2020 Homework project

Handel’s Israel in Egypt will be a future Sing in the Mountains performance. To make a start on learning this wonderful work here are resources for a series of five choruses from Part 1. We join the work in the middle of a sequence of plagues which fall on Egypt which Handel illustrates with descriptive composition. The rivers have just been turned into blood with a particularly gory fugue (No.4), and the Alto soloist has leapt around with frogs and pestilence (No.5).

At No.6 we sing about a plague of flies and lice and locusts with the orchestra buzzing behind us. No.7 delivers a wild thunderstorm with marcato hailstones for rain. After the storm the contrast of a thick darkness (No.8) is painted with a Largo in minor key, low in the register. He smote all the first born of Egypt (No.9) with punchy orchestral chords opening up into a strong Handelian fugue. And then with a reassuring No.10 Handel introduces the exodus as He leads His people forth like sheep to safety.

This below is the sheet music for these five choruses. For rehearsals proper and performance we will buy a full score to keep all the music manageable but for the time being you can print these choruses whilst we explore them.

For Phoenix Choir members we have the usual Noteflight rehearsal resources on the Phoenix Choir website, and these are the links:

Handel: Israel in Egypt
Chorus 6-10
Noteflight Resources
06. He spake the word
07. He gave them hailstones for rain
08. He sent a thick darkness
09. He smote all the first-born of Egypt
10. But as for his people

In addition we have sourced rehearsal recordings with live voices and piano and links for these five choruses are attached below. You can either play these from here, or right click (two fingers on Apple) to save on your computer.

Soprano

Soprano No.6 page 21: He spake the word
Soprano No.7 page 30: He gave them hailstones
Soprano No.8 page 39: He sent a thick darkness
Soprano No.9 page 42: He smote all the first-born
Soprano No.10 page 48: But as for his people

Alto

Alto No.6 page 21: He spake the word
Alto No.7 page 30: He gave them hailstones
Alto No.8 page 39: He sent a thick darkness
Alto No.9 page 42: He smote all the first-born
Alto No.10 page 48: But as for his people

Tenor

Tenor No.6 page 21: He spake the word
Tenor No.7 page 30: He gave them hailstones
Tenor No.8 page 39: He sent a thick darkness
Tenor No.9 page 42: He smote all the first-born
Tenor No.10 page 48: But as for his people

Bass

Bass No.6 page 21: He spake the word
Bass No.7 page 30: He gave them hailstones
Bass No.8 page 39: He sent a thick darkness
Bass No.9 page 42: He smote all the first-born
Bass No.10 page 48: But as for his people