Classical Music | Baritone

George Frideric Handel

Arm, Arm Ye Brave  Play

Dr. Raymond Feener Baritone
Natalia Rivera Piano

Recorded on 05/27/2007, uploaded on 03/27/2009

Musician's or Publisher's Notes

The years between 1688 and 1746 were marked by a series of rebellions in the British Isles collectively known as the Jacobite Uprisings. The purpose of these uprisings was to return James II of England, and later his descendants of the House of Stuart, to the English throne after having been unseated during the Glorious Revolution of 1688. Two major rebellions took place in 1715 and 1745. In 1746, Charles Edward Stuart, known as The Pretender, was defeated at the Battle of Culloden, marking the end of the Uprisings. In honor of the victory of British forces, Handel began working on an oratorio in honor of their “Truly Wise, Virtuous, and Virtuous Commander” Prince William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland.

Written over a month long period during the summer of 1746 and first performed on April 1, 1747 at Covent Gartden, Judas Maccabaeus instantly became one of Handel’s most celebrated oratorios. Its story comes from the apocryphal First Book of Maccabees with some additions from Antiquities of the Jews by Josephus. It relates the events of the time when Judea was rule by the Seleucids, Hellenistic kings that ruled throughout Asia Minor, Syria and Persia. In 167 B.C., Antiochus IV attempted to destroy the Jewish religion by decreeing the mandatory worship of Zeus and forbidding the observance of Jewish laws. Fearing persecution, many Jews obeyed. However, in small town not far from Jerusalem, an old priest by the name of Mattathias rose up to defend his faith and pulled down the pagan alter the Seleucids had set up.

The aria “Arm, arm ye brave” comes from Part I of the oratorio. The Israelites are mourning the death of Mattathias and then join in prayer for a new leader in the fugal chorus “And grant a leader.” Simon, Mattathias’s son renews the confidence of the people with a recitative followed by “Arm, arm ye brave” and his brother, Judas, comes forth as their new leader.      Joseph DuBose

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Sonata opus 1 no.12 Adagio
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Lucrezia, a cantata
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Concerto Grosso in a minor
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La Resurrezione, excerpts

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