Every year, hundreds of choir singers from all over the country and even beyond our borders gather to sing some of the most significant works of music literature under the direction of Gábor Hollerung, after months of preparation and an intensive rehearsal weekend together. This initiative is driven by a passion for singing, which is so important in the life of amateur choirs that it was even possible to make it happen during the pandemic. This year, Handel’s grand oratorio, Israel in Egypt will be performed.

George Frederick Handel wrote his biblical oratorio Israel in Egypt in the autumn of 1738, with biblical texts that were selected and composed by the librettist of the Messiah, Charles Jennens. He wrote the piece at his own pace and completed it in a month. Its première was the highlight of the following season, along with Saul, but unlike its counterpart, it was not a great success with the English audiences of the time, probably because of the predominance of choral parts. In the 19th century, however, Handel’s work became extremely popular, and, as historians have noted, then it was precisely because of the significant role played by the chorus. In this work, unique of its kind, Handel achieves the epitome of the choral oratorio: nineteen choral movements, with only four arias and three duets – it is not by chance, therefore, that is it called a ‘choral epic’. This large-scale composition, setting the exodus of the chosen people from Egypt to music, depicts the ten plagues with unparalleled ingenuity, and creates an impressive arc from the first part, the mourning of Joseph, to the third, the joy of the Jews upon their deliverance and their song of thanksgiving to the Lord. Our concert will feature the second and third parts of the work.


Eszter Zemlényi – soprano
Eszter Balogh – alto
Artúr Szeleczki – tenor
Lóránt Najbauer – bass
Lőrinc Kósa – bass

United Hungarian Choirs

Budafok Dohnányi Orchestra

conducted by: Gábor Hollerung


Händel: Israel in Egypt

2024-05-05 - 19:30
Müpa Budapest - Budapest, Komor Marcell u. 1, 1095
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