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Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra

Joseph and his Brethren

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1 Joseph and His Brethren, HWV 59, Pt. 1: Ouverture  
2 Be Firm, My Soul  
3 Joseph, Thy Fame Has Reach'd Great Pharaoh's Ear  
4 Come, Divine Inspirer, Come  
5 Pardon, That I So Long Forgot Thee, Joseph  
6 Ingratitude's the Queen of Crimes  
7 Thus Stranger, I Have Laid My Troubled Thoughts  
8 O God of Joseph  
9 Pharaoh, Thy Dreams Are One  
10 Divine Interpreter!  
11 O Lovely Youth, with Wisdom Crown'd  
12 Wear, Worthy Man, This Royal Signet Wear  
13 Joyful Sounds, Melodious Strains  
14 Whence This Unwonted Ardour in My Breast  
15 I Feel a Spreading Flame  
16 Fair Asenath, I've Asked Thee of Thy Father  
17 Celestial Virgin! Godlike Youth!  
18 Now, Potiphera, Instant to the Temple  
19 A Grand March During the Procession  
20 'Tis Done, the Sacred Knot Is Tied  
21 Immortal Pleasures Crown This Pair  
22 Glorious and Happy Is Thy Lot  
23 Since the Race of Time Begun  
24 Swift Our Numbers, Swiftly Roll  
25 HWV 59, Pt. 2: Hail, Thou Youth, by Heav'n Belov'd  
26 How Vast a Theme Has Egypt for Applause!  
27 Our Fruits, Whilst Yet in Blossom, Die  
28 He's Egypt's Common Parent  
29 Blest Be the Man  
30 Phanor, We Mention Not His Highest Glory  
31 Together, Lovely Innocents, Grow Up  
32 He Then Is Silent  
33 Where Are These Brethren?  
34 Remorse, Confusion, Horror, Fear  
35 This Hebrew Prisoner  
36 Ye Departed Hours  
37 The Peasant Tastes the Sweets of Life  
38 But Simeon Comes  
39 Impostor  
40 Whence, Asenath, This Grief That Hangs upon Thee?  
41 The Silver Stream  
42 Tell Me, Oh Tell Me Thy Heart's Malady  
43 To Keep Afar from All Offence  
44 Thus Once, with Ev'ry Virtue Crown'd  
45 Once More, O Pious Zaphnath  
46 Our Rev'rend Sire Intreats Thee  
47 This Kiss, My Gracious Lord  
48 Thou Deign'st to Call Thy Servant Son  
49 Sweet Innocence, Divine Simplicity!  
50 O God, Who in Thy Heav'nly Hand  
51 HWV 59, Pt. 3: Sinfonia  
52 What Say'st Thou, Phanor?  
53 The Wanton Favours of the Great  
54 Whence So Disturb'd, My Lord  
55 Ah Jealousy, Thou Pelican  
56 Oh, Wrong Me Not!  
57 The People's Favour, and the Smiles of Pow'r  
58 Art Thou Not Zaphnath?  
59 Prophetic Raptures Swell My Breast  
60 They Come, and Indignation in Their Looks  
61 What, Without Me?  
62 Oh, Pity!  
63 To Prison with Him!  
64 What Counsel Can We Take?  
65 O Gracious God  
66 Eternal Monarch of the Sky  
67 But Peace, Zaphnath Returns  
68 Thou Hadst, My Lord, a Father Once  
69 Give, Give Him Up the Lad  
70 I Can No Longer  
71 Whilst the Nile and Memphis  
72 What's Sweeter Than the New-Blown Rose  
73 With Songs of Ardent Gratitude and Praise  
74 We Will Rejoice in Thy Salvation  
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Handel's late-career oratorio Joseph and his Brethren, though popular during Handel's day, eventually became one of the composer's most neglected large-scale works.  As such, Joseph had only been recorded once before Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra & Chorale decided to take it on for its latest recording project, the 11th on the Philharmonia Baroque Productions label. With a cast of early music specialists led by noted Handelian Nicholas McGegan, PBO makes a strong case for Joseph to regain its place among Handel's most often-performed oratorios such as Samson, Judas Maccabaeus, and Israel in Egypt.

The formidable cast includes the award-winning Philharmonia Chorale led by Bruce Lamott; mezzo-soprano Diana Moore as Joseph; tenor and GRAMMY nominee Nicholas Phan as Simeon and Judah, two of Joseph's brothers; soprano Sherezade Panthaki as Asenath, daughter of the high priest; and baritone Philip Cutlip as Pharaoh and Reuben, Joseph's eldest brother. Phan, who will sing the title role in Handel's Judas Maccabaeus during PBO's 2019/20 season, gives dramatic depth to the character of Simeon, who undergoes remarkable development, from fierce and tortured to pious and sympathetic, worthy of Joseph's tears. The character of Asenath, originally portrayed by French soprano Élisabeth Duparc, for whom the title role in Semele was created, has several dazzling arias, particularly "Prophetic raptures swell my breast" in Part III. They are executed with show-stopping gusto by Panthaki.

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