Joshua (Handel)

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Joshua (HWV 64) is an oratorio by George Frideric Handel. It was composed in a month, between 19 July 1747 and 19 August 1747 and is Handel's fourth oratorio based on a libretto by Thomas Morell. The oratorio premiered on 9 March 1748 at the Covent Garden Theatre, London. Joshua is based on the Biblical stories of Joshua.

Joshua is one of Handel's later works, from the height of his late creative period. Following the Jacobite Rising in England, Handel produced a series of oratorios based on military themes: Occasional Oratorio, Judas Maccabaeus, Alexander Balus, Joshua, and Solomon.

Handel's second-most-famous chorus, "See the Conq'ring Hero Comes" was first penned for Joshua. It was an immensely popular number and Handel soon added it to Judas Maccabaeus, which had premiered the season before. The chorus is more often thought of in connection with that oratorio (Judas) because of its relatively greater fame.

Dramatis personae[edit]

  • Joshua (tenor)
  • Othniel (alto)
  • Caleb (bass)
  • Achsah, Caleb's Daughter (soprano)
  • Angel (boy soprano)
  • Chorus of Israelites
  • Chorus of the defeated Israelites
  • Chorus of the Tribe of Judah
  • Chorus of Youths
  • Chorus of Virgins

Original 1749 cast:

External links[edit]