The Jewish feast of Purim takes place next week, which presents us with the opportunity to present Esther, Handel's first oratorio, in its entirety. The character Esther is the Jewish bride of Ahasuerus (or if you read Roman history instead of Greek, Xerxes, ruler of Persia). She prevails upon Xerxes to circumvent a law that has been engineered to eradicate the Jews.
Fanfare I (CD: Praise the Lord) (Gerre Hancock, organ) David Diamond: Music for Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet (CD: Thomson / (Polish National Radio Diamond / Hoiby) Orchestra; Jan Krenz) Cesar Franck: Grand Pièce Symphonique (CD: Franck: Complete (Michael Murray, organ) Masterworks for Organ) Improvisations sur l'Evangile selon saint Matthieu (CD: Pierre Cochereau: La tentation au désert Un testament musical)
Kenneth Leighton: Awake, my Glory (CD: My Beloved Spake) (Choir of St. Mary's Episcopal Cathedral, Edinburgh; Dennis Townhill) Peter Warlock: Capriol Suite (CD: Bacchanales) (Equale Brass)
George Frideric Handel: Esther (CD: Handel: Esther) (Patrizia Kwella, soprano (Esther); Anthony Rolfe Johnson, tenor (Ahasuerus); Ian Partridge, tenor (Mordecai); David Thomas, bass (Haman); Drew Minter, counter-tenor (priest); Westminster Cathedral Boys Choir; Chorus & Orchestra of the Academy of Ancient Music; Christopher Hogwood) Fanfare II (CD: Praise the Lord) (Gerre Hancock, organ)
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