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Carissimi: Historia di Jephte - The Royal Melbourne Philharmonic Choir & Orchestra

  • BMW Edge Federation Square Melbourne, VIC, 3000 Australia (map)

Giacomo Carissimi (c.1605 – 1674) is today celebrated as one of the most important masters of the early Italian Baroque. Carissimi established the characteristic features of the Latin oratorio and was a prolific composer of motets and cantatas. He was highly influential in musical developments in north European countries through his pupils and the wide dissemination of his music. His oratorio Historia di Jephte, composed around 1648, is based on the story of Jephtha in the Old Testament Book of Judges, and is scored for 7 solo voices, 6 part chorus, flutes, and plucked strings. Easily Carissimi’s best-known composition, the oratorio is written in the operatic, declamatory style developed by Monteverdi and others at the beginning of the 17th Century.

The famous last chorus, ‘Plorate filli Israel’ (‘Weep all ye daughters of Israel’), is widely considered one of the greatest choruses ever composed. Full of taut suspensions and agonizingly beautiful vocal lines it uses dense harmony from the six-part choir to paint the weeping of a community for a young girl who’s about to be sacrificed. It grips both performer and listener to the very last note.

Royal Melbourne Philharmonic

Andrew Wailes, conductor
Royal Melbourne Philharmonic Orchestra


Earlier Event: August 18
Vivaldi Gloria
Later Event: August 23
Melbourne University Donors Concert