Just back from a performance of Handel’s Israel in Egypt (La Nuova Musica) in Salisbury Cathedral. Less of a crowd-pleaser than Messiah, but great to see/hear them really going for it. They (and Handel) seemed to particularly enjoy the blotches and blains, two words not normally occurring in High Art but dwelt upon here with all manner of ornamentation and flourish. The frogs got some jolly coverage too, though the darkness was obviously less of a laughing matter.
Triumphal music for smiting and drowning is more problematic, but I guess we are wimps; if we were escaping from a brutal slavery and the armoured personnel carriers were coming to mash us to pulp, I’m guessing we would be pretty pleased to see them sucked down in a swamp.
Anyone who wants to hear the blains and blotches can do so, as the oratorio was being broadcast live on R3, so it should turn up on iPlayer.
** from Charles Causley’s splendid poem, King Foo-Foo