Judas Maccabaeus


Old St. Paul's & St. David's, Dundee
Wednesday 31st January 1968

St. Ninian's Cathedral, Perth
Friday 2nd February 1968

Old Parish Church, Arbroath
Friday 9th February 1968


Enid High (soprano)
Moira Smith (soprano)
Margaret Prain (contralto)
John Corbett (tenor)
Stuart Bannerman (tenor)
Charles Sinclair (baritone)

with The Chandos Choir,
The Blyth Consort and
George Adams (organ)

conducted by Melville Young

Tenor Aria "Sound an Alarm"

The Finale to Part 2
I apologise for this version of the Finale which makes no impact at
the start of the C major ending.  Having sung "to the rude stock or
sculptured stone", this is repeated by the chorus.  In the performance
I made each repetition progressively softer until we reached a p & rall.

After a short break I perceived the "We worship God and God alone,
and God alone" as being proclaimed defiantly by a proud race, therefore
allargando and triple forte!  The start of the following fugue was geared
down to a forte and the tempo increased, the final chordial phrase again
reinforcing the defiant declaration fff.

Press reporting in Dundee Courier and Advertiser
following the first performance:-

"When was Handel's 'Judas Maccabaeus' last performed in Dundee?  By the Choral Union in 1953?

Since then, no doubt, there have been excerpts by church choirs, but the neglect of this oratorio was reason enough for Melville Young to present it last night in Old St. Paul's and St. David's Church.

He conducted a lovingly shaped performance by the Chandos Choir, six soloists and the Blyth  Consort (leader, Magdalen Napier) with George Adams at the organ.

The choir of familiar singers has taken its title aptly from the Duke of Chandos who was Handel's patron.  The chorus was well balanced and sang with plenty of colour and feeling, from the subtle shimmering pianissimo of the opening text to the triple forte of 'We worship God alone' which closed part 2 where Melville Young unleashed the awesome power of The Chandos.

Enid High (soprano) and John Corbett (tenor) shared the oratorio's finest airs.  Miss High sang beautifully in the difficult and technically demanding 'From mighty kings he took the spoil,' and with agility in 'So shall the lute and harp awake.'  Mr. Corbett's 'Sound an alarm' was an anticipated highlight, like 'With honour let desert be crowned' in the oratorio's final part.

Moira Smith (soprano) and Stuart Bannerman (tenor) combined well in the early duets while Margaret Prain (contralto) sang an eloquent 'Father of Heaven.'  Charles Sinclair (baritone) was absolutely majestic in "Arm, arm, ye brave.'

The night was an invaluable experience for the young orchestral players, George Adams' organ accompaniment adding weight to the instrumentalists."