Part of BV1 Baroque Variations
About This Performance
Premiered in 1752, Jephtha was Handel’s last oratorio, written while the composer was going blind. It deals with the Biblical story of the Old Testament hero who vows to sacrifice the first creature he meets if he wins an important battle. Jephtha does, but on his return that creature is his own daughter Iphis, who becomes the real hero of the oratorio, given an unbiblical lover and a happy ending.
Internationally recognized as a leader in the use of period instruments and performing style, the Handel and Haydn Society actually gave the American premiere of Jephtha, in 1850.
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