh and his host
were drown'd. He thro' the dreary Desert led, he
slaked our thirst, with manna fed: His glory did on
Sinai shine, when we receiv'd the law divine.
1. Recitative Caleb
Joshua, the men dispatch'd by thee to learn the
strength of Ai, and country to discern; Elate with
pride, deluded by success, despised their pow'r and
made the people less. Easy of faith, we trust what
they relate, and now the hasty error find too late;
our troops with shame repuls'd! -
Oh, fatal day! Hark! Israel mourns, triumphs the
King of Ai.
2. Chorus of the defeated Israelites
How soon our tow'ring hopes are cross'd! The foe
prevails, our glory's lost! Again shall Israel bondage
know, oh! Sheathe the sword, unbend the bow.
3. Recitative Joshua
Whence this dejection? Rouse your coward hearts,
let courage edge your swords, and point your darts.
Remember Jericho! And sure success shall crown
your arms; the Lord our cause will bless.
4. Air Joshua & Chorus
With redoubled rage return, ev'ry breast with fury
burn: And the heathen soon shall feel the force of
your avenging steel.
We with redoubled rage return, all our breasts with
fury burn: The heathen nation soon shall feel the
force of our avenging steel.
5. Recitative Othniel
Now give the army breath; let war awhile smooth
his rough front, and wear a cheerful smile. The
interval, if Achsah but approve,
I'll consecrate to virtue and to love.
6. Air Othniel
Heroes when with glory burning. All their toil with
pleasure bear; and believe, to love returning, Laurel
wreaths beneath their care; war to hardy deeds
invites, love the danger well requites.
7. Recitative Achsah
Indulgent heav'n hath heard my virgin pray'r, and
made my Othniel its peculiar care; when he is
absent, sighs my hours employ, when he returns,
transporting is the joy.
8. Air Achsah
As cheers the sun the tender flow'r, that sinks
beneath a falling show'r, and rears its dropping
head; thy presence doth my pow'rs control, darts
Joy, like lightning, through my soul, and all my
cares are fled.
9. Recitative Caleb
Sure I'm deceiv'd, with sorrow I behold - let not
this folly in the camp be told; now all the youth of
Israel are in arms, that Othniel, lost in dalliance,
Oh! Why will Caleb my fix'd passion blame? This
spotless object justifies my fame.
No more. It wounds thy fame - Daughter, retire -
Oh! Let thy bosom glow with warlike fire. Thou
know'st what craft the men of Gibeon us'd to obtain
their league, which else had been refus'd: Soon did
that treaty through the heathen ring; Adoni-zedeck,
of Jerusalem king. With the confed'rate pow'rs of
most renown, have sworn to ruin the revolted town.
Firm to our faith, it never shall be said, that our
allies in vain implored our aid.
Perish the thought! while honour hath a name,
Israel's, or Gibeon's cause is still the same.
10. Air Othniel
Nations, who in future story, would recorded be
with glory; let them thro' the world proclaim,
friendship is the road to fame.
11. Recitative Joshua
Brethren and friends, what joy this scene imparts,
to meet such brave, such firm united hearts! What
tho' the tyrants, an unnumber'd host, their strength
in horse, and iron chariots, boast? Now shines the
sun, that fixeth Canaan's doom; trust in the Lord,
and you shall overcome.
flourish of warlike instruments
12. Recitative Caleb
Thus far our cause is favour'd by the Lord. Advance,
pursue; Jehova is the word!
flourish of warlike instruments
13. Chorus & Joshua
Oh! thou bright orb, great ruler of the day! Stop thy
swift course, and over Gibeon stay. And, Oh! thou
milder lamp of light, the moon, stand still, prolong
thy beams in Ajalon.
Behold! the list'ning sun the voice obeys, and in
mid heav'n his rapid motion stays.
Before our arms the scatter'd nations fly
breathless they pant, they yield, they fall,
Hail! mighty Joshua, hail! thy name shall rise into
immortal fame. Our children's children shall rehearse
thy deeds in never-dying verse; and grateful
marbles raise to thee, great guardian of our liberty!
15. Air Achsah
Happy, Oh, trice happy we, who enjoy sweet
liberty! To your sons this gem secure, as bright, as
ample, and as pure.
16. Recitative Joshua
Caleb, for holy Eleazer send, and bid the chiefs
of Israel all attend, to execute th'Almigthy's great
command, and lot among the tribes the conquer'd
Recitative - Caleb
With thee, great leader, when Jephunneh's son was
sent to view the nations thou hast won; Hebron
obtain'd, we all its produce sought, thick-cluster'd
grapes, figs, and pomgranates bought; the men,
their prowess carefully survey'd, and deem'd the
conquest easy to be made. Here would I stop - but,
oh! unhappy fate! The tim'rous spies a diff'rent
tale relate, increas'd the danger, multiplied the foe,
and fill'd some dastard souls with panic woe.
Recitative - Joshua
Firm as a rock, when billows lash'd its side, thou
didst persist, and all their threats defied. The men
appeas'd, said Moses, man of God, Caleb, the land
whereon thy feet have trod, mark what I say! For tis
the will of heav'n shall be to thee, and to thy children
giv'n. Behold! The promise of the man divine I
ratify, and Hebron now is thine.
My cup is full; how blest is this decree! How can
my thanks suffice the Lord, and thee?
17. Air Caleb
Shall I in Mamre's fertile plain, the remnant of my
days remain? And is it giv'n to me to have a place
with Abrah'm in the grave? For all these mercies I
will sing eternal praise to heav'n's high king.
18. Chorus of the Tribe of Judah
For all these mercies we will sing eternal praise to
heav'n's high king.
19. Recitative Othniel
O Caleb, fear'd by foes, by friends ador'd, well
have we paid this tribute to thy sword; but still,
to make thine heritage complete, Debir remains,
Debir the giant's seat.
Worn out in war, I find my strength decline; counsel
alone, the gift of age, is mine. Is there a warrior
willing to pursue the conquest, and that stubborn
town subdue? For him, for his, I amply will provide,
and to crown all, Achsah shall be his bride.
Glorious reward! The task be mine alone; transporting
thought! Caleb, the town's thy own.
20. Air Othniel
Place danger around me, the storm I'll despise;
what arm shall confound me, when Achsah's the
Father of Mercy, hear the pray'r we make, and save
the hero for his country's sake?
22. Recitative Joshua
In bloom of youth, this stripling hath achiev'd what
scarce in future times, shall be believ'd. Mankind
no sooner did pronounce his name, but he stood
foremost in the rolls of fame; tyrants he humbled,
with the world's applause, and sav'd his country's
liberty and laws.
23. Chorus of Youths
See the conqu'ring hero comes! Sound the trumpets,
beat the drums. Sports prepare, the laurel
bring, songs of triumph to him sing.
See the godlike youth advance! Breathe the flutes,
and lead the dance; myrtle wreaths, and roses
twine, to deck the hero's brow divine.
See the conqu'ring hero comes! Sound the trumpets,
beat the drums. Sports prepare, the laurel
bring, songs of triumph to him sing.
24. Recitative Caleb
Welcome! My son, my Othniel, good and great!
The ornament and champion of the state. Take thy
reward, the noblest heav'n can raise, and lasting
love adorn your happy days.
What tongue can utter, or what heart conceive the
joy with which this blessing I receive?
Blest be the pow'r, that kept thee safe from harms.
Blest be the pow'r that gave thee to my arms.
25. Air Achsah
Oh! had I Jubal's lyre, or Miriam's tuneful voice!
To sounds like his I would aspire, in songs like
her's rejoice; my humble strains but faintly show,
how much to heav'n and thee I owe.
26. Recitative Othniel
While life shall last, each moment we'll improve in
equal gratitude, and mutual love.
O peerless maid, with beauty blest, of ev'ry pleasing
charm possest; as first in virtue thou art
deem'd, for truth thou art no less esteem'd.
O gen'rous youth, whom virtue fires, and love and
liberty inspires; as first in valour thou art deem'd,
for truth thou art no less esteem'd.
28. Recitative Caleb
While lawless tyrants, with ambition blind, mock
solemn faith, waste worlds, and thin mankind;
Israel can boast a leader, just and brave, a friend
to freedom, and ordain'd to save. Thus bless'd to
heav'n your voices raise in songs of thanks, and
hymns of praise.
The great Jehovah is our awful theme, sublime in
Majesty, in pow'r supreme.