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This recording was taking from a live performance at the Stavanger Concert Hall in 2008 and boasts a roster of soloists headed by the fine British tenor James Gilchrist as Jephtha. The eminent Belgian choir Collegium Vocale Gent, is accompanied by the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra and at the helm of these large forces is Fabio Biondi, the Baroque violinist and conductor who since 2005 has been artistic director of the Stavanger orchestra in the baroque and classical repertoires. Jephtha was Handel's last oratorio, and indeed his last major work due to the deterioration of his eyesight. It is nevertheless no less a masterpiece than his earlier works, and contains some of his noblest music. The plot of this 'Sacred Drama' is loosely based on the story of Jephtha in the Old Testament: a father who in order to win the the Israelites' struggle against the Ammonites makes a rash promise to God, and after his victory is compelled to sacrifice his own daughter.
"...He (James Gilchrist) is now unsurpassed among lyric tenors in sweetness and technical security, and for his musical intelligence." The Independent