Handel: Israel in Egypt

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4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

LABELS: Virgin Veritas
WORKS: Israel in Egypt
PERFORMER: Soloists; Taverner Choir & Players/Andrew Parrott
CATALOGUE NO: VMD 5 61350 2 (1990)
This is Handel’s original, unwieldy Israel, including the fifty-minute Part 1 – Queen Caroline’s Funeral Anthem, recycled for the Israelites to mourn the death of Joseph. It’s the chorus that gets the lion’s share of this piece; Parrott’s 32-strong Taverner Choir flexibly negotiates the double fugues and makes a good, rounded sound. Playing at original pitch, the dark sound of the Taverner strings fits the Lamentation well, but more sparkle would have been welcome once the mood lightens. Janet Banks