Judas Maccabaeus

Judas Maccabaeus (Judas Makkabäus; HWV 54) is a Oratorium in three documents of George Friedrich trade.

Table of contents


the political background of trade Oratorium is the Jakobitenaufstand of 1745. To 2. August landed Charles Edward Stuart as Prätendent on the English and Scottish Tron with an invasion army in Scotland and marched after several successful smaller battles on England. For the encouragement of the Englishmen trade at the beginning of of 1746 composed hastily the Occasional Oratorio, a Pasticcio. After in the battle with Culloden the insurgent Jakobiten of the royal army under William August, Herzog von Cumberland (a son of George II.), to 16. April 1746 finally depressed, he made himself to a work the Huldigung of the field gentleman.

After datings in autograph composed trade the first act of 9. to 21. July, second of 25. July to 2. August. It placed the completely instrumented work at the 11. August finished. If one gives the memories of the dear savingists Thomas Morell faith, which he wrote down 25 years later, then the plan for the Oratorium had already originated in to 1745. The Prince OF Wales (the brother of the duke of Cumberland) had recommended Morell as dear savingists. According to the idea of “congratulations to the duke from Cumberland to its victorious return from Scotland” the libretto contains a dedication at the “Truly meadow, Valiant, and Virtuous COMM other”.

The premiere found at the 1. April 1747 in the Theatre Royal in Covent guards instead of. Judas Maccabaeus developed fast to trade most popular Oratorium, which was regularly resumed. In the course of the time it enriched it around some attractive numbers, which it took over from other Oratorien, without painting thereby something from the premiere version. Since one does not want to do in modern performances without the been added pieces, the version played during the premiere is to be heard today rarely.

The air Oh liberty was located in the original libretto, became from trade however instead for the Occasional Oratorio uses. To the Judas Maccabaeus he transferred it starting from the third conception. 1750 it caused the conq'ring hero comes from Joshua to the Oratorium the choir lake , one of its most well-known pieces.

The Duett Sion now ago head sound raise trade for a resumption of Esther, composed with the following choir , 1757 and transferred it in the following year in the Judas. At the same time it added also the air meadow men flatt'ring , which it had written in the previous year for Belshazzar.


the libretto wrote Thomas Morell after the narrations (apokryphen) of the first book of the Makkabäer (1 Makk 2-8). Further it used some motives of the Antiquitates Judaicae of the historical writer Flavius Josephus.


occupation one sang during the premiere by the following singers:

  • Judas: John Beard (tenor)
  • a Israelit: Caterina Galli (Mezzosopran)
  • a Israelitin: Elisabetta de Gambarini (Sopran)
  • Simon, brother of the Judas: Thomas Reinhold (bass)
  • Eupolemus, Jewish Gesander in Rome: Thomas Reinhold


first act

the choir of the Israeliten deplores the death of Mattathias, the father of the Judas Maccabaeus. The high priest Simon announces that God in a revealing Judas Maccabaeus intended for the successor, that will lead the Israeliten to the victory. The Israeliten seizes courage, follows it and prays around its liberty.

second act

the Israeliten victoriously from the battle against Samaria and Syria returned. They glad-lure over their luck and praise Judas. A messenger comes and announces that on the part of of Egypt a new war threatens. The Israeliten falls immediately again in despair, however by Simon is appeased that new troubles are sent to their corporal punishment not to their spoiling, but. Judas tunes again the battle call on, which the Israeliten follows.

third act

during the Israeliten the celebration of the light commit, comes a messenger from Kapharsalama and reports on the battle. Judas draws in as a winner. He admonishes to think of also in the hour the victory of the pleasures. Eupolemus, the Jewish envoy in Rome, reports of an alliance with the Roman senate, which protects independence Judäas. Praise and thank singing decide the Oratorium.


  • Hans Joachim Marx: Trade Oratorien, deserts and Serenaten. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht. ISBN 3-525-27815-2
  • Albert Scheibler, Julia Evdokimova: George Friedrich trade: Oratorien leader. Edition Cologne. ISBN 3-928010-04-2

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