De Fesch: Joseph

De Fesch: Joseph
Composer Willem de Fesch
Artist Claron McFadden soprano
Roberta Alexander soprano
Susanna ten Wolde soprano
Susanna Moncayo von Hase alto
Nico van der Meel tenor
Hans Vonk tenor
Jasper Schweppe baritone
Tom Sol bass
Nationaal Kinderkoor
Viri Cantores
Musica ad Rhenum
Jed Wentz conductor
Format 3 CD
Cat. number 96107
EAN code 5028421961071
Release February 2021

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About this release

Long unavailable, the only recording of a colourful oratorio by a leading Dutch composer of the 18th century.
Born in Alkmaar, De Fesch was a virtuoso violinist and composer who held several posts in his homeland and had a number of publications to his credit before going to London in 1731. There he became De the leader of Handel's orchestra as well as composing for both the stage and the concert hall. Dating from 1744-5, Joseph was first performed at the forerunner to the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden, but the score fell from circulation and was presumed lost until its rediscovery in 1980. A few revival performances followed before this beautifully prepared, period-instrument recording was made in 2000.
Joseph is not a Hendelian oratorio with a hero or heroine like Samson or Esther: the theme is envy and the forgiveness found through faith in God. The concision and compactness in De Fesch's concertos is also in evidence throughout Joseph. The piece ‘was purposefully crafted in a lighter style,’ according to its conductor, the flautist and founder of Musica ad Rhenum, Jed Wentz. ‘It is pure opera seria and not really a Handelian oratorio. It has an excellent, compact libretto, charming, virtuoso arias, and a minimum of choruses.’
De Fesch’s lively and experienced sense of theatre is conveyed by this recording, made with a distinguished cast of mostly Dutch-based early music singers. ‘The performers excel in this rare literature and certainly are well cast in their respective roles… Jed Wentz elicits an excellent sound from the choir and period-instrument orchestra; both are consistently focused, eager, and highly responsive.’ Fanfare, January 2002

- Willem de Fesch (1687-1761), of Flemish ancestry, was born in the Dutch city of Alkmaar. He and his parents went back to Liege (Belgium) for several years, bit Willem returned to Amsterdam where he became a celebrated musician and composer. After a tenure as choir master in Antwerp he left for London in 1730 where he stayed till his death in 1761, a successful composer and violinist.
- De Fesch’ oratorio Joseph was premiered in 1745 at Covent Garden. Written in the grand Handel Oratorio tradition it features recitatives, dramatic arias and duets and choruses.
- The performance is on period instruments by Musica ad Rhenum conducted by Jed Wentz, the soloists include Claron McFadden, Roberta Alexander, Tom Sol, Nico van der Meel and others.
- Previously issued on the NM Classics label.

Track list

Disk 1

  1. Willem de Fesch: Joseph, Pt. 1: Overture
  2. Willem de Fesch: Joseph, Pt. 1: I. 1a Rec. Jacob Be ware You Talk no More of these Your Idle Slumbers...
  3. Willem de Fesch: Joseph, Pt. 1: II. 1b Arioso Jacob and Chorus Happy Youth
  4. Willem de Fesch: Joseph, Pt. 1: III. 1c Rec. Jacob But Hark the Host of Cherubims!...
  5. Willem de Fesch: Joseph, Pt. 1: IV. 1d Chorus Happy Youth
  6. Willem de Fesch: Joseph, Pt. 1: V. 2a Rec. Joseph Alas my Eager Haste to Shew my fond Obedience...
  7. Willem de Fesch: Joseph, Pt. 1: VI. 2b Aria Joseph I'll the Lion Dauntless Meet
  8. Willem de Fesch: Joseph, Pt. 1: VII. 3a Rec. Joseph And See Where Sent by Providence a Guide Arrives..
  9. Willem de Fesch: Joseph, Pt. 1: VIII. 3b Aria Joseph Let me Hasten Away
  10. Willem de Fesch: Joseph, Pt. 1: IX. 4a Rec. Reuben Surely Did Not Our Faintness Tell This World's Great Eye...
  11. Willem de Fesch: Joseph, Pt. 1: X. 4b Aria Reuben Underneath This Plantane Shade
  12. Willem de Fesch: Joseph, Pt. 1: XI. 5a Rec. Simeon See in a Lucky Moment Comes the Hated Dreamer...
  13. Willem de Fesch: Joseph, Pt. 1: XII. 5b Aria Joseph Tremble Shudder at the Guilt
  14. Willem de Fesch: Joseph, Pt. 1: XIII. 6a Rec. Reuben With What Intrepid Air & Reason Argues He...
  15. Willem de Fesch: Joseph, Pt. 1: XIV. 6b Chorus Let It be so
  16. Willem de Fesch: Joseph, Pt. 1: XV. 6c Rec. Simeon There, Saucy Vanter Sleep Your Fill...
  17. Willem de Fesch: Joseph, Pt. 1: XVI. 6d Arioso Simeon Dream Again of Sun and Moon
  18. Willem de Fesch: Joseph, Pt. 1: XVII. 7a Rec. acc. Joseph Oh Barbarous Effect of Jealous Pride…
  19. Willem de Fesch: Joseph, Pt. 1: XVIII. 7b Aria Joseph Take me Dying, Silent Grave
  20. Willem de Fesch: Joseph, Pt. 1: XIX. 8a Rec. Simeon But a Few paces Farther and We'll Find Him…
  21. Willem de Fesch: Joseph, Pt. 1: XX. 8b Rec. Joseph Alass Where am I Going?...
  22. Willem de Fesch: Joseph, Pt. 1: XXI. 8c Aria Ishmaelite O'er the Desarts, O'er the Main

Disk 2

  1. Willem de Fesch: Joseph, Pt. 2: I. 9a Rec. Reuben These Thorns & Brambles I Remark'd...
  2. Willem de Fesch: Joseph, Pt. 2: II. 9b Aria Reuben O Gracious Lord, O Lord of Israel
  3. Willem de Fesch: Joseph, Pt. 2: III. 10 Rec./Aria Jacob Unheard of Carelessness or Dastard Cowardice...
  4. Willem de Fesch: Joseph, Pt. 2: IV. 11a Rec. Joseph How wisely Providence Bechequers Still Our Pilgrimage...
  5. Willem de Fesch: Joseph, Pt. 2: V. 11b Aria Joseph Let me Ever Look to Thee
  6. Willem de Fesch: Joseph, Pt. 2: VI. 12a Rec. Joseph But Still one Dread Remains Not in the Least...
  7. Willem de Fesch: Joseph, Pt. 2: VII. 12b Aria Potiphar's Wife Such a Lovely Prudent Youth
  8. Willem de Fesch: Joseph, Pt. 2: VIII. 13a Rec. Joseph Too well, I Dread, I Understand Her...
  9. Willem de Fesch: Joseph, Pt. 2: IX. 13b Aria Joseph the Mower Calls with Chearfull Note
  10. Willem de Fesch: Joseph, Pt. 2: X. 14a Rec. acc. Potiphar's Wife Sure I in Absence of the Lord...
  11. Willem de Fesch: Joseph, Pt. 2: XI. 14b Duetto Potiphar's Wife/Joseph You/I See What I Dare not Say
  12. Willem de Fesch: Joseph, Pt. 2: XII. 15a Rec. acc. Potiphar’s Wife Furies! Death and Torture
  13. Willem de Fesch: Joseph, Pt. 2: XIII. 15b Aria Potiphar’s Wife Dark and Dismal Thoughts
  14. Willem de Fesch: Joseph, Pt. 2: XIV. 16a Rec. Potiphar’s Wife and See Where Opportunety Comes…
  15. Willem de Fesch: Joseph, Pt. 2: XV. 16b Duetto Potiphar’s Wife/Potiphar Revenge Inspires me/Honour Fires me

Disk 3

  1. Willem de Fesch: Joseph, Pt. 3: I. 17a Rec. Joseph What Strange Revolutions Yet...
  2. Willem de Fesch: Joseph, Pt. 3: II. 17b Aria Joseph The Lord Who from the Murd'ring Knife
  3. Willem de Fesch: Joseph, Pt. 3: III. 18a Rec. General Where is the Pris'ner so Renown'd...
  4. Willem de Fesch: Joseph, Pt. 3: IV. 18b Aria General Honour, Wealth & Power Too
  5. Willem de Fesch: Joseph, Pt. 3: V. 19a Rec. Reuben Oh Racking Torment...
  6. Willem de Fesch: Joseph, Pt. 3: VI. 19b Chorus Prostrate on the Earth We'll Say
  7. Willem de Fesch: Joseph, Pt. 3: VII. 19c Arioso Reuben with Contrite Heart & Weeping Eyes
  8. Willem de Fesch: Joseph, Pt. 3: VIII. 19d Rec. Simeon to our Contrition Let us Add Obedience...
  9. Willem de Fesch: Joseph, Pt. 3: IX. 20 Chorus Blow the Fife with Chearfull Noise
  10. Willem de Fesch: Joseph, Pt. 3: X. 21a Rec. General Thus by our Sovereign's Command...
  11. Willem de Fesch: Joseph, Pt. 3: XI. 21b Rec. Acc. Joseph Ye Lofty Columns, Guilded Roofs...
  12. Willem de Fesch: Joseph, Pt. 3: XII. 21c Rec. Joseph But Bless my Eyes!...
  13. Willem de Fesch: Joseph, Pt. 3: XIII. 21d Aria Joseph Wisdom with Its Poignant Eye
  14. Willem de Fesch: Joseph, Pt. 3: XIV. 21e Rec. Joseph Away With 'em...
  15. Willem de Fesch: Joseph, Pt. 3: XV. 22a Rec. Joseph How heav'n Show'rs its Blessings on me...
  16. Willem de Fesch: Joseph, Pt. 3: XVI. 22b Aria Joseph Blood, this Hasty Course Give O'er
  17. Willem de Fesch: Joseph, Pt. 3: XVII. 22c Rec. Joseph I Must Within Repose my Self to Calmness...
  18. Willem de Fesch: Joseph, Pt. 3: XVIII. 23a Rec. Simeon We're Now Upon Ægyptian Ground...
  19. Willem de Fesch: Joseph, Pt. 3: XXIX. 23b Aria Simeon the Howling Wolf at Midnight Roams
  20. Willem de Fesch: Joseph, Pt. 3: XXX. 24a Rec. Joseph Bring in the Strangers...
  21. Willem de Fesch: Joseph, Pt. 3: XXXI. 24b Aria Benjamin Feeding Flocks Upon the Plain
  22. Willem de Fesch: Joseph, Pt. 3: XXXII. 25a Chorus in Your All-Discerning Mind
  23. Willem de Fesch: Joseph, Pt. 3: XXXIII. 25b Rec. Joseph I Can Withhold no Longer...
  24. Willem de Fesch: Joseph, Pt. 3: XXXIV. 25c Aria Joseph Whilst my Rapture I Conceal
  25. Willem de Fesch: Joseph, Pt. 3: XXXV. 26a Rec. Joseph They Do not Yet Discover me...
  26. Willem de Fesch: Joseph, Pt. 3: XXXVI. 26b Chorus O heav'ns Our Brother
  27. Willem de Fesch: Joseph, Pt. 3: XXXVII. 26c Rec. Joseph I Pray Ye Rise...
  28. Willem de Fesch: Joseph, Pt. 3: XXXVIII. 26d Duetto Joseph/Simeon O Delight Beyond Expressing/O Unutterable Blessing
  29. Willem de Fesch: Joseph, Pt. 3: XXXIX. 27 Chorus Let Us Our Gratefull Voices Raise