HWV 59, Pt. 2: Hail, Thou Youth, by Heav'n Belov'd
How Vast a Theme Has Egypt for Applause!
Our Fruits, Whilst Yet in Blossom, Die
He's Egypt's Common Parent
Blest Be the Man
Phanor, We Mention Not His Highest Glory
Together, Lovely Innocents, Grow Up
He Then Is Silent
Where Are These Brethren?
Remorse, Confusion, Horror, Fear
This Hebrew Prisoner
Ye Departed Hours
The Peasant Tastes the Sweets of Life
But Simeon Comes
Whence, Asenath, This Grief That Hangs upon Thee?
The Silver Stream
Tell Me, Oh Tell Me Thy Heart's Malady
To Keep Afar from All Offence
Thus Once, with Ev'ry Virtue Crown'd
Once More, O Pious Zaphnath
Our Rev'rend Sire Intreats Thee
This Kiss, My Gracious Lord
Thou Deign'st to Call Thy Servant Son
Sweet Innocence, Divine Simplicity!
O God, Who in Thy Heav'nly Hand
HWV 59, Pt. 3: Sinfonia
What Say'st Thou, Phanor?
The Wanton Favours of the Great
Whence So Disturb'd, My Lord
Ah Jealousy, Thou Pelican
Oh, Wrong Me Not!
The People's Favour, and the Smiles of Pow'r
Art Thou Not Zaphnath?
Prophetic Raptures Swell My Breast
They Come, and Indignation in Their Looks
What, Without Me?
To Prison with Him!
What Counsel Can We Take?
O Gracious God
Eternal Monarch of the Sky
But Peace, Zaphnath Returns
Thou Hadst, My Lord, a Father Once
Give, Give Him Up the Lad
I Can No Longer
Whilst the Nile and Memphis
What's Sweeter Than the New-Blown Rose
With Songs of Ardent Gratitude and Praise
We Will Rejoice in Thy Salvation
Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra :
Joseph and his Brethren
Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra & Chorale releases Joseph and his Brethren, its first recording of a Handel oratorio in 25 years and only the second recording of this work
Led by Handel specialist Nicholas McGegan and featuring a cast of early music powerhouses, including tenor Nicholas Phan as Simeon/Judah and soprano Sherezade Panthaki as Asenath
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.
After years of popularity during Handel's lifetime, Joseph and his Brethren faded into obscurity, scornfully dismissed by some 20th-century critics as having an overly complex plot with too many storylines, and a sentimental libretto by James Miller. But while the oratorio may not be as immediately accessible as some of Handel's more popular works, Joseph features some of Handel's most inventive musical and dramatic techniques, and the story's sentimentality has deeper resonance in an era where displaced immigrants and family separations have become realities at home and across the globe. As with its other nearly 50 recordings, PBO continues to bring gems of the past vividly to life for modern audiences.