On this week's Prairie Performances, Friday at 7 pm on WILL-FM 90.9, enjoy Handel's Judas Maccabeus, written in 1746, four years after "Messiah." The piece is one of a series of Handel's works in the oratorio form after his career as a composer of Italian opera in London had petered out by the end of the 1730s. Its subject is drawn from the Apocrypha of the Bible (First Book of the Maccabees) and the historian Josephus.
The oratorio celebrates the exploits of Judas Maccabeus, who conquered the Syrians, and consecrated the temple in Jerusalem in 165 B.C. after its profanation, and thus inspired the festival of "Hannukah."
Judas Maccabeus (5/19/13)
Chet Alwes, conductor
Ricardo Herrera, baritone, as Simon
Lee Steiner, tenor, as Judas
Christopher Holman, counter tenor, as Israelite Man
Kathy Linger, soprano
Stephen L. Larson. as Messenger
Central Illinois Children's Chorus, Andrea Solyea, dir.
The instrumentalists of BACH
Amy Flores, cello
Jonathan Young, organ
Tracy Parish and Jeremy McBain, trumpets
William Moersch, tympani
Handel | Judas Maccabeus