Israel in Egypt

ISRAEL concert page

Date: Sunday, April 2, 2017
Time: 3:00 p.m.
Venue: Civic Center Music Hall, Oklahoma City


Handel’s Israel in Egypt, dramatizing the biblical story of Moses, begins with the Israelites’ bondage in Egypt, followed by descriptions of the plagues that Moses calls down upon the Egyptians to persuade the Pharaoh to let the Israelites go. After persuading the Pharaoh, the Israelites flee through the Red Sea, a wall of water on either side of them, and dry land under their feet.  The Egyptian army, chasing after the Israelites, arrives at the Red Sea. But once the Israelites are safe on the other side, the sea rolls back in, covering the Egyptian army, its chariots and horses.  The Israelites celebrate the power of their God and their deliverance.

This oratorio by Handel is full of “word painting” where the sound of the music imitates the text imagery. The plagues, especially, inspired him to create some of his most colorful painting – one can easily hear the hopping of the frogs, the buzzing of the flies, the pounding of the fiery hail, and the eerie darkness.

Israel in Egypt is unique in its abundance of choruses and double choruses, and now stands second only to Messiah as Handel’s most beloved work.