A voproduction with:

live recording 

Intense drama
Handel’s oratorio Theodora, first performed in 1750, had only five moderately attended performances during his lifetime, a disaster for the composer, who was otherwise accustomed to success in this genre. Although he himself considered it to be his best oratorio, and both connoisseurs and musicologists agree on the high quality of the music, it is still one of his least popular works. Ralf Otto has here significantly streamlined the three-hour original, allowing us to experience the drama surrounding the early Christian martyr even more intensely. With Hana Blažiková in the title role, the recording additionally scores with the best cast currently conceivable.

Georg Friedrich Händel (1685 – 1759)
Oratorio in 3 parts, HWV 68
CD 1
1. Ouverture. Grave – Allegro


Part l
Scene l
2. [Recitative] “Tis Diocletian’s natal Day” (Valens) 0:54 
3. [Chorus of Heathens] “And draw a blessing down” 2:09
4. [Recitative] “Vouchsafe, dread Sir, a gracious ear” (Didymus, Valens) 1:10
5. [Air] “Racks, gibbets, sword and fire” (Valens) 1:53
6. [Chorus of Heathens] For ever thus stands fixed the doom” 1:46
Scene ll
7. [Recitative] “Most cruel edict!” (Didymus, Septimius) 0:36 
8. [Air] “The rapture’d soul defies the sword” (Didymus) 2:22
9. [Recitative] “I know thy virtues” (Septimius) 0:44
10. [Air] “Descend, kind pity, heav’nly guest” (Septimius) 3:11
Scene lll 
11. [Recitative] “Though hard, my friends” (Theodora) 0:34
12. [Air] “Fond, flatt’ring adieu”(Theodora) 4:03
13. [Recitative] “O bright example of all goodness!” (Irene) 0:40
14. [Chorus of Christmas] “Come, mighty Father” 2:30
Scene lV
15. [Recitative] “Fly, fly, my brethren” (Messenger, Irene) 1:02
16. [Air] “As with rosy steps the morn” (Irene) 2:25
17. [Chorus of Christians] “All pow’r in Heav’n above” 2:23
Scene V 
18. [Recitative] “Mistaken wretches!” (Septimius) 0:24
19. [Air] “Dread the fruits of Christian folly” (Septimius) 1:10
20. [Recitative and Accompagnato] “Deluded mortal!” (Theodora, Septimius) – “Oh, worse than death” (Theodora) 1:20 
21. [Air] “Angels, ever bright and fair” (Theodora) 1:17
Scene Vl
22. [Recitative] “Unhappy, happy crew!” (Didymus, Irene) 0:59
23. [Air] “Kind Heav’n, if virtue be thy care” (Didymus) 2:28
24. [Recitative] “O love, how great thy pow’r!” (Irene) 0:36
25. [Chrous of Christians] “Go, gen’rous, pious youth” 4:09
Total time CD 1: 43:58
Part 2
Scene I
1. [Recitative] “Ye men of Antioch” (Valens, Septimius) 0:37
2. [Chorus of Heathens] “Queen of summer, queen of love” 0:49 
3. [Air] Wide spread his name” (Valens) 2:20
4. [Recitative] “Returns, Septimius” (Valens) 0:46
5. [Chorus of Heathens] “Venus, laughing from the skies” 1:28
Scene ll
6. Symphony. Largo 1:15
7. [Recitative] “O thou bright sun!” (Theodora) 0:44
8. [Air] “With darkness deep as is my woe” (Theodora) 3:32
9. Symphony. Largo 2:10
Scene lV
10. [Recitative] “The clouds begin to veil the heimsphere (Irene) 0:44
11. [Air] “Defend her, Heav’n” (Irene 0:31
Scene V
12. [Recitative] “Or lulled with grief” (Didymus) 0:31
13. [Air] “Sweet rose and lily, flow’ry form” (Didymus) 2:51
14. [Recitative] “O save me, Heav’n” (Theodora, Didymus) 1:35
15. [Air] “The pilgrim’s home, the sick man’s health” (Theodora) 1:28
16. [Accompagnato] “Forbid it, Heav’n” (Didymus) 0:31
17. [Recitative] “Ah! What is liberty” (Didymus, Theodora) 1:06
18. [Duet] “To thee, thou glorious son of worth” (Didymus, Theodora) 4:30
Scene lV
19. [Recitative] “Tis night, but night’s sweet blessing” (Irene) 0:43
20. [Chorus of Christians] “He saw the lovely youth” 4:29
Part lll
Scene l
21. [Air] “Lord, to thee, each night and day” (Irene) 3:09
Scene ll
22. [Recitative] “But see the good, the vituous Didymus!” (Theodora, Irene) 0:51
23. [Solo and Chorus of Christians] “Blest be the hand” (Theodora) 3:12
Scene lll 
24. [Recitative and Accompagnato] “Undaunted in the court” (Messenger, Theodora, Irene)
25. [Duet] “Wither, Princess, do you fly” (Theodora, Irene) 1:33
26. [Recitative] “She’s gone! Disdaining liberty and life” (Irene) 0:40
Scene lV, V, Vl, Vll
27. [Recitative] “Is it a Christian virtue, then” (Valens, Didymus) – “Be that my doom” (Septimius, Theodora) 1:13
28. [Air] “From virtue springs each gen’rous deed” (Septimius) 3:10
29. [Air] “Cease, ye slaves, your fruitless pray’r (Valens) 1:06
30. [Recitative] “Oppose not, Didymus, my just desires” (Theodora) 0:39
31. [Chorus of Heathens] “How strange their ends” 2:47
32. [Recitative] “On me your frowns” (Didymus, Theodora, Valens, Septimius) 1:51
33. [Air and Duet] “Streams of pleasure ever flowing” (Didymus) – “Thither let our hearts aspire” (Didymus, Theodora) 5:24
34. [Recitative] “Ere this their doom is past” (Irene) 0:28
35. [Chorus of Christians] “O Love Divine, thou source of fame” 3:54

Total time CD2:


Total time CD1 + CD2:

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