The “Occasional Oratorio” was composed as a reaction to a political event which shook the whole of England : the Jacobite rebellion of 1745-46 against the Hanoverian monarchy was crushed under the leadership of the Duke of Cumberland. Handel, who was working on the oratorio “ Judas Maccabaeus” at the time, composed the oratorio quickly and reused some movements from earlier works. With the choice of a libretto by Newburgh Hamilton he demonstrated his support for the monarchy. The work was first performed on 14 February 1746 at the Covent Garden Theatre in London .
For the first time this seldomly performed oratorio which nevertheless contains wonderful music is available in an Urtext edition based on the “ Halle Handel Edition” . All available sources have been consulted. Further movements which Handel added for later performances are included in the appendix.
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George Frideric Handel
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