This is a live recording of Arsys Bourgogne’s performances of Handel’s Israel in Egypt in 2009, which were well-received by the audiences and the press alike. In 2011, this album was awarded the Orphée d’or for the best sacred music recording.
270 years after its creation, Israel in Egypt remains one of the most virtuosic choral pieces in the repertoire. There are no fewer than 28 brilliant choruses that mix and contrast the mass of voices, resulting in a work that is both majestic and noble. None of Handel’s oratorios – not even Messiah – reaches the variety of choral and orchestral writing demonstrated in this masterpiece. The dramatic potential of the choir is exploited in great detail, mostly due to the writing for eight voices. Fugues and double fugues, homophonic declamations and word painting, regulate the game of the two interweaving choirs which are served by an orchestral accompaniment of rare power.