Handel: Alexander's Feast, HWV 75

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  • Composer: George Frideric Handel
  • Instrumentation (this edition): Piano Reduction, SATB Choir
  • Originally for: SATB Choir, Orchestra
  • Work Languages: English, German
  • ISMN: 9790007170646
  • Size: 7.5 x 10.6 inches
  • Pages: 128
  • Urtext / Critical Edition


For the magnificent opening of the oratorio season at the beginning of 1736, Handel presented a composition which, like hardly any of his other oratorios, gave him the opportunity to display his musical artistry: John Dryden's ode "Alexander's Feast or the Power of Music", published in 1696, demonstrates the power of music by the example of the ancient hero, Alexander the Great. From the impressive lament on the death of Darius, the King of Persia, to the boisterous "Praise of Bacchus" Handel avails himself of the entire breadth of the musical representation of the emotions and the possibilities for expression. in the text by Newburg Hamilton added at the end of work St. Cecilia elevates the events of the ancient heathen story, which Handel expressed in plastic, skillful polyphony. Later, this homage to the patron saint of church music, Handel also present the opportunity to perform the work on St. Cecilia's Day (22 November).