Notes & Reviews:
Joshua is one of four so-called 'victory' oratorios Handel composed in the late 1740s, which commemorate the defeat of the 1745-46 Jacobite Rebellion. It takes as its subject matter the biblical story of Joshua, who roused his people to a sequence of divinely aided victories. The oratorio remained a favorite with English and continental audiences until well after Handel's death. This recording, taken from live performances, features a superb cast of soloists supported by the Festspiel Orchester Göttingen, conducted from the harpsichord by Laurence Cummings.
Sunday Times, 22nd March 2015
Not the deepest of dramas, it contains much strong martial music, while the contrived love interest gives rise to touching numbers. Cummings directs a compelling live performance.
Gramophone Magazine, June 2015
The oratorio crackles alarm at a theatrical pace. The Göttingen Festival Orchestra perform with marvellous flexibility...the orchestra prefer solemnity over mere bellicosity in the grand march illustrating the circumvention of the Ark of the Covenant... It's easy to see why Handel's knockout blow impressed Haydn, who heard it at Westminster Abbey in 1791.
Early Music Review, June 2015
As always, Cumming's pacing of the music is so incredibly well judged that both narrative and music flow unimpeded. A real joy both in terms of content and interpretation.
Early Music Today, June/August 2015
[Cummings] is a persuasive Handelian with a lively stylistic sense to which the excellent instrumentalists respond with warmth and immediacy.
MusicWeb International, 16th June 2015
The chorus are all-important in this work, and the NDR Chor do not disappoint, with very good English and flexible singing that responds fittingly to every situation. The occasional orchestra are also great, the trumpets and drums revelling in the full ceremonial moments of the battles, and the various instrumental solos sounding very good...Cummings directs the whole thing with an unfailing ear for the drama but never losing sight of the music's beauty.
American Record Guide, July/August 2015
Overall, Palmer offered energy and a certain dramatic feeling. Cummings seems to me to strike a good balance in a pacing of propulsive energy and carefully judged shaping. His Gottingen choir and orchestra know their Handel and deliver strongly. This recording was made, by the way, at a public performance, as the excessive applause at the end of each disc all too- vividly attests. I can recommend this new one as musically satisfying. The ideally cast recording is yet to come.
Recording information: Stadthalle Göttingen, Germany (05/29/2014).
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Works DetailsHandel, George Frideric : Joshua
- Conductor: Laurence Cummings
- Ensemble: NDR Chor
- Notes: Composition written: 1747.
- Running Time: 99 min. 6 sec.
- Period Time: Baroque
- Written: 1747