The choral and orchestral forces recorded here are similar in scale to those that Handel used in his performances, although we have included a few more trebles. Our twentieth century choir needed no such assistance, but our Angel soloist follows historical precedent and sings in the choruses too! At three points in the score Handel indicates that brass fanfares are to be inserted, giving a short rhythmic cue over which the players led by the principal trumpeter would have improvised the necessary music.
With dramatic incidents such as the tumbling walls of Jericho, the razing by fire of the city, Joshua stopping the sun and moon in their tracks and his rousing an army of depressed troops, not to mention the triumphal return of the warrior after battle, here was heroic material to stimulate any composer.
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Perhaps not surprisingly, the destruction of Jericho in the second Act leads Handel into one of his greatest thunder choruses, and one which impressed Haydn at a large-scale performance in Westminster Abbey in He is reported as having:. Handel was clearly anxious to get on with the action.
Othniel, a young warrior betrothed to Achsah appears on the scene at the same moment as an angel.
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Joshua is for a change suitably reverent and, in a dramatic accompagnato, the Angel delivers his bloodthirsty message that Jericho must be destroyed, giving the comforting assurance that victory will be easy. After such warlike thoughts it is again time for a pastoral interlude: He orders the final trumpet blast. Solo trumpet and horn echo the preceding March, Joshua praises God, the massed choral and orchestral forces reinforce him and, with insistent dotted rhythms in the orchestra, the walls begin to totter.
- Joshua, HWV 64 (Handel, George Frideric);
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In a musical score which is black with notes the awe-struck chorus cower, the brass blast chilling low fanfares, the strings vividly represent the tumbling walls in rapid scales and the timpani thunder. Once again it is Achsah who tries to bring the Israelites down to earth, attempting to convince them that their triumph will not last.
Joshua, seeing such dejection, rouses the miserable troops, reminding them of their success at Jericho. Achsah too is pining for Othniel: Caleb is furious seeing Othniel wasting his time with Achsah and, sending his daughter away, stirs Othniel back into warrior-like action with the news that the Gibeonite allies are endangered by a Canaanite league under Adoni-zedeck, King of Jerusalem.
Over a soft accompaniment of violin semiquavers Joshua, seeing that bad light may stop the battle, commands the sun to stop in its course: Then, addressing the slower-moving moon, represented by the violas, he commands that too to halt. Over increasing choral movement the sustained high A still continues, first in the oboes, and then, for nine long bars, in a solo trumpet: Once again the enemy are routed and flee and, as section by section the voices and instruments expire, Act II ends quietly.
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Joshua proposes to divide the conquered territory amongst the tribes and is reminded by Caleb of his part in the conquest of Hebron: Joshua immediately gives this land to Caleb and his Judaean tribe. Othniel reminds Caleb that one city remains unconquered. Caleb announces that it is time to hand over military matters to a younger man and, as an inducement, the hand of Achsah will be the reward for whoever can subdue the remaining city of Debir. Handel too knew that he had scored another bullseye.
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The walls are levell'd Bass recitative See the raging flames arise Bass aria To vanity and earthly pride Soprano aria Let all the seed of Abrah'm Tenor recitative Almighty ruler of the skies Tenor solo and Chorus Joshua, the men Bass recitative How soon our tow'ring hopes are cross'd Chorus Whence this dejection Tenor recitative With redoubled rage return Tenor aria We with redoubled rage Chorus Now give the army breath Alto recitative Heroes, when with glory burning Alto aria Indulgent heaven hath heard Soprano recitative As chears the sun Soprano aria Sure I'm deceived Bass, Alto recitative Nations, who in future story Alto aria Brethren and friends Tenor recitative Thus far our cause Bass recitative Trumpet flourish Orchestra Mighty Joshua Chorus Happy, oh, thrice happy we Soprano aria Caleb, for holy Eleazer send Tenor, Bass recitative Shall I in Mamre's fertile plain Bass aria For all these mercies we will sing Chorus Oh Caleb, fear'd by foes Alto, Bass recitative Place danger around me Alto aria Father of mercy Chorus In bloom of youth Tenor recitative See the conqu'ring hero comes Trio SSA See the godlike youth advance Duet SA See the conqu'ring hero comes Chorus Welcome, my son Bass, Alto, Soprano recitative Oh, had I Jubal's lyre Soprano aria While life shall last Alto recitative Oh peerless maid Soprano, Alto duet While lawless tyrants Bass recitative Retrieved from " http: Sacred oratorios ; Oratorios ; Religious works ; For 5 voices, mixed chorus, orchestra ; For voices and chorus with orchestra ; Scores featuring the voice ; Scores featuring the soprano voice ; Scores featuring the alto voice ; Scores featuring the tenor voice ; Scores featuring the bass voice ; Scores featuring mixed chorus ; Scores featuring the orchestra ; English language ; For orchestra arr ; For orchestra ; For organ arr ; For 1 player ; Scores featuring the organ ; For 3 trumpets, timpani, organ arr ; Scores featuring the trumpet ; Scores featuring the timpani ; For 5 players.