G. F. Handel: Theodora HWV 68 (Vocal Score)

Books | Choral, Orchestra

Publisher: Bärenreiter
Format: Sheet Music | Vocal Work

Besides the “Messiah”, “Theodora” is Handel’s only oratorio with a Christian theme. In contrast to the “Messiah”, “Theodora”, which was composed in 1749 and premiered in 1750 in London, takes a dramatic plot as its basis. The setting for the action is Antioch during the time of the Emperor Diocletian.

The Christians refuse to take part in the heathen sacrificial cult, preferring to die a martyr’s death. The plot concentrates on the virtuous Theodora, whom the Roman governor wants to compel to become a heathen sacrificial victim through forced prostitution. The Roman officer Didymus, who is in love with “Theodora” and has converted to Christianity through her, rescues her from the Temple of Venus, at which point both are sentenced to martyrdom by the governor.

Theodora” is regarded as Handel’s most tender oratorio. The Christians’ choruses and arias convey muted colours, and Theodora’s arias are distinguished particularly through their moderate to slow tempi and their vocal inflection lost in reverie. In dramatic contrast with this are the stirring arias of the governor Valens and the choruses of the heathens who pay homage to their gods Jupiter and Venus. As so often, Handel borrowed musical material from other composers, which he elaborated into expressive arias and choruses here. In particular, the final chorus of the oratorio, which is similar to that in Bach’s “St. Matthew Passion” in terms of expression, is referred to in literature again and again. Handel himself felt that “Theodora” was his most significant work.

- First complete critical edition based on the Urtext of the Halle Handel Edition.

- Includes all versions.

- Full score (BA4085) & vocal score (BA4085-90) available for sale, performance material (BA4085-72 available for hire.

ISBN: 9790006537624
Skill Level: Advanced Explain this
Published on: 10 March 2009
No of pages: 289
Language: English
Catalogue No: BA4085A

      G.F. Handel: Theodora HWV 68 reviews verified by reevooReevoo

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      Beckenham GB Handel fanatic
      A definitive version of one of Handel's greatest oratorios.
      As the book is so new it doesn't always lie flat on the music stand. That will sort itself out over time, no doubt.
      Confirmed purchase: 28 October 2015
      Published on: 11 November 2015

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