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Handel's early performances of 'Judas Maccabaeus': some new evidence and interpretations.

Handel composed Judas Maccabaeus during July and August 1746, and it received its first performance at the Theatre Royal, Covent Garden, on Wednesday 1 April 1747, 'with a New Concerto'.(1) There were six performances in 1747: the third performance on 8 April was advertised as 'with Additions / and a New Concerto',(2) and that formula was repeated in the advertisements for subsequent performances. Handel revived the oratorio with six performances in 1748, the fourth and subsequent performances of the season being announced as 'with Additions and a Concerto'.(3) There were further revivals under Handel's direction in 1750 (four performances) and in 1751 (one performance), and thereafter the work was given every season during the composer's lifetime. After his death it was revived annually in London from 1760 until 1774 under the younger J. C. Smith's direction. On the evening of Wednesday 7 March 1770, it even received simultaneous performances at both Covent Garden and Drury Lane.(4) Judas Maccabaeus was thus, in terms of the number and regularity of performances, one of Handel's most popular oratorios, second only to Messiah. It is not surprising, therefore, that it received various amendments to meet changing performance conditions from year to year. Up to 1751 the changes are attributable to Handel himself, but his blindness in later years meant that the management of the performances (and probably the consequent alterations to the music) became the responsibility of his assistants, as Anthony Hicks has pointed out.(5)

In order to establish the pattern of Handel's successive versions of the oratorio during 1747-50, it is necessary to draw on evidence from various sources, each of which can provide only partial testimony. The composition autograph(6) takes the story up to the time that the conducting score was copied. The conducting score(7) was Handel's working score, used in the preparation of his performances, and it continued to see such use by the younger Smith in later years. This score presents a complex picture, since material was added and removed at various stages, during an extended period of use that stretched from 1746 until 1774. Studies of paper-types used for insertions help to interpret some of the development of this score.(8) But much of the important evidence for the period 1747-50 has been removed. Secondary manuscript copied from it during the period might have been useful in supplying missing information, but their years of origin can rarely be dated accurately. The printed word-books sold in connection with Handel's performances should provide an important guide to the development of the score, but here again there is a snag. There are a number of early word-books all dated 1747 on the title-pages, but there are none dated 1748. It seems that the '1747' word-book was reissued for both seasons. For the 1750 season a new edition was devised, but it appears that old stocks of the earlier word-book (with addenda sheets) were also used that season.

The sources were subjected to careful critical examination by Winton Dean, and his interpretation of the results appeared in his celebrated study of Handel's dramatic oratorios.(9) After subjecting the sources to detailed re-examination, I now suggest an interpretation of the oratorio's evolution which refines and amends Dean's. I have paid careful attention to the word-books, and in this area I have been able to discover some fresh evidence that was not available to Dean. As a result, it is now possible to set the early revisions to Judas Maccabaeus into a more plausible sequence and to rewrite the timetable of these revisions with more confidence. This is particularly important with regard to the relationships between revisions that took place between one season and the next, and those that were indicated by the advertisements for mid-season performances 'with Additions'.

The earliest extant form of the libretto, the Larpent MS copy in the hand of J. C. Smith the elder and signed by the composer, is now in the Huntington Library, San Marino, California.(10) It is the submission made by Handel for permission to perform Judas Maccabaeus at Covent Garden on 1 April 1747. Following the passing of the Licensing Act of 1737 nothing could be performed in London theatres without the authority of the Inspector of Plays in the Lord Chamberlain's office. The Act required those responsible for performances to submit the text of what was to be performed not later than fourteen days beforehand.(11)


The printed word-books issued by John Watts in 1747, and then used until the new edition of 1750, have the following title:

JUDAS MACCHABAEUS. / A / SACRED DRAMA. / As it is Perform'd at the / THEATRE-ROYAL in COVENT-GARDEN. / The MUSICK by Mr. HANDEL. / LONDON: / Printed for John Watts: And Sold by B. Dod at the Bible and Key in Ave-Mary Lane near Stationers-Hall. / M DCC XLVII. / [Price One Shilling.]

Successive issues of the '1747' word-book corrected mistakes in the printing of Thomas Morell's libretto. They also indicated changes made by Handel to the original layout of the music. These changes were shown either by alterations to individual pages or by addenda slips supplied with the book. I have identified eight issues of this word-book, which I have designated 1a-1h. The present locations of exemplars of these issues, with call-marks, are as follows:

1a GB-Lbl CUP 407. KK.26; F-Pn VS.892

1b GB-Bc 783.3, Oratorios E/1

1c F-Pa Ro.7703(2)

1d GB-Ckc Mn.20.62

1e GB-Lcm XX.G.22, Vol. II(9)

1f GB-Mp B.R.310.1 Hd578(6)

1g GB-Lcm XX.G.22, Vol. II(10), as originally printed

1h GB-Lcm XX.G.22, Vol. 11(10), with stuck-on slip

The issues are listed in what I believe to be their chronological order, based on evidence from details of textual changes, typographical changes, and changes concerning musical content. I have identified sixteen textual changes in these eight 1747 issues. Table I lists the original readings as they appeared in the first issue ('original'), the changes that appeared in subsequent issues ('amendment'), and the readings of the Larpent MS.(12)

Table II shows, in chart form, the evolution of the readings from Table I's successive word-books bearing the date 1747 on the title-page. In the course of resetting the type for later issues, alterations were also made to the decorative bands, capital letters used at the beginning of each part or act of the oratorio, and other features of typography. My analysis of these alterations is shown in Table III.(13)

From Table II it can be seen that, with two exceptions, the earlier issues developed sequentially. Certain omissions and mistakes in Issue 1a were corrected by means of a footnote on the addenda page to Issue 1b. These alterations were then incorporated into the main text of the succeeding issue. Addenda slips provided for Issues 1e and 1f added items transferred from Joshua and Alexander Balus. The addenda slip with Issue 1g showed that the previous additions were no longer applicable, but items from the Occasional Oratorio, Deborah and Joshua were now to be inserted instead. The typographical changes (seen in Table III) show more variations, but in most cases they follow a sequence parallel to the changes of text.

Textual Changes in the Libretto of Judas Maccabaeus


i      p. 2    Recit, 'Not vain'

       l. 2    original: 'Relief.'
               amendment:(1) 'Relief,'
               Larpent: 'relief -'

ii     p. 2    Recit, 'Not vain'

       l. 9    original: 'We trust,'
               amendment: 'We trust'
               Larpent: 'we trust,'

iii    p. 5    Air, 'O liberty'
               original: omitted from the main text. But the text
               given in a footnote at the bottom of the page,
               preceded by Morell's note: 'The following Air was
               design'd, and wrote, for this Place, but it got, I
               know not how, into the Occasional Oratorio, and was
               there incomparable Set, and as finely executed,

                  O Liberty, thou choicest Treasure,
                  Seat of Virtue, Source of Pleasure;
                  Life without thee knows no Blessing,
                  No Endearment worth caressing.'

               amendment: printed in the main text on page 4
               Larpent: omitted

iv     p. 5    Air, 'Come, ever-smiling Liberty'
               original: 'Air'
               amendment: 'Air and Duet'(2)
               Larpent: 'Air' and 'Duett'(3)


v      p. 7    Recit, 'Victorious Hero!'

       l. 5    original: 'Power'
               amendment: 'Prowess'
               Larpent: 'Prowess'

vi     p. 7    Air, 'So rapid thy course is'

       l. 3    original: 'all- conqu'ring Sword;'
               amendment: 'all conqu'ring Sword;'
               Larpent: 'all-Conquering Sword:'

vii    p. 9    Air, 'How vain is Man'

       l. 4    original: 'Guides and directs'
               amendment: 'Directs, and guides'
               Larpent: 'directs & guides'

viii   p. 9    Recit, 'O Judas'

       l. 5    original: 'Sacrifice'
               amendment: 'Sacrifice.'
               Larpent: 'Sacrifice'

ix     p. 10   Recit, 'Enough. - To Heav'n'

       l. 1    original: 'Rest.'
               amendment: 'rest.'
               Larpent: 'Rest -'

x      p. 11   Recit, 'Ye Worshippers of God'

       l. 8    original: 'knowing,'
               amendment: 'knowing'
               Larpent: 'knowing,'

xi     p. 12   Duet, 'O never, never'

       l. 4    original: 'Nod.'
               amendment: 'awful Nod'
               Larpent: 'awefull nod,'


xii    p. 13   Recit, 'See, see yon Flames'

       l. 2    original: 'Smoke;'
               amendment: 'Smoke?'
               Larpent: 'Smoke;'

xiii   p. 14   Air, 'So shall the Lute'

       l. 4    original: 'sweet strains'
               amendment: 'pure Strains'
               Larpent: 'pure strains'

xiv    p. 14   Footnote

       l. 3    original: 'long,'
               amendment: 'long'
               Larpent: no footnote

xv     p. 15   [Recit,(4)] 'Peace to my Countrymen'

       l. 2    original: 'imperial'
               amendment: 'Imperial'
               Larpent: 'imperial'

xvi    p. 16   Air, 'O lovely Peace'
               original: 'Air.'
               amendment: 'Air and Duet'(2)
               Larpent: 'Air:'

1 The progress of all amendments in this table is plotted in
Table II.

2 Described as such in Issue 1b footnote.

3 Title only described, since the same verse had already been
written out for the air.

4 Not printed as such.

Two variants in the text seem to be exceptions to the sequence shown in Table II. These are items iv ('Come, ever-smiling liberty') and xvi ('O lovely peace'). In a footnote correction in the addenda sheet of the second issue, they were both designated 'Air and Duet'. But in the third and successive issues this correction was not sustained, and both movements were called 'Air'. Ostensibly, therefore, the duet versions appear to have been dropped; but this was not so, as the following evidence shows.

'Come, ever-smiling liberty' is known in two versions. Both are found in Handel's autograph score and conducting score. The duet version was a second thought added during composition. In Larpent the words of the air are written out in full after the recitative 'To Heav'ns immortal king we kneel' and before the following recitative, 'O Judas, may these noble views inspire'. Then, after the air ''Tis liberty, dear liberty alone', Larpent has a one-line entry: 'Duett: / Come ever smiling Liberty &c.' But no mention of this insertion appeared in the first issue of the word-book. Yet the first printed edition of the music, that published by John Walsh on 1 May 1747,(14) contained both versions: the air, 'Sung by [Sig.sup.ra] Gambarini', on pages 20-22; the duet, 'Sung by [Sig.sup.ra] Gambarini and [Sig.sup.ra] Galli', on pages 25-26. The presence of the singers' names suggests that both versions had indeed come to performance. Both versions also appear in later manuscript copies. Although this is uncertain evidence for their retention in all later revivals, it is possible that the two versions were both sung at some revivals, as well as at the first performances.

Textual Changes in the 1747 Issues

Key: - = Table I original; + = Table I amendment printed

Issues:     1a     1b     1c     1d     1e     1f     1g     1h


Part I

i           -      -      +      +      +      +      +      +
ii          -      -      -      +      -      +      +      +
iii         -      -      +      +      +      +      +      +
iv          -     +(*)    -      -      -      -      -      -

Part II

v           -     +(*)    +      +      +      +      +      +
vi          -     -       +      -      -      -      -      -
vii         -     +(*)    +      +      +      +      +      +
viii        -     -       -      +      -      +      +      +
ix          -     -       -      +      -      +      +      +
x           -     -       -      +      -      +      +      +
xi          -     +(*)    +      -      +      -      -      -

Part III

xii         -     -       +      +      +      +      +      +
xiii        -     -       +      -      +      -      +      +
xiv         -     -       +      +      +      +      +      +
xv          -     -       +      +      +      +      +      +
xvi         -     +(*)    -      -      -      -      -      -

* Shown in a footnote to the addenda sheet. Where later issues
continue the amendments, they do so in the main text.

Two versions of 'O lovely peace', the air and the duet, also appear in the autograph and the conducting score. But word-book Issue 1a gives the movement only as 'Air'. Apart from the footnote entry in the addenda sheet provided for Issue 1b, no word-book ever mentioned the duet. Yet in his edition Walsh published only the duet version: page 66, above the music, is printed 'Duetto, [Sig.sup.ra] Gambarini and [Sig.sup.ra] Galli'. So it is likely that Handel used the duet version at the first performance.(15) Two secondary manuscript copies also contain the duet.(16) In respect of items iv and xvi, therefore, it would seem that the word-books (except 1b with its addenda sheet) were not entirely accurate.

From the word-books it can be surmised that Morell did not approve of any deviation from his libretto. It is clear that he kept a sharp eye on what went into the first edition of Watts's books. An explanatory footnote about the omission of 'O liberty' appeared on page 5 in the first two issues; it is quoted in Table I. Again, on page 14, all the issues have the following comment about the mutilation of his libretto before the recitative 'From Capharsalama':

Several Incidents were introduced here by way of Messenger, and Chorus, / in order to make the Story more compleat, but it was thought they would make / the Performance too long and therefore were not Set, and therefore not printed; / this being design'd, not as a finish'd Poem, but merely as an Oratorio.

Some Typographical Features and their Changes

Key: - = as first printed; + = first change; ++ = second change

Issues:                        1a   1b   1c   1d   1e   1f   1g

Page Item

Part I

Tp(1)          Motif(3)        -    -    -    -    -    -    -
Dram.per.(2)   Dec.(4)         -    -    +    ++   +    ++   ++
1              Dec.(4)         -    -    -    -    -    -    -
1          -    -    +    +    +    +    +

Part II

7              Dec.(4)         -    -    +    +    +    +    +
7          -    -    -    -    -    -    -
9              'Egyptian'(6)   -    -    +    -    +    -    -
12             Motif(3)        -    -    +    +    +    +    +

Part III

13             Dec.(4)         -    -    +    +    +    +    +
13         -    -    +    +    +    +    +
14             Asterisk(7)     -    -    +    +    +    +    +

1 Title-page.

2 Dramatis personae.

3 Decorated motif.

4 Three types of decorated capital letter.

5 Type of decorated capital letter.

6 With a gap between 'g' and 'y'.

7 Two types of printed asterisk.

It is not hard to imagine that Morell disliked the intrusion of text by Samuel Humphreys from Deborah as an addition to his own in Judas Maccabaeus. He may have resented the fact that Handel had set as duets text that he had intended as airs. Possibly no one bothered to correct the printing error in the word-books, as Winton Dean has suggested.(17) Possibly Morell, in supplying Watts with his word-book material, deliberately ignored Handel's alternative settings of his words, although it seems more likely that he was simply unaware of them when he supplied the printer with the text. However, although it is not printed in 1c, it is clear that the instruction 'Air and Duet' in 1b should have applied in 1c and later issues. So the apparent reversion of these two items does not negate what is otherwise a perfectly logical sequential progression in the early issues. All the evidence confirms Dean's conclusion that 1a was the first issue of the word-book,(18) which we may assume was printed for the first performance on 1 April 1747.


It is clear that the main text of Issue 1b is closely related typographically to Issue 1a (see Table III). The unique feature of Issue 1b is the accompanying sheet of addenda [ILLUSTRATION FOR PLATE I OMITTED]. The footnotes to this addenda sheet list minor textual alterations that were incorporated into the main text of subsequent issues, with the exceptions of items iv and vi. The place of lb in the sequence of word-book issues is therefore clearly established, and it must have followed soon after 1a.

The main part of the addenda sheet in Issue 1b gives the texts of movements that were added to the oratorio. Advertisements in the General Advertiser of 6, 7 and 8 April 1747(19) all stated that the performance of Judas Maccabaeus to be given on 8 April would be 'with Additions and a New Concerto'. This is the first time that any additions were advertised. Therefore, it seems most likely that the items mentioned on the addenda slip to the second issue were the 'additions' inserted at the performance on 8 April, and probably retained for the following performances on 10, 13 and 15 April. Hitherto, different (and, we may surmise, later) alterations have been identified as these 'additions'. The addenda page to Issue 1b changes our view not only of what was heard in the last four performances of 1747 but also of the chronology of other additional movements.

The main text on the addenda page shows that seven items were inserted. Four of these come from Deborah, composed and first performed in 1733. These were the recitative 'By that adorable decree' and the first three airs. The remaining air was composed for Athalia (1733)(20) and had been used in the revival of Deborah in November 1744.(21) The only new music that would have been required was for the couplets, presumably set as semplice recitatives, that introduce the last two airs.

There is now no musical evidence showing the addition of movements specified on the addenda sheet to Issue 1b of the Judas Maccabaeus word-book. In particular there is no trace of them either in the conducting score of this oratorio as it now exists or in any secondary manuscript copies. But since neither Handel nor Smith used the music in any subsequent revivals of Judas Maccabaeus this is not surprising. In 1747 it would have been expedient for Handel to have had the items copied from a Deborah score and then to have inserted them into the Judas Maccabaeus conducting score. These additional movements would have been removed from the score of Judas Maccabaeus when they were no longer relevant. As far as is known, they were not needed after 1747.

Table IV shows how the injection of the additions affected the structure of Judas Maccabaeus. It can be seen that the tonal progression of the items in the first group would be acceptable; that in the second group is less so. The third and fourth groups each begin with an unidentified recitative, and so it is impossible to plot any tonal [TABULAR DATA FOR TABLE IV OMITTED] progression within them: for the present we must assume that Handel composed suitable recitatives that have since been lost. He was, of course, not averse to adapting items from elsewhere to fit his current needs. He may have temporarily amended the beginning of the recitatives to give a smoother transition. The words for 'Choir of angels' in the first group bear a close resemblance to 'Choirs of angels' in Deborah. In the 1b addenda sheet to Judas Maccabaeus the text of this item has been reduced from six lines to four. But the words can be made to fit the Deborah music, as can be seen in Ex. 1. A repeat of the opening line of the new text fits the third and fourth bars of the solo part in Deborah, where the words are 'lest oppression should confound thee'. In the middle section, a repeat of the line 'No oppression shall confound thee', and two repeats of 'Thou art guarded from all wrongs', would also fit the music. Even the word 'wrongs' in the latter example would appear three times in exactly the same places as it did in the earlier version.

The addenda sheet provides three other pieces of information. First, 'D.C.' after the final air suggests that this is a cue for a return to the first couplet for the da capo air; but this does not fit the music. 'All his mercies' is not a da capo air: it is the middle section of 'Cease thy anguish' from Athalia, and clearly there was no intention that the first part of this ternary air should be performed. Possibly Handel intended bars 1-12 to act both as an introduction and as a final ritornello with a 'Fine' at bar 12, beat 1, as suggested in Ex. 2. In that case 'D.C.' would have been appropriate. Alternatively, the 'D.C.' may have been misplaced, having possibly been intended for 'Choir of angels', which presumably was performed as a da capo air. It would appear that there was a lack of liaison between the publishers and the musicians here. The second piece of information is the comment '[By another Hand.]'. This does not indicate that the music was by another composer but that the texts were by a librettist other than Thomas Morell. The texts of both Athalia and Deborah were by Samuel Humphreys. The third, and most intriguing, comment appears above the first item: '2d Israelitish Woman'. Since this recitative is followed by the air 'Choir of angels', presumably both should be sung by the same character. But so far there had been no Second Israelitish Woman in Judas Maccabaeus. None of the prime literary or musical sources associated with this work had specified such a character. It seems very probable that all the additional items were intended for the same character, and indeed the implication is that they reflect the introduction of an extra singer into the cast.

The original cast for Judas Maccabaeus was Elisabetta de Gambarini (soprano), Caterina Galli (second soprano), John Beard (tenor) and Henry Theodore Reinhold (bass). Gambarini sang the part of the Israelitish Woman, and Galli that of the Israelitish Man. The new singer for the '2nd Israelitish Woman' was presumably either a soprano or an alto. The type of voice can perhaps be surmised by looking at the original contexts for the airs. 'By that adorable decree', 'Choirs of angels' and 'In Jehovah's awful sight' were all composed for the character of Deborah (soprano) and 'No more disconsolate' for the Israelitish Woman in Deborah, also a soprano. 'All his mercies' was originally composed for Josabeth (soprano) in Athalia. There is therefore a strong probability that the extra singer was a soprano. But in the 1744 Deborah revival some of the movements had been transposed down for Mrs Cibber, who sang the part of Jael. These included 'No more disconsolate' and 'All his mercies'. But 'By that adorable', 'Choirs of angels' and 'In Jehovah's awful sight' remained with Deborah. On balance it seems most probable that the extra singer for Judas in 1747 was a soprano, though the possibility that the other items were transposed for an alto remains.

An alternative view might be taken about who sang the part of the '2d Israelitish Woman' mentioned in the addenda sheet to Issue 1b, if the evidence from the folios in the conducting score is interpreted in another way. By reallocating some of the items among the original cast, all the music could have been covered by these soloists. Evidence of changes made to items originally allocated to the Israelitish Man are to be found in two places in the conducting score of Judas Maccabaeus. On folio [52.sup.v] of Part II, a number of the soloists' names have been written above the music for the recitative 'Ye worshippers of God': among these, 'Galli' is written twice. The character name 'Judas' (the role sung by Beard in the first performance) is also there. This recitative is followed in the conducting score and in the word-books by the duet 'O never, never bow we down'. But the word-book implication is that the duet should be sung by the characters (Israelitish Man and Israelitish Woman) who had sung the previous recitative. But if Beard and Galli sang the recitative, as suggested by the annotations on folio [52.sup.v], then at some time, presumably, they also sang the duet. This could have been a last-minute change to accommodate the 'additions' mentioned on the 1b addenda sheet.(22)

It is possible that another last-minute change was made to the recitative 'See, see yon flames'. According to Issue 1a of the word-book, it was designed to be sung by the Israelitish Man. Yet in the conducting score, on folio 6, both 'Is. Man' and 'Galli' have been crossed out, and replaced by 'Simon' and 'Reinhold'. Reinhold died in 1751, and this annotation must therefore have applied to one or more of the earlier performances. Possibly these annotations indicate last-minute changes made before the first performance. Alternatively, they could suggest that Galli sang the part of the Second Israelitish Woman for the later performances in 1747 but reverted to her original role in 1748. In the second performance, therefore, Beard and Reinhold could well have sung some items originally allocated to her.


From the sequence of word-books listed in Tables I and II, it would seem that Issue 1c applies to the first performances of the 1748 revival. Thus it was at the first of these performances, on Friday 26 February, that 'O liberty' was restored to Judas Maccabaeus, not on Wednesday 8 April 1747 as has previously been assumed.(23) Perhaps it is not surprising that 'additions' were not advertised in 1748 for the first three performances. The incorporation of 'O liberty' had already been mentioned in a footnote on page 5 of the previous issues. So there would have been little point in advertising its inclusion, or the fact that the Deborah and Athalia items used for the last four performances in 1747 had been dropped. Issue 1d lists the same musical items as Issue 1c. However, as can be seen from Tables II and III, certain textual and typographical changes were made in Issue 1d, in an evolutionary process which suggests that 1d came later than 1c. It is likely, therefore, that Issue 1d was used for the second or third performances in 1748, that is, on 2 or 4 March.

The next word-book in the sequence, Issue 1e, included an addenda page with the texts of additional movements. This refers to the performance on 1 April 1748, advertised in the General Advertiser of 31 March and 1 April as being 'With Additions and a Concerto'. Movements from Joshua and Alexander Balus, both revived in March 1748, were incorporated in this revival of Judas Maccabaeus. The airs 'Pow'rful guardians', from Alexander Balus,(24) and 'Happy, Oh thrice happy we' and 'Oh! had I Jubal's [sacred] lyre', from Joshua, appeared on the addenda slip of Issue 1e. It seems, therefore, that it was provided for the performance given on 1 April 1748. Issue 1f contains the libretto of the same musical items as Issue 1e. Again, however, the evolution of the textual and typographical changes in this issue that I have shown in Tables II and III would suggest that this was used for one or both of the two final performances in 1748, given on 4 and 7 April.

Issue 1g had a two-sided addenda sheet. This specified that the following 'Additional Songs' (i.e., insertions) were to be added to those items already in the 1747 word-book:

(i) In Part I, the recitative 'O Judas, may these just persuits inspire',(25) the air 'Endless fame' and the recitative 'Haste we, my brethren' to be inserted before the final chorus, 'Hear us, O Lord'.

(ii) In Part II, the recitative 'Well may we hope' and the air 'Flowing joys'(26) to be inserted after the air 'So rapid thy course is'.

(iii) In Part III, the recitative 'From Capharsalama'(27) to be truncated, and the air 'All his mercies I review'(28) inserted. Later, 'See the conqu'ring hero comes', 'See the godlike youth advance' and the March(29) to be inserted before the chorus 'Sing unto God'.

Issue 1g continues the sequence of textual and typographical changes, as can be seen from Tables II and III. There was no performance of Judas Maccabaeus during the 1749 Lenten season, so it would seem that 1g applies to the performances of the 1750 revivals.

No help is forthcoming to suggest when the items on the 1g addenda sheet came into operation. Boyce's serenata Solomon was given at the King's Theatre at 12 noon on Wednesday 28 March 1750, and Judas Maccabaeus followed that evening at Covent Garden, yet no 'Additions' were advertised as an inducement to the audience to attend Handel's oratorio. Nor is any help provided in the prime musical sources. So it would appear that the original items on the 1g addenda sheet apply to the earliest performances in 1750, those on 9 and 14 March. But there is a complication here. A new edition was published in 1750; there is a copy in the Coke Handel Collection (reference C4). This new edition has a few presentational variations compared with 1f, its immediate predecessor,(30) but its contents are identical, as in the list of 'Additional Songs' on the two inserted sheets provided for both publications.

A number of possibilities come to mind in attempting to explain this.(31) The most plausible seems to be that Watts had old stocks of the word-book left over from 1748 and that he used them to supplement the 1750 edition. It seems most unlikely that significant new material, including the Joshua choruses associated with 'See, the conqu'ring hero comes' and the March, would have been introduced for the final performance of the 1748 Lenten oratorio season on 7 April. If so, such major additions would surely have been given extra publicity in the General Advertiser. As it was, the same announcement, 'With Additions and a Concerto', sufficed for all the later performances, from 1 April on, in the 1748 season.

The first item on the sheet of additional songs in Issue 1g was 'O Judas, may these just persuits inspire'. Hence two versions of this recitative now appeared in this issue: 'These noble views' in the main text, and its variant, 'O Judas', on the addenda sheet. In the conducting score there are also two, albeit slightly different, versions. However, both these have variations that suggest they were never played in the same performance, not even in the earliest 1750 revivals. The original version, on folio 51 (copied from folio 37 in the autograph score), begins in F sharp and ends in B, to lead into the E major air ''Tis liberty'. Although the second line of the text of this recitative in the conducting score ('All Israel with thy true heroic fire') is identical in both versions, the first line varies slightly. Originally it was 'O Judas may these noble views inspire'. But in the later version, on folio [68.sup.v], the text was changed to 'O Judas may thy just persuits inspire'.

Additionally, the music was transposed down a semitone in the later version, obviously to lead into a different air. The recitative now begins in F and ends in B flat. But, owing to subsequent changes, no other evidence remains in the conducting score to reveal what air followed the later version. Only the recitative 'Haste we' follows on folio 69. Over the years this was used to link a number of airs ('Endless fame', 'May balmy peace' and 'Far brighter than the morning') to the final chorus of Part I until it was discarded, according to word-book evidence, for a revival in 1762. If the two versions were not played at the same performance, as the evidence suggests, then it appears that the retention of the recitative 'These noble views' on page 5 in Issue 1g was a mistake. This was recognized in the 1750 edition, where it was removed from page 5.

The second item on the 1g addenda sheet was originally the air 'Endless fame' (one of the 1732 additions to Esther). But on the copy now in the Royal College of Music library, a slip with the words of the air 'May balmy peace'(32) was pasted over 'Endless fame'. This would suggest either that there was a last-minute change of air here at an early 1750 performance or, more likely, that 'Endless fame' was superseded by 'May balmy peace' at a later performance, or performances, that season, possibly those on 28 and 30 March. If that is true, then it may be argued that the Royal College of Music copy is in fact the eighth issue of the 1747 word-books. I have, therefore, designated it '1h'. Table V summarizes my general conclusions about the performances for which the eight issues of the 1747 word-book apply.

Three items connected with Judas Maccabaeus during the period 1747-50 require clarification: the air 'O. liberty', the March and the recitative 'From Capharsalama'.


Through the inclusion of an air with this text in the Occasional Oratorio both Victor Schoelcher(33) and Winton Dean(34) were led to believe that Thomas Morell provided the libretto for that oratorio. It was not until 1972, when correspondence between Charles Jennens and Edward Holdsworth was auctioned at Christie's,(35) that it was discovered that it was supplied by Newburgh Hamilton. Even in 1977, Howard E. Smither was similarly led astray,(36) as was Christopher Hogwood in 1984.(37) Handel in fact wrote two separate but musically closely-related settings of the air, and it is now possible to trace the history of their composition and use in more detail.

One version of 'O liberty' is in B flat, with a longer ending, and the other is in A. The B flat version, with a three-bar ending for violins, viola and bassi, is in both the autograph score(38) and the conducting score(39) of the Occasional Oratorio. Walsh published this version in his edition of that work.(40) This must be the earliest version, used for the first performance of the Occasional Oratorio on 14 February 1746.

A manuscript copy of the A major version in Handel's own hand is in the library of the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge.(41) It has a short ending, of only one bar of music, for cello and continuo [ILLUSTRATION FOR PLATE II OMITTED]. This version was obviously intended for Judas Maccabaeus because at the end Handel wrote '6/8 Segue', implying that the air 'Come, ever-smiling liberty' was to follow. This version, as has been noted above, was probably not used in Judas Maccabeus until 26 February 1748. It could not have been written for the Occasional Oratorio, either for the first performances in 1746 or for the revival in 1747: it differs in key and ending, and the Occasional Oratorio 'O liberty' is followed by the recitative 'Who trusts in God'. That the A major version with the short ending is the correct one for Judas Maccabaeus is confirmed by the version in the conducting score on folio 47, also written by Handel himself. It, too, is in A and has the short cello ending [ILLUSTRATION FOR PLATE III OMITTED]. Two manuscript copies of Judas Maccabaeus also have this ending.(42) It would appear that this version of 'O liberty' with the short ending was the only one used in Handel's performances of Judas Maccabaeus.

But the B flat version of this air with the longer ending was copied into another manuscript of this oratorio, dating from 1766.(43) It is difficult to account for this, since the preceding and succeeding items, as in the conducting score, are in E and A respectively. It might be conjectured that the younger Smith was using the Occasional Oratorio version, suitably transposed down, in his Judas Maccabaeus revivals, but that the copyist transcribed the air from the conducting score of the Occasional Oratorio without transposition.(44) The extended ending for the A major version of 'O liberty' in Judas Maccabaeus has long been accepted, wrongly, as that associated with the composer. The editions of music from Judas Maccabaeus published by Randall (1769), Bland (c. 1780), Harrison (1784, 1786), Wright (1785), Longman (ed. Arnold, 1789), Preston (1802), Novello (1848), Cramer, Beale (ed. Macfarren, for the English Handel Society, 1855), Breitkopf & Hartel (ed. Chrysander - Handel-Gesellschaft edn., xx - 1866), Bagster (c. 1901), Novello again (ed. West, 1906) and Eulenburg (ed. Walker, 1971) all have the longer ending attached to the A major version. Winton Dean described the three-bar coda as a memorable stroke of orchestration, without realizing, apparently, that this version was not used in the score of Judas Maccabaeus. He mentions the version with the shorter ending, but only in the context of the Fitz-william manuscript.(45) Arthur Walker gives the B flat version with the longer ending in the appendix to his edition,(46) mentioning that it was used by Handel only in the Occasional Oratorio. Even during the present decade, in performances of Judas Maccabaeus using 'authentic' forces the longer ending has been wrongly used.(47)


For Judas Maccabaeus, Handel produced the March(48) in two keys, G and F. Evidence in the primary and secondary sources suggests that, at various times, the G major version was used in three places in the oratorio: in Part I after the chorus 'We come in bright array', in Part II after the chorus 'Fall'n is the foe' and in Part III after the sequence of choruses connected with 'See, the conqu'ring hero comes'. From this evidence, using a process of elimination, it is also possible to deduce, albeit in reverse chronological order, where and when the G major March was inserted. The 'Additional Songs' addenda sheet provided with both Issue 1g of the word-book and the 1750 edition reveals when the March(49) was first inserted to follow 'See the conqu'ring hero comes'. These sheets were supplied for the performances on 9 and 14 March 1750 (see Table V). Thereafter, both during Handel's lifetime and after his death - in the period 1760-74, when the younger Smith was responsible for the London revivals of Judas Maccabaeus - the March was always inserted here.(30) It follows, therefore, that its insertion at any other place in the oratorio was made before 1750.

Although the music for the March does not appear in the autograph score, there is evidence there that Handel, while composing the oratorio, originally intended it to be placed after the chorus 'Fall'n is the foe', near the beginning of Part II. At this point, on folio 64 of Part II, he wrote an 'NB' (his customary warning note to his amanuensis) and followed it with an alla breve sign and then with what appears to be a treble clef. But this instruction (presumably to insert the alla breve March there) was not followed in the corresponding place in the conducting score.(51) However, in three secondary manuscript copies(52) the March does appear in this place, thereby providing evidence that at some time this was where it was indeed performed.

The addenda sheet provided for Issue 1b of the word-book specifies that the air 'In Jehovah's awful sight' should follow the first chorus on page 7 of the word-book ('Fall'n is the foe'), not the March. This would seem to imply that at the time of the issue of 1b (the third performance in 1747 according to my reckoning) the G major March had not been inserted after the opening chorus of Part II, nor had it yet found its later place in Part III. There are, however, two clues to help us date the earliest insertion. One of these was provided by John Walsh.

Walsh published his edition of Judas Maccabaeus on 1 May 1747.(53) In it, the March was not placed in its 1747 position in the oratorio but was printed at the very end of the work in a two-stave version [ILLUSTRATION FOR PLATE IV OMITTED]. Since it was most unlikely to have been performed there, its position in Walsh's edition indicates that it was added after all the other items had been prepared for publication.(54) This suggests that it could well have been one of the additions advertised for the third performance on 8 April. A second clue, and one which points to where the March might have been inserted in 1747, is provided by a secondary manuscript copy now in the Royal College of Music library.(55) Here it is placed in Part I, where it follows the chorus 'We come in bright array'. It would seem, therefore, that its removal to the second place of insertion (in Part II, where Handel originally intended it) occurred some time in 1748, probably at the first performance that season on 26 February, though this received no mention in Issue 1c of the word-book.

There is a manuscript of the G major March in its wind-band form in the library of the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge; it is in the composer's hand and is scored for oboes, bassoons and horns.(56) However, the Smith Collection score in the British Library,(57) a secondary manuscript copy of Judas Maccabaeus, is scored for two horns, two violins (doubled by oboes), viola (doubling violin 1) and continuo. As can be seen from Table VI, other secondary manuscript scores also have the March with similar instrumentation,(58) and include the direction 'March with the side drum' or 'with the side drum'. So it is clear that the version used in the oratorio itself was not the wind-band version but that for two horns, strings (doubled by oboes), side drum and continuo. The novel use of the side drum in the oratorio may have contributed to the popularity of the March. Nowhere, however, was any music provided for the instrument, but this is not surprising, since it was customary for percussion players in the eighteenth century to improvise such a part. Percussionists such as the celebrated Joseph Woodbridge(59) had probably been trained in military bands to do this. For a summary of the evidence for the placing of the G major March, and the conclusions I have drawn from it, see Table VI; and for its viability in its three positions in the oratorio, see Table VII.

The March in its F major form is also associated with Judas Maccabaeus, but not in the oratorio itself. It was an addition made to provide a new final movement to the original form of the F major Concerto a due cori (HWV 334).(60) The earliest version of that concerto was played between Parts II and III of the oratorio;(61) it was the 'new concerto' advertised in the General Advertiser before the first performance of Judas Maccabaeus on 1 April 1747. The addition to it of the March in F probably dates from 1748.(62)

The F major March was also used as the final movement in two versions of an organ concerto (HWV 305a & b). The first of these was originally a concerto for solo organ and strings(63) dating from the same period as the original form of the Concerto a due cori.(64) Handel later transformed this version into a concerto for solo organ.(65) Both concertos derived some movements from the Concerto a due cori,(66) but there is no evidence that either of them was played as entr'acte music in the oratorio.


The Structural Effect of the March in G

Novello                  Item                              Key
edn. no.

Part I(1)

10           Air: Arm, arm ye brave                         C
11           Chorus: We come in bright array                C
-            The March                                      G
12           Recit: 'Tis well, my friends                   A
13           Air: Call forth thy pow'rs                     D

Part II(2)

27           Chorus: Fall'n is the foe                      d
-            The March                                      G
-            Recit: Victorious hero!                    B[flat]-D
29           Air: So rapid thy course is                    G

Part III(3)

58           Chorus: See, the conqu'ring hero comes         G
-            The March                                      G
60           Chorus: Sing unto God                          D

1 1747 (for the later performances, from 8 April).

2 1748 (for all performances).

3 1750 (for all performances).


The text of this movement was originally a nineteen-line recitative. From the explanatory footnote at the beginning of the movement in the first printed word-book (quoted on p. 505, above), we may surmise that Handel had shortened his working text during composition. We do not know the original form of the complete working text. There are, however, four lines of textual remnants. In the autograph score Handel originally set the words

Repeat your songs, my brethren, Judah's dread and spoiler great Antiochus is dead:

These were later crossed out, and they appear in no other primary source. There is no reference in the autograph or conducting score, or in Larpent, to lines 9 and 10, which were published in the first word-book:

Nor could the bold Arabians save Their Chief, Timotheus from a Coward's Grave.

The revised original version of the recitative is in the autograph score on folio [107.sup.r - v]. It was a single unit of 27 bars which began in C, following on from the B flat major air 'So shall the lute and harp awake'. The recitative ended in A and led into the D major chorus 'Sing unto God'. It was given in this form at the early performances.

In 1748 and 1750 the recitative underwent a series of changes in order to allow the insertion of items into it. For the later performances in 1748, on 1, 4 and 7 April, it was split into three sections: (i) ll. 1-8: 'From Capharsalama' to 'vanquished all the rageful Train'; (ii) 11. 11-15: 'Yet more' to 'Of victories yet ungain'd'; and (iii) [TABULAR DATA FOR TABLE VIII OMITTED] ll. 16-19: 'But lo! the conqueror comes' to 'That threaten'd desolation to the land'. This was done to allow the air 'Pow'rful guardians' to be inserted between the first two sections. Between the second and third sections came the air 'Happy, Oh thrice happy we'. Musical changes to the original setting of the recitative also had to be made to accommodate these insertions. In the conducting score, section (i) appears on folio [11.sup.v] in the form used in later 1748 revivals. Alterations were made to allow the insertion of the G major air 'Pow'rful guardians' on folio 12. Section (ii) then continues on what is now folio 17. Then the G minor air 'Happy, Oh thrice happy we' was inserted; but it is no longer present in the conducting score. Section (iii) of the recitative continues on folio 17 and ends in A.

For the 1750 performances the B flat air 'All his mercies' replaced 'Pow'rful guardians' after section (i) of the recitative. Then came section (ii) on the inserted folio 17. But no air was performed here in 1750. On folio 15, section (iii) was rewritten for the bass soloist, using the bass clef for his part. Both sections now ended in D, the latter to lead into the inserted 'See the conqu'ring hero comes' as the 'Additional Songs' sheet for Issue 1g and Edition 2 shows. Table VIII lists the various performing versions of the recitative and its accompanying airs, showing the key changes that were necessary to allow the insertions; it also shows later alterations made to this recitative.

Confusion, both in the eighteenth and twentieth centuries, has arisen because editors have not understood the evolution of this recitative. Arnold, on page 159 of his edition of Judas Maccabaeus, produced a full score which had the 1747 A major ending of the recitative (instead of its later D major version) followed by the 1750 'Joshua' G major choruses; Arthur Walker fell into the same trap on page 179 of his 1971 edition.


On Monday 16 January 1769, the Public Advertiser, No. 10676, stated that the music of Judas Maccabaeus was now ready to deliver to the subscribers. Randall's edition was prefaced with the composer's portrait by Houbraken, a late impression from the plate first used in Walsh's edition of Alexander's Feast in 1738. This was followed by the title-page, two pages devoted to a list of subscribers, an index, 208 pages of music, and a four-page catalogue of vocal and instrumental music sold by the firm of Randall.

The title-page reads:

Judas Macchabaeus / AN / ORATORIO / in Score / As it was Originally Perform'd / composed by / Mr HANDEL / with / HIS ADDITIONAL ALTERATIONS. / London Printed for William Randall Successor to / the late Mr J.Walsh in Catharine St in the Strand / of whom may be had the compleat scores of Messiah, Samson, / Alexander's Feast, Acis and Galatea &c.

Randall made use of the Walsh plates where possible, having cleaned off the singers' names and the original pagination. Unfortunately, this edition is a mixture of original and revival items, as the following examples indicate:

(i) In Part I, the extended ending of the air 'O liberty' was printed, instead of that used by Handel in this oratorio.

(ii) In Part II, the recitative 'Well may we hope' is wrongly placed. Handel introduced it into the oratorio in 1750, ending in D to lead into the A major air 'Flowing joys', as can be seen in Part II of the conducting score on folio 18. Then, in 1758, when the duet and chorus 'Sion now her head shall raise' was introduced, the recitative and air were transferred to follow the inserted movements. At that stage there was no change of key either to the recitative or to the air. In 1762, 'Flowing joys' was transposed into E; to accommodate this, the recitative was transposed to end in E, as can be seen in the conducting score on folio 17. Until it was finally removed from the oratorio in 1764, the recitative remained in E, but it always followed 'Sion now' and never preceded it. Randall misplaced this recitative, using the version ending in D to lead into 'Sion now', which it never did under Handel's or the younger Smith's direction. 'Flowing joys' was not printed in this edition.

(iii) In Part III, the recitative 'From Capharsalama' was printed in its original version ending in A. But by 1750 it had been changed into the G major 'Joshua' choruses associated with 'See the conqu'ring hero comes'. No notice was taken by Randall of the revised 1750 D major ending of the recitative. So, in this edition the A major recitative ending leads into the G major choruses.

A number of later editions continued these various idiosyncrasies, which explain the confusion over these matters in all the current performing editions of this oratorio. The Randall edition was the first complete edition of Judas Maccabaeus to be published, but unfortunately it does not reflect the form in which the oratorio was performed by the time the edition was being prepared or printed, nor does it represent exactly any one version as performed by the composer. An edition of Judas Maccabaeus based on my research, to be published shortly by Novello & Co., will give the music for the 1747, 1750 and 1758-9 versions.


The Performances to which the Word-Book Issues Dated 1747 Apply: the Evidence

1a; performed 1 and 3 April 1747

This issue was corrected by 1b. 1a thus preceded 1b and was the first issue.

1b; performed 8, 10, 13, 15 April 1747

This issue corrected 1a, and added items from Deborah and Athalia. The performance on 8 April was advertised as 'with Additions and a New Concerto'.

1c; performed 26 February 1748

This issue incorporated footnote corrections in the addenda slip to 1b. 'O liberty' was printed in the main text for the first time. Additional items in 1b were eliminated.

1d; performed ?2 and 4 March 1748

The musical content is the same as in 1c, but the text and typography show changes suggesting that this was later than 1c

1e; performed 1 April 1748

This issue incorporated items from Joshua and Alexander Balus, which had just received their first performances. The performances of Judas from 1 April were advertised as 'With Additions and a Concerto'.

1f; performed ?4 and 7 April 1748

The prescribed musical items were the same as in 1e, but textual and typographical changes suggest that this is a later issue

1g; performed ?9 and 14 March 1750

Additional items mentioned in the addenda slip to 1f were not included in that to 1g. But the latter had identical additions to those on the addenda slip to Edition 2 of 1750. As no performance of this oratorio was given in 1749, 1g would seem to apply to the early 1750 performances.

1h; performed ?28 and 30 March 1750

The 1g word-book in GB-Lcm has a slip with the air 'May balmy peace' stuck over 'Endless fame'. If this was not an insertion indicating a last-minute change before the first 1750 performance (which seems unlikely), then it must have been a change made for a subsequent performance. This issue was thus later than 1g; since fourteen days separated the second and third performances in 1750, it might be conjectured that it applies to the third and fourth performances.

I would like to acknowledge the help of Donald Burrows in the preparation of this article. Colin Timms first drew my attention to the collection of word-books of Handel's oratorios he had discovered in Birmingham Central Library. Anthony Hicks kindly read a draft of this article and made suggestions for its improvement. Curtis Price informed me of the work done by Vincent J. Liesenfeld on the Licensing Act of 1737. I am also grateful for the assistance given to me by the librarians of the institutions holding the source material referred to in this article, and I am indebted to the late Mr and Mrs Gerald Coke for their kindness in allowing me access to their library.

In references to sources in the footnotes and tables, the following sigla, from RISM or adapted therefrom, are used: D-Hs: Staats- und Universitatsbibliothek; F-Pa: Paris, Bibliotheque de l'Arsenal; F-Pn: Paris, Bibliotheque Nationale; GB-Bc: Birmingham Central Library; GB-Bu: University of Birmingham, Barber Institute of Fine Arts; GB-Cfm: Cambridge, Fitzwilliam Museum; GB-Ckc: Cambridge, King's College, Rowe Music Library; GB-Coke: Coke Handel Collection, formerly at Bentley, Hampshire; GB-Lbl: London, British Library; GB-Lcm: London, Royal College of Music; GB-Mp: Manchester, Central Public Library, Henry Watson Music Library; GB-WBsg: Wimborne St Giles, Dorset, library of the Earl of Shaftesbury; US-SM: San Marino, California, Henry E. Huntington Library and Art Gallery.

1 Announced in the General Advertiser from Saturday 28 March until Wednesday 1 April 1747.

2 Ibid., Monday 6 April until Wednesday 8 April.

3 Ibid., Thursday 31 March until Thursday 7 April 1748.

4 The London Stage, 1660-1800: a Calendar of Plays, Entertainments and Afterpieces, IV/iii, ed. George Winchester Stone Jr., Carbondale, Illinois, 1962, p. 1459.

5 'The Late Additions to Handel's Oratorios and the Role of the Younger Smith', Music in Eghteenth-Century England: Essays in Memory of Charles Cudworth, ed. Christopher Hogwood & Richard Luckett, Cambridge, 1983, pp. 147-69.

6 GB-Lbl R.M. 20.e.12.

7 D-Hs MA/1026.

8 See Hans Dieter Clausen, Handel's Direktionspartituren ('Handexemplare'), Hamburg, 1972, pp. 167-70.

9 Winton Dean, Handel's Dramatic Oratorios and Masques, London, 1959, pp. 460-81.

10 US-SM LA 65.

11 The London Stage, III/i, ed. Arthur H. Scouten, Carbondale, 1961, p. xlix, & III/ii, ed. idem, Carbondale, 1961, p. 676; The Stage and the Licensing Act 1729-1739, ed. Vincent J. Liesenfeld, New York & London, 1981, pp. xvii-xxiv; idem, The Licensing Act of 1737, Madison & London, 1984, pp. 3-4; Paul Henry Langford, A Polite and Commercial People, Oxford, 1989, pp. 48-49.

12 John Larpent (1741-1824) was appointed Inspector of Stage Plays in November 1778 by the Marquis of Hertford, then Lord Chamberlain. Larpent not only preserved the manuscripts submitted to him during the years 1778-1824 but also acquired earlier submissions which followed the 1737 Licensing Act. This collection was sold by Larpent's widow in 1825 for [pounds]180 to J. B. Collier. In 1853 Collier offered it to the British Museum at the price paid in 1825. When the Museum declined to buy the collection, it was purchased by the Earl of Ellesmere for his Bridgewater House library. In 1917 this library was bought by Henry E. Huntington and incorporated into his library at San Marino, California: see 'Huntington Library Collections', The Huntington Library Bulletin, i (May 1931). Included in this collection is the 1747 Judas Maccabaeus submission. I have kept to the forms 'Larpent' or 'Larpent MS' when referring to this manuscript.

13 An accurate comparison of typographical and other changes in the eight issues would require original copies of them all to be in one place. Clearly that is not possible. So, in making this comparative study, I have had to rely partly on microfilms and microfiches, and prints taken from them, as well as direct photocopies of the originals. Variations in the reproduction processes meant that it was not possible to collate and identify minor typographical variations such as the dashes used to emphasize phrases. Nevertheless, enough material can be extracted to show the sequence of the eight issues.

14 Announced in the General Advertiser, No. 3905 (1 May 1747), as 'published this day, priced 10s 6d.'

15 A copy of the 1762 word-book, GB-Lbl 11771.h1(5), is annotated 'Duet. Miss Young and Boy', which suggests that the duet was also performed that year.

16 The Aylesford copy in GB-Mp. Newman Flower Collection MS 130 Hd4 v. 173, is an early example; it was probably commissioned by Charles Jennens in 1747. GB-Lcm MS 250 is a later copy.

17 Handel's Dramatic Oratorios, p. 476.

18 Loc. cit.

19 Nos. 3881, 3882 & 3883 respectively.

20 For the middle section of 'Cease thy anguish', presumably with a new opening ritornello.

21 This revival had suffered difficulties. It was given, not in Lent, but on 3 November, as part of a subscription series at the King's Theatre. The subsequent performance was postponed to 24 November. A request was published in the Daily Advertiser, No. 4379, on Monday 5 November 1744 to delay the next performance, 'as the greatest Part of Mr Handel's subscribers are not in Town'. For the next two years, 1745 and 1746, the Jacobite Rebellion and Handel's health, as well as his financial state, caused anxieties for the composer and his oratorio seasons.

22 An earlier rearrangement also appears to have been made at the first performance. Walsh's 1747 edition of Judas Maccabaeus states that the duet was sung by Gambarini and Beard.

23 See Dean, Handel's Dramatic Oratorios, p. 476.

24 This air was printed in the Judas Maccabaeus word-book as it had been in that of Alexander Balus in 1748. Clearly this item was added for musical, not literary, reasons. It is hard to imagine that Thomas Morell would have agreed to his Israelitish Messenger, arriving with the latest news about the victory at Capharsalama, addressing the listeners thus. For, having announced that 'Judas, undismay'd, met, fought, and vanquish'd all the rageful train', in 1748 the Messenger then sang:

Pow'rful guardians of all Nature, O preserve my beauteous love; Keep from insult the dear Creature . . . Virtue sure hath charms to move.

One can only suppose that anybody taking an intelligent interest in the dialogue in the later 1748 performances might have thought the Messenger's remarks here a little incongruous.

25 The words of this recitative have a number of variants. In Larpent, the recitative after the air 'Come ever smiling liberty' was:

O Judas, may these noble views inspire All Israel with thy true heroic Fire!

But in all the 1747 issues this was printed as:

These noble views, O Judas, shall inspire Our eager souls with thy heroic fire.

In 1g yet another version of this couplet appeared:

O Judas, may their just persuits inspire All Israel with thy true heroic fire.

However, it is the Larpent version, not those printed in the various 1747 issues, that is found in the autograph and conducting scores.

26 'Flowing joys' was adapted from the air 'So much beauty' in Esther (1732). New words were provided when it was transferred, probably in 1735, and certainly in 1744, to Deborah.

27 Wrongly spelt 'Capharselama' on this addenda sheet and in all the 1747 issues. Capharsalama was spelt correctly for the first time in any word-book in the 1750 edition.

28 This air is an adaptation of 'Cease thy anguish' from Athaha, which had been prepared for the 1744 revival of Deborah. It was also performed in the later 1747 performances of Judas, as noted above. Like its 1748 predecessor, 'All his mercies I review' may well have dismayed Thomas Morell as an interjection in the Israelite Messenger's victory announcement. The words state:

All his mercies I review Gladly with a grateful heart; And I trust he will renew Blessings he did once impart.

This was followed by the next section of the truncated text:

Nor could the bold Arabians save Their chief, Timotheus, from a coward's grave.

Clearly Handel wanted the additional music here. But he lacked either the time or the inclination to have the words changed to make dramatic sense.

29 The choruses 'See, the conqu'ring hero comes' and 'See the godlike youth advance' were taken from Joshua, The March was moved from Act II of Judas Maccabaeus to this place. This is the first mention of it in the word-books.

30 These variations are as follows:

(i) after 'London' on the new title-page it now reads: Printed by and for J. Watts; and Sold by him at the Printing- / Office in Wild-Court near Lincoln's-Inn-Fields: / And by B. Dod at the Bible and Key in Ave-Mary-Lane near / Stationers-Hall. M DCCL. / [Price One Shilling]

(ii) opposite the dedication (a blank in the 1747 word-books). Watts placed advertisements for his Moliere edition. There had been no advertisements in the previous Judas Maccabaeus word-books.

(iii) different decorative bands were used at the beginning of each part.

(iv) p. 2: the designation of 'From this dread scene' is now spelt 'Duet'; it had previously been spelt 'Duett'.

(v) p. 5: 'O liberty' is now on this page; it had previously been placed on page 4. 'These noble views' has been deleted.

(vi) p. 14: the asterisk and footnote are deleted. 'Capharsalama' is spelt correctly.

31 It might, for example, be argued that the 'Additional Songs' slip (i) did not originally apply to Issue 1g and that it had been bound wrongly with it in the Lcm exemplar; (ii) applied to a later 1748 'benefit' performance of which no records exist; or (iii) was intended for a planned revival in 1749 which did not come to performance.

32 The air 'May balmy peace' is from the Occasional Oratorio. It was derived from 'There sweetest flowers of mingled hue' in Comus, HWV 43(3). The text of 'May balmy peace' is pasted over 'Endless fame' in Issue 1h. This appears to be a later development than that indicated for the first revival in 1750 in both Issue 1g and Edition 2. It would seem that this substitution was made for a later revival that season, perhaps for the third performance; it cannot have been for performances in 1751, for which a new word-book was published.

33 The Life of Handel, London, 1857, p. 298.

34 Handel's Dramatic Oratorios, p. 461.

35 It was bought by the late Gerald Coke and is now in GB-Coke.

36 See A History of the Oratorio, ii: The Oratorio in the Baroque Era: Protestant Germany and England, p. 295.

37 See Handel, London, 1984, p. 207 n.

38 GB-Lbl R.M. 20.f.3, f. [62.sup.v].

30 D-Hs MA/1033, ii, f. [1.sup.r-v].

40 The Occasional Oratorio, London, 1746, p. 37.

41 GB-Cfm MU. MS 259, pp. 53-54.

42 GB-Cfm MU. MS 809, p. 43, and GB-Lcm MS 250, p. 111.

43 GB-Lbl R.M. 18.f.1.

44 The Occasional Oratorio was revived, for the first time since 1747, on Friday 18 February 1763 for a command performance at Covent Garden: see The London Stage, IV/ii, ed. Stone, Carbondale, 1962, p. 979. At this revival, 'O liberty, thou choicest treasure' was replaced by the air 'O liberty! thou goddess bright', derived from 'Morrai si; l'empia tua testa' in Rodelinda. It was in E in the opera, but transposed down to D in the 1763 revival of the Occasional Oratorio. Both airs are still to be seen in Part II of the conducting score of the Occasional Oratorio, on folios [1.sup.r-v] and [7.sup.r]-[9.sup.r] respectively.

45 Handel's Dramatic Oratorios, pp. 471, 481.

46 Zurich, 1971, p. 225.

47 For example, in a performance given by the London Handel Choir and Orchestra with soloists, conducted by Denys Darlow at St John's, Smith Square, London, on 30 May 1990 (recorded, and broadcast on BBC Radio 3 on 23 February 1991); and on the 1992 Hyperion recording (CDA 66641/2) conducted by Robert King.

48 Not to be confused with the 'Dead March', part of which remains on folio [5.sup.v] in the autograph score; this was copied into the Aylesford score, GB-Mp Newman Flower Collection MS 130 Hd4 v. 173, pp. 18-20.

49 It is derived from Gottlieb Muffat's Componimenti musicali per il cembalo, according to F. G. Edwards in his 'Historical Notes' to the 1906 Novello edition of Judas Maccabaeus.

50 Deduced from the word-books.

51 See Part II, f. [11.sup.v].

52 GB-WBsg A3; GB-Coke Fussell Winton score (Harvester Microfilm Collection MS 216); and GB-Bu MS in the Shaw-Hellier Collection.

53 Advertised in the General Advertiser from Monday 27 April until Friday 1 May 1747. The advertisements in that season's newspaper continued until 9 June.

54 Although announced in the table of contents as being on page 73, it was unpaginated in the first edition. In the third edition it was paginated '48', the sheet having been used for Vol. 6 Pt. 2 of the Sonatas, or Chamber Aires, for A German Flute, Violin, or Harpsichord, advertised in the London Evening Post from 28 to 30 May 1747.

55 GB-Lcm, the Annesley score, MS 250, pp. 100-101.

56 LGB-Cfm MU. MS 260, p. 26.

57 GB-Lbl R.M. 18.f.1, ff. [157.sup.r]-[158.sup.r], renumbered pp. 308-10.

58 In the three scores named in note 32, above, a figured bass part suggests that the two unallocated staves were intended for violins 1 and 2, probably doubled with oboes, as in the Smith Collection score.

59 There is a reference to him, as the 'late Kettle-Drummer to the Hon Admirable [sic] Boscawen': see The Royal Society of Musicians of Great Britain List of Members 1738-1984, London, 1985, p. 160.

60 See the Aylesford copy of the original form of this concerto, GB-Mp Newman Flower Collection MS 130 Hd4 v. 300(2), pp. 26-124, designated by the copyist, S2, as 'Concerto / in the / Oratorio of Judas Maccabaeus'. There follows (pp. 125-8) 'March / in / Judas Maccabaeus'. It is scored differently from the concerto, indicating that it was not originally intended to be part of it.

61 Part III is shorter than the other two parts, suggesting that it was deliberately so in order to make room for the concerto. The F major concerto would conveniently have led into the F major air 'Father of Heaven', which begins Part III.

62 Ascertained from the Barrett-Lennard library copy of Judas Maccabaeus, now GB-Cfm MU. MS 809. As an appendix on page 179 there follows a copy of the F major March. This score of the oratorio itself was probably copied directly from the 1748, not the original, state of the conducting score. In this copy, the recitative 'O Capharsalama' is in its earliest, not its 1750, form, and the air 'O liberty' with its short ending is there too. But, as has been noted above, the latter did not find its way into Judas Maccabaeus until 1748. The word 'finis' at the end of the oratorio confirms that the March, which follows, was a later addition. After the March come items which were added to the oratorio in 1750 and 1758: 'Well may we hope' (1750), 'Tune your harps' (1758), 'Sweet are thy words' (1758), 'O Judas' (1750) and 'Haste we, my Brethren' (1750). Why the March should have been added here is not clear, since no other music for the concerto was copied into the Barrett-Lennard score. What it does suggest is that the F major March was not played at the earliest performances of the oratorio but was introduced for the 1748 revivals, which by then included 'O liberty' but not the additions made from 1750 onwards.

63 See the autograph score, GB-Lbl Add. MS 30310, ff. [49.sup.r] - [51.sup.v], where the March, marked 'Marche allegro' and written in two parts for keyboard (a single line on both the treble and the bass staves) forms the last movement of the concerto.

64 Research recorded in Donald Burrows & Martha J. Ronish, A Catalogue of Handel's Musical Autographs, Oxford, 1994, pp. 259-60 & 290-94, has shown that all the Handel autographs mentioned in connection with the F major March date from the period 1746-7.

65 In Lbl Add. MS 30310 a later development can be seen to have evolved. In three places in the second movement and five places in the next written-out movement, there is the instruction 'Org: ad libitum'. Handel filled in these places with music for the organ soloist. The rests indicate where orchestral tuttis were originally required. In three of these places, where there was insufficient room to fit in the required music, he wrote 'NB' to indicate that this was to be found elsewhere. He wrote it on a separate sheet which is now to be found in GB-Cfm MU. MS 264, f. [29.sup.v]. Clearly this later version is a solo organ concerto. In both versions of this organ concerto, the March in its F major form is the final movement. But neither version was designated 'Concerto in Judas Maccabaeus'.

66 In addition to the March, these movements are Ouverture, Allegro, and Andante (= Andante larghetto in the Concerto a due cori in F).
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Title Annotation:George Frideric Handel
Author:Channon, Merlin
Publication:Music & Letters
Date:Nov 1, 1996
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