Music News

Händel’s „Israel in Egypt“ in Riga and Tallinn

Concerts on February 20 and 21 in Riga and Tallinn in cooperation with Estonian and Latvia will feature Georg Friedrich Händel’s oratorio Israel in Egypt. It will be performed by chamber choir Voces Musicales, chamber Orchestra Sinfonietta Rīga and soloists Anna Dennis (soprano, England), Evelyn Kanepi (soprano), William Towers (countertenor, England), Simon Wall (tenor, England), Andreas Väljamäe (bass) and Alvar Tiisler (bass) under the baton of Risto Joost. Concerts will be held on February 21 at 7 pm at St. John’s Church in Riga and February 21 at 7 pm at St. John’s Church in Tallinn.

Händel’s oratorio Israel in Egypt is composed entirely of selected passages from the Old Testament, mainly from Exodus and the Psalms. It was originally performed in 1739, unlike his other early oratorios, Israel in Egypt is almost entirely a choral piece, with relatively few arias for soloists interspersed among the choruses. Rather than unveiling a plot that is driven by individual passions and actions, it presents and celebrates the story of a people. That is perhaps why Israel in Egypt was not well received by its 18th-century London audience. Nowadays it is one of Händel’s most popular works.