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The Nantwich Choral Society presents
an oratorio by
G. F. HANDEL
with The Northern Concordia Orchestra
conducted by John Naylor
Judas Maccabeus was a Jewish guerrilla leader who, in 167BC, defended his country from invasion by king Antiochus IV Epiphanes, preventing the imposition of Hellenism upon Judea, and preserving the Jewish religion.
Handel used this story as the basis of his oratorio, written in 1746, five years after Messiah. Handel considered this story a worthy tribute to the exploits of William, Duke of Cumberland who, on 16th April 1746, had defeated the Scots lead by Charles Edward Stuart (the Pretender) at the battle of Culloden.
The first performance was given at the Covent Garden Theatre in London in 1747.
In Handel's lifetime it enjoyed the same level of popularity as Messiah; but is less frequently performed nowadays. it is nevertheless full of interest and excitement with some lovely solo arias. One particular chorus "See, the Conquering Hero Comes" will be very well-known to followers of The Last Night of the Proms.