Renowned for their Handel interpretations, Harry Christophers and his award-winning ensemble, The Sixteen, add to their glittering catalogue of Handel discs with this new recording of Jephtha. The last oratorio that he wrote, Jephtha is also often seen as his most profound; the portrayal of Jephtha's suffering is particularly noteworthy for its astonishing sincerity.
James Gilchrist tenor Jephtha
Susan Bickley mezzo-soprano Storgè
Sophie Bevan soprano Iphis
Robin Blaze countertenor Hamor
Matthew Brook bass-baritone Zebul
Grace Davidson soprano Angel
'The solo singing was wonderful. As Jephtha, James Gilchrist offered a complex portrait of spiritual disintegration, taking his fatal vow with ecstatic, if misguided certainty, his virtuoso bravado later giving way to jagged declamation as his world collapsed around him. Susan Bickley registered his wife's anguish with unflinching veracity. Sophie Bevan was the sensual Iphis, Robin Blaze her amorous Hamor: their rapturous first-act duet lingered in the memory all evening – a reminder that it is the emotional lives of this young couple that are the ultimate casualty of Jephtha's catastrophic folly.'
Tim Ashley, The Guardian (on The Sixteen’s performance of Jephtha at The Barbican)
'the most satisfyingly nuanced choral performance I have heard.' Gramophone
'The singing is superb.' BBC Radio 3 CD Review
'Harry Christophers's taut, vibrant, and beautifully sprung account is bright and dazzling...' BBC Music Magazine Performance ★★★★ Recording ★★★★★
'[James Gilchrist] is profoundly moving at the moment of truth in an account of "Waft her, Angels" that ranks with the best performances I have heard... [Sophie Bevan] rises to the challenge with ravishing tone in "Tune the soft melodious lute" ...' Independent Record Review
George Friderich Handel (1685-1795)
TOTAL PLAYING TIME: 2hrs 48mins