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A release created by Josef-Stefan Kindler and Andreas Otto Grimminger in direct-2-track-stereo-digital

George Frideric Handel (1685-1759)


The complete recording of the English Oratorio HWV 70,
performed according to the traditions of the time

Kirsten Blaise - Soprano
Annelie Sophie Müller - Mezzosoprano
David Allsopp - Altus / Countertenor
Benjamin Hulett - Tenor
Simon Bailey - Bass
Maulbronn Chamber Choir
Ensemble il capriccio (Baroque Orchestra)
Jürgen Budday - Music Director & Conductor

A concert recording from the church of the German
UNESCO World Heritage Site Maulbronn Monastery,
September 29th & 30th, 2012,
recorded, released & created
by Andreas Otto Grimminger & Josef-Stefan Kindler.

Sound & Recording Engineer: Andreas Otto Grimminger
Mastering: Andreas Otto Grimminger & Josef-Stefan Kindler
Photography: Josef-Stefan Kindler
Artwork & Coverdesign: Josef-Stefan Kindler

Libretto (html) | Libretto (pdf)

2-CD-Box Audio · DDD · Duration: 163 Minutes / 2 h:43 m
KuK 111 · ISBN 978-3-942801-11-9 · EAN 42 6000591 084 1
Copyright by K&K Verlagsanstalt anno 2013.

Purchase the 2-CD-Box | Download the MP3 Album

This recording is part of a cycle of oratorios and masses, performed at Maulbronn monastery over the past years. The series combines authentically performed baroque oratorios with the optimal acoustics and atmosphere of this unique monastic church. This ideal location demands the transparency of playing and the interpretive unveiling of the rhetoric intimations of the composition, which is especially aided by the historically informed performance. The music is exclusively performed on reconstructed historical instruments, tuned in the pitch, which was customary during the composer's lifetime (a = 415 Hz)..

Image by Josef-Stefan Kindler, All rights reserved.

With "Jephtha" you listen to the 11th Handel-Oratorio
from this concert-cycle, which is documented on disc.

Jephta was Handel's last work of great dimensions. It was written in 1751 in London. It was performed for the first time at Covent Garden at february, 26. in 1752. Händel's last dramatical work was in the same time the most poetic of his oratories. The tension is not created by action but by the inner aspect of Jephta's unsolvible solitude. Expelled from Gilead by his half-brothers, he grows up in exile and becomes a godfearing army commander, while Gilead is suppressed by the Ammonites. After 18 years of slavery, the eldest of Gilead ask Jephta to free them from their tyrants. As army commander, Jephta swears his god Jehova to sacrifice to him the first creature he will meet after victory. He can't see that it's his own daughter Iphis to take this burdon upon her shoulders. The desperation of Jephta, mother Storge and lover Hamor is met by the courage of Iphis, who comes to show herself as a true heroine. The tragical conflict of the sacrifice of his own daughter is turned to a good end, inspite of the outlines of the old testament. The music is of an overwhelming forcefulness and beauty. Jephta's importance is based in the first place on the imposing choir scenes. The choir has double function: at one hand he takes part in action actively, on the other hand he stays in the backround and comments on the story.

About the story:

Jephtha is the illegitimate son of the Israelite leader, Gilead. On Gilead's death (over eighteen years before the action begins) Jephtha was scorned and thrown out of Israel by his half-brothers. He has been living in Tob with his wife, Storgè, and their daughter, Iphis, who was born in exile. Soon after Jephtha's exile the Ammonites attacked Israel and began a long and bitter war.

Act One:

The Israelites have been at war with the Ammonites for the past eighteen years. All their military leaders have been killed, and the people have begun to turn away from Jehovah and worship false gods. In desperation they ask the exiled Jephtha to return and lead their forces in a final offensive against the Ammonite occupation. Jephtha agrees to lead the army on condition that he is allowed to lead the country if he wins the battle. The Israelites, led by Jephtha's half‑brother, Zebul, agree to his demand. He says goodbye to his wife and daughter. Iphis then says goodbye to the Israelite, Hamor, to whom she is engaged and who will fight alongside her father in the forthcoming battle. Jephtha is worried about the outcome of the battle and privately makes a deal with God: if he returns victorious, he will sacrifice the first living thing that he sees on his return. Meanwhile his wife is afraid that some misfortune will happen, and is comforted after a nightmare by her daughter and servants. Jephtha, who has failed to secure a peace by treaty, prepares his Israelite forces for the battle.

Act Two:

Hamor informs Iphis of her father's victory, and describes the miracle of the battle, in which an army of angels signalled the enemy's defeat. She asks her servants to prepare to welcome her father back. Jephtha returns triumphant and commends the bravery of his officers, Zebul and Hamor, but says that God deserves the real credit for the victory. Iphis then appears unexpectedly to greet her father with her servants. Jephtha is horrified to realize that it his daughter who is the subject of his rash promise to God. He is forced to tell everyone of his vow, and all try to persuade him to change his mind. He refuses. Iphis herself convinces him that she will go ahead with the with the sacrifice for the sake of her country and family. The community wrestles with the nature of the goodness of a God who asks for the murder of a child.

Act Three:

Jephtha, his wife and the community prepare for Iphis's sacrifice. She is very frightened and says goodbye to everyone. The whole community appeals to God for guidance. Just as Iphis is being dragged off to her death an angel appears and forbids the sacrifice to proceed: Iphis must dedicate herself to a life of chastity and the service of God. Jephtha and the community thank God for sparing Iphis's life. Storgè and her servants prepare for Iphis to leave. lphis and Hamor say a final goodbye to each other. Everyone tries their best to rejoice at the happy and strange end to their troubles, and the peace which Jephtha's military leadership has secured.


Image by Josef-Stefan Kindler, All rights reserved.

Kirsten Blaise ~ Soprano (Iphis, Jephtha's Daughter & Angel)

Soprano Kirsten Blaise has gained a particular reputation in operatic and concert works of the Baroque and Classical eras, but her repertoire also embraces such composers as Schubert, Mendelssohn, Brahms, Wagner, Mahler and, among leading contemporary figures, John Adams and Michael Finnissy. Born in America, and trained at Indiana University's renowned School of Music, Kirsten Blaise made her professional debut in Indiana in 1996 before moving to Europe to develop her international career. She currently resides in Germany. From 2007 to 2009, as a member of the company at the Badisches Staatstheater in Karlsruhe. At Paris' Theâtre du Châtelet she has appeared as Woglinde in Wagner's Ring, conducted by Christoph Eschenbach, and has also performed at the Staatsoper Stuttgart, De Nederlandse Opera in Amsterdam, the Salzburg Landestheater, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis und Opera Lafayette in Washington D.C. In Summer 2012 she sings Angelica in Haydn's Orlando Paladino at Sweden's Drottningholm Festival. 2011 brought her debut alongside actor John Malkovich in the music-theatre piece The Infernal Comedy, which toured Germany, France, the UK and North and South America. Numbering among her festival appearances are the Holland Festival, Ludwigsburger Schlossfestpiele, the Halle Handel Festival, the Beethoven Easter Festival in Warsaw (with the Bremen Kammerphilharmonie under Trevor Pinnock), Oregon Bach Festival, Carmel Bach Festival. Kirsten Blaise has also collaborated with the Stuttgart Bachakademie and Helmuth Rilling and orchestras such as the BBC Symphony, London Sinfonietta, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, Noord Nederlands Orkest, Brooklyn Philharmonic, American Classical Orchestra, Dallas Bach Society, Edmonton Symphony and Le Parlement de Musique.

Annelie Sophie Müller ~ Mezzo-Soprano (Storgè, Iphis' Mother)

Annelie Sophie Müller was born in Freiburg i. Brsg., Germany. At very young age she had already learned to play the violin, the piano, percussion and to dance ballet. She started to take her first singing lessons when she was 19. She studied Vocal, Interpretation of Songs, and Pedagogical Music (main instrument piano) in Stuttgart, Germany. Annelie Sophie Müller got an invitation in 2010 from the Komische Oper Berlin to join the Opera Studio, therefore she finished her studies in this year. She received further musical education through masterclasses with Ks. Brigitte Fassbaender, Ks. Christa Ludwig, Thomas Hampson and Ingeborg Danz, which had influenced her intensely. Now her current teacher is Danish Professor Susanna Eken. Annelie Sophie Müller has performed with conductors such as Maurizio Barbacini, Alexander Vedernikov, Henrik Nánási, Konrad Junghänel, Axel Kober and Patrick Lange. She has also worked with stage directors such as Barrie Kosky, Calixto Bieito and Andreas Homoki. For the part of Pe- Ki, her first big part on stage, Annelie Sophie Müller received a nomination for "best upcoming singer 2012" in the journal "Opernwelt". In 2010 at the International Song Competition of the International Hugo- Wolf- Academie in Stuttgart, Germany, she was given first prize. Annelie Sophie Müller received a scholarship from the Baden- Württemberg- Stipendium and a scholarship from the Richard-Wagner-Organisation Germany. She also took part at the Academie Festival d'Aix-en-Provence in 2011 and she was in the Academy of Heidelberger Frühling in 2012. As an interpret of art songs Annelie Sophie Müller gave several concerts at famous festivals.

David Allsopp ~ Altus, Countertenor (Hamor, in love with Iphis)

The "highly intelligent, vocally brilliant countertenor" David Allsopp began his musical training at an early age as a chorister at Rochester Cathedral and went on to spend four years as a choral scholar at the King's College in Cambridge. From there he moved to the renowned Westminster Cathedral Choir where he combined his growing career as a soloist with the daily services. David sings with many of London's major consort groups and has toured extensively both in Europe and further afield. On the solo platform, he has given many performances - although he specialises mainly in Baroque repertoire, his background means that he is equally at home with renaissance and medieval works and with more modern composers such as Britten and Tavener. Recent appearances have seen David in venues such as Karlsruhe Opera House, the Musikverein in Vienna and St John's, Smith Square in London.

Benjamin Hulett ~ Tenor (Jephtha)

The young and honoured British Tenor is currently principal tenor at the Hamburg State Opera and recently made his debut at the "Bayerische Staatsoper" Munich as "Oronte" in Handel's Alcina. He has appeared for example at the BBC Proms under Sir Andrew Davies, Sir Roger Norrington and Sir John Eliot Gardiner, the Amsterdam Concertgebouw under Phillippe Herreweghe, Markus Stenz and Jos van Veldhoven, the Halle Handel Festival under Howard Arman and Frieder Bernius. Other concert appearances include those with the BBC Symphony, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, English Chamber Orchestra, RPO, King's Consort, Wiener Akademie, Monteverdi Choir, Orchestre des Champs-Elysees, Stavanger Symphony and Hamburg Philharmonic Orchestras. Benjamin Hulett studied musicology at the New College in Oxford and opera and vocal technique at Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London.

Simon Bailey ~ Bass (Zebul, Jephtha's Brother)

Simon Bailey was born in Lincoln and read music at Clare College, Cambridge University. Simon subsequently studied at the La Scala Academy, Milan and won the Concorso Internazionale dell'Accademia del Teatro alla Scala in 1999, the Concorso Vocale Internazionale di Musica Sacra 2004, and was a semi-finalist in the Placido Domingo Operalia competition 2003. In August 2002 he joined the ensemble of Opera Frankfurt as a company principal. Simon's exceptional vocal range has enabled him to perform a rich variety of roles across the bass and baritone repertoire including Figaro Le Nozze di Figaro (La Scala, Rouen and Festival de la Vézere in Limoges), Schaunard La Bohème (La Scala) and Mustafa L'italiana in Algeri (Accademia Rossiniana in Pesaro). He sang the title role in Handel's Hercules at the Athens Festival to critical and public acclaim at the Herodes Atticus Odeon, later repeated in Reims cathedral and the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam and was invited by Luigi Alva to Lima, Peru to debut Enrico in Lucia di Lammermoor. Further guest engagements for Opéra de Lille, Glyndebourne Festival, La Scala, Milan, Truffaldino Theater an der Wien, Opéra de Lille and Dublin etc. Simon has appeared in recital at the Teatro Britanico, Lima, and also several times in recital at La Scala. Engagements in 2012/2013 included Alfonso Cosi fan tutte, Chabrier L'Étoile, Leporello Don Giovanni, Nick Shadow The Rake's Progress, Figaro Le Nozze di Figaro and title role Bluebeard's Castle with Oper Frankfurt and Gurnemanz Parsifal (in concert) in Bad Homburg and Wiesbaden. Subsequent engagements include Méphistophélès Damnation de Faust for Staatstheater Stuttgart.

Image by Josef-Stefan Kindler, All rights reserved.

Maulbronn Chamber Choir (German: 'Maulbronner Kammerchor')

The Maulbronn Chamber Choir was founded in 1983 and counts today as one of the renowned chamber choirs in Europe. Awards like the first places at the Baden-Württemberg Choir Competitions in 1989 and 1997, the second place at the German Choir Competition in 1990, the first prize at the German Choir Competition in 1998, the second place at the International Chamber Choir Competition in Marktoberdorf 2009 and the first place at the Malta Choir Competition show the extraordinary musical calibre of this ensemble. The Chamber Choir has managed to make quite a name for itself on the international scene, too. It was received enthusiastically by audiences and reviewers alike during its debut tour through the USA in 1983, with concerts in New York, Indianapolis and elsewhere. Its concert tours in many European countries, in Israel and Argentina as well as in South Africa and Namibia have also met with a similar response. Since 1997 the choir performs oratorios by George Frideric Handel each year. All these performances were documented on disc; because of that the Maulbronn Chamber Choir holds a leading position as a interpreter of this genre internationally.

Image by Josef-Stefan Kindler, All rights reserved.Jürgen Budday ~ Conductor & Music Director

Prof. Jürgen Budday (born 1948) is conductor, director of church music, music teacher and artistic director of the concert series at the UNESCO World Heritage Site Maulbronn Abbey. He started teached at the Evangelical Seminar in Maulbronn from 1979 till 2012. This also involved his taking over as artistic director of the Maulbronn Monastery Concerts and the cantor choir in 1979. He studied church music and musicology at the Academy of Music in Stuttgart from 1967 to 1974. In 1992, he was named Director of Studies, in 1995 came the appointment as Director of Church Music and in 1998 he was honored with the "Bundesverdienstkreuz" (German Cross of Merit) as well as the Bruno-Frey Prize from the State Academy in Ochsenhausen for his work in music education. In 1983 Jürgen Budday founded the Maulbronn Chamber Choir (Maulbronner Kammerchor) with whom he won numerous national and international awards. At the Prague International Choir Festival, for example, Jürgen Budday received an award as best director. Since 2002, he has also held the chair of the Choral Committee of the German Music Council and became director and jury chairman of the "German Choir Competition" (Deutscher Chorwettbewerb). In 2008, he received the silver Johannes-Brenz-Medal, the highest honoring of the Evangelical-Lutheran Church in Wuerttemberg. Jürgen Budday was honoured in 2011 with the honorary title "Professor". In May 2013 Prof. Jürgen Budday was awarded by the Association of German Concert Choirs with the "George-Frideric-Handel-Ring" - one of the highest honors for choir conductors in Germany. Thus Jürgen Budday followed Helmuth Rilling, who was honored with the ring from 2009 till 2013. Jürgen Budday has started a cycle of Handel oratorios that is planned to span several years, which involves working with soloists like wie Emma Kirkby, Miriam Allan, Michael Chance, Nancy Argenta, Mark Le Brocq, Charles Humphries, Stephen Varcoe (to name but a few). The live recordings of these performances, that have received the highest praise from reviewers, has won him international recognition. Till these days 11 oratorios by G.F.Handel are documented on discs. "No conductor and no choir have so consistently recorded so many Handel oratorios as Jürgen Budday and his Maulbronn Chamber Choir." (Dr. Karl Georg Berg, Handel Memoranda Halle 2008).

Ensemble Il Capriccio

Image by Josef-Stefan Kindler, All rights reserved.

Friedemann Wezel ~ Concert Master
Christine Trinks, Dmitry Formitchev, Isabelle Farr, Dietlind Mayer, Konstanze Winkelmann, Katka Stursova-Ozaki, Semadar Schidlowsky ~ Violin
David Dieterle, Hiltrud Hampe, Jeanette Doree ~ Viola
Juris Teichmanis, Christine Wiegräbe ~ Cello
Martin Frithjof Grabner, Kiyomi Sobue ~ Double Bass
Evelyn Laib ~ Harpsichord
Andrea Baur ~ Lute
Monika Scholand ~ Flute
Ingo Müller, Gustav Friedrichssohn ~ Oboe
Rhoda Patrick, Mechthild Alpers ~ Bassoon
Ulrich Hübner, Karen Libischewski ~ French Horn
Patrick Henrichs, Nicolas Ousseni ~ Trumpet

Maulbronn Chamber Choir

Image by Josef-Stefan Kindler, All rights reserved.

Nicole Schuffert, Elisabeth Hofmann, Claudia Fischer, Birgit Petkau, Ilka Hüftle,
Karin Unold, Sabine Stöffler, Susanne Laenger, Caroline Albert,
Annette Weippert, Monika Martin, Kathrin Brumm

Marianne Kodweis, Marianne Krämer, Christiane Gölz, Kathrin Gölz, Anja Pommerien,
Helen Duhm, Carmen Andruschkewitsch, Salome Martin, Marie König, Renate Secker, Ina Sproll

Hartmut Meier, Jonas Meier, Tobias Bastian, Konrad Mohl,
Ulrich Kiefner, Sebastian Fuierer, Bernd Reichenecker


Hansjörg Lechler, Simon Albrecht, Hanns Pommerien, Daniel Fritsch,
Peter Nagel, Leonid Grau, Jo Dohse, Timmy Ebert, Maik Schwarz

Audiophile Concert Recordings

by Josef-Stefan Kindler & Andreas Otto Grimminger,

The Maulbronn Monastery Release Series: "Maulbronn Monastery Edition"

Publishing Authentic Classical Concerts entails for us capturing and recording for posterity outstanding performances and concerts. The performers, audience, opus and room enter into an intimate dialogue that in its form and expression, its atmosphere, is unique and unrepeatable. It is our aim, the philosophy of our house, to enable the listener to acutely experience every facet of this symbiosis, the intensity of the performance, so we record the concerts in direct 2-Track Stereo digital. The results are unparalleled interpretations of musical and literary works, simply - audiophile snapshots of permanent value. Flourishing culture, enthralling the audience and last but not least also you the listener, are the values we endeavor to document in our editions and series.

The concerts in the UNESCO World Heritage Maulbronn Monastery supply the ideal conditions for our aspirations. It is, above all, the atmosphere of the romantic, candle-lit arches, the magic of the monastery in its unadulterated sublime presence and tranquillity that impresses itself upon the performers and audience of these concerts. Renowned soloists and ensembles from the international arena repeatedly welcome the opportunity to appear here - enjoying the unparalleled acoustic and architectural beauty of this World Heritage Site, providing exquisite performances of secular and sacred music, documented by us in our Maulbronn Monastery Edition.

Andreas Otto Grimminger & Josef-Stefan Kindler
K&K Verlagsanstalt

George Frideric Handel (1685-1759)


Sacred drama in three acts

Libretto by
Thomas Morell (1703-1784)
Libretto (pdf)

Disc I

1. Ouverture

Act One

Scene 1

2. Accompagnato ~ Zebul (Bass)
It must be so, or these vile Ammonites,
Our lordly tyrants now these eighteen years,
Will crush the race of Israel.
Since Heav'n vouchsafes not, with immediate choice,
To point us out a leader, as before,
Ourselves must choose. And who so fit a man
As Gilead's son, our brother, valiant Jephtha?
True, we have slighted, scorn'd, expell'd him hence
As of a stranger born, but well I know him:
His gen'rous soul disdains a mean revenge
When his distressful country calls his aid.
And perhaps Heav'n may favour our request
If with repentant hearts we sue for mercy.

3. Air ~ Zebul (Bass)
Pour forth no more unheeded pray'rs
To idols deaf and vain.
No more with vile unhallow'd airs
The sacred rites profane.

4. Chorus of Israelites
No more to Ammon's god and king,
Fierce Moloch, shall our cymbals ring,
In dismal dance around the furnace blue.
Chemosh no more will we adore
With timbrell'd anthems to Jehovah due.

Scene 2

5. Recitative

Zebul (Bass)
But Jephtha comes. Kind Heav'n, assist our plea.
O Jephtha, with an eye of pity look
On thy repentant brethren in distress.
Forgetful of thy wrongs, redress thy sire
Thy friends, thy country in extreme despair.

Jephtha (Tenor)
I will, so please it Heav'n, and these the terms:
If I command in war, the like command,
Should Heav'en vouchsafe us a victorious peace,
Shall still be mine.

Zebul (Bass)
Agreed. Be witness, Heaven.

6. Air ~ Jephtha (Tenor)
Virtue my soul shall still embrace,
Goodness shall make me great.
Who builds upon this steady base
Dreads no event of fate.
...da capo

7. Recitative ~ Storgè (Mezzo-Soprano)
'Twill be a painful separation, Jephtha,
To see thee harness'd for the bloody field.
But ah, how trivial are a wife's concerns
When a whole nation bleeds, and grov'ling lies,
Panting for liberty and life.

Air ~ Storgè (Mezzo-Soprano)
In gentle murmurs will I mourn,
As mourns the mate-forsaken dove,
And sighing wish thy dear return
To liberty and lasting love.

Scene 3

8. Recitative ~ Hamor (Altus)
Happy this embassy, my charming Iphis,
Which once more gives thee to my longing eyes,
As Cynthia, breaking from th'involving clouds
On the benighted traveller. The sight
Of thee, my love, drives darkness and despair.
Again I live, in thy sweet smiles I live,
As in thy father's ever-watchful care
Our wretched nation feels new life, new joy.
Oh haste, and make my happiness complete!

9. Air ~ Hamor (Altus)
Dull delay, in piercing anguish,
Bids the faithful lover languish,
While he pants for bliss in vain.
Oh, with gentle smiles relieve me.
Let no more false hopes deceive me,
Nor vain fears inflict a pain.

10. Recitative ~ Iphis (Soprano)
Ill suits the voice of love when glory calls,
And bids thee follow Jephtha to the field.
There act the hero, and let rival deeds
Proclaim thee worthy to be calI'd his son,
And Hamor shall not want his due reward.

Air ~ Iphis (Soprano)
Take the heart you fondly gave,
Lodg'd in your breast with mine.
Thus with double ardour brave,
Sure conquest shall be thine.

11. Recitative ~ Hamor (Altus)
l go. My soul, inspir'd by thy command,
Thirsts for the battle. I'm already crown'd
With the victorious wreath, and thou, fair prize,
More worth than fame or conquest, thou art mine.

Duet ~ Iphis (Soprano) & Hamor (Altus)
These labours past, how happy we!
How glorious will they prove,
When gath'ring fruit from conquest's tree,
We deck the feast of love!
...da capo

Scene 4

12. Recitative ~ Jephtha (Tenor)
What mean these doubtful fancies of the brain?
Visions of joy rise in my raptur'd soul,
There play awhile, and set in darksome night.
Strange ardour fires my breast; my arms seem strung
With tenfold vigour, and my crested helm
To reach the skies. Be humble still, my soul!
It is the Sp'rit of God, in whose great name
I offer up my vow.

Accompagnato ~ Jephtha (Tenor)
If, Lord, sustain'd by Thy almighty pow'r,
Ammon I drive, and his insulting bands,
From these our long-uncultivated lands,
And safe return a glorious conqueror,
What, or whoe'er shall first salute mine eyes,
Shall be forever Thine, or fall a sacrifice.

Recitative ~ Jephtha (Tenor)
'Tis said. Attend, ye chiefs, and with united voice
Invoke the holy name of Israel's God.

13. Chorus of Israelites
O God, behold our sore distress,
Omnipotent to plague or bless!
But turn thy wrath, and bless once more
Thy servants, who thy name adore.

Scene 7

14. Recitative

Zebul (Bass)
Such, Jephtha, was the haughty king's reply:
No terms, but ruin, slavery and death.

Jephtha (Tenor)
Sound, then, the last alarm! And to the field,
Ye sons of Israel, with intrepid hearts,
Dependent on the might of IsraeI's God.

15. Chorus of Israelites
When His loud voice in thunder spoke,
With conscious fear the billows broke,
Observant of his dread command.
In vain they roll their foaming tide,
Confin'd by that great pow'r,
That gave them strength to roar.
They now contract their boist'rous pride,
And lash with idle rage the laughing strand.

Act Two

Scene 1

16. Recitative ~ Hamor (Altus)
Glad tidings of great joy to thee, dear Iphis,
And to the house of Israel I bring.
Thus then, in brief. Both armies in array
Of battle rang'd, our general stept forth
And offer'd haughty Ammon terms of peace,
Most just and righteous; these with scorn refus'd,
He bade the trumpet sound. But scarce a sword
Was ting'd in hostile blood, ere all around
The thund'ring Heavens open'd and pour'd forth
Thousands of armed cherubim, when straight
Our general cried: "This is thy signal, Lord,
I follow Thee, and Thy bright heav'nly host."
Then rushing on proud Ammon, all aghast,
He made a bloody slaughter, and pursu'd
The flying foe till night bade sheathe the sword,
And taste the joys of victory and peace.

17. Chorus of Israelites
Cherub and seraphim, unbodied forms,
The messengers of fate,
His dread command await;
Of swifter flight, and subtler frame
Than lightning's winged flame,
They ride on whirlwinds, directing the storms.

18. Air ~ Hamor (Altus)
Up the dreadful steep ascending,
While for fame and love contending,
Sought I thee, my glorious prize.
And now, happy in the blessing,
Thee, my sweetest joy possessing,
Other honours I despise.
...da capo

19. Recitative ~ Iphis (Soprano)
'Tis well.
Haste, haste, ye maidens, and in richest robes
Adorn me, like a stately bride,
To meet my father in triumphant pomp.
And while around the dancing banners play...

Air ~ Iphis (Soprano)
Tune the soft melodious lute,
Pleasant harp and warbling flute,
To sounds of rapt'rous joy;
Such as on our solemn days,
Singing great Jehovah's praise,
The holy choir employ.
...da capo

Scene 2

20. Recitative ~ Jephtha (Tenor)
Again heav'n smiles once more on His repentant people,
And victory spreads wide her silver wings
To soothe our sorrows with a peaceful calm.

Recitative ~ Jephtha (Tenor)
Zebul, thy deeds were valiant;
Nor less thine, my Hamor;
But the glory is the Lord's.

21. Air ~ Jephtha (Tenor)
His mighty arm, with sudden blow,
Dispers'd and quell'd the haughty foe.
They fell before him, as when through the sky
He bids the sweeping winds in vengeance fly.
His mighty arm, with sudden blow,
Dispers'd and quell'd the haughty foe.

22. Chorus
In glory high, in might serene,
He sees, moves all, unmov'd, unseen.
His mighty arm, with sudden blow
Dispers'd and quell'd the haughty foe.

Disc II

Scene 3

1. Symphony

Recitative ~ Iphis (Soprano)
Hail, glorious conqueror, much lov'd father, hail!
Behold thy daughter, and her virgin train,
Come to salute thee with all duteous love.

2. Air ~ Iphis (Soprano)
Welcome as the cheerful light,
Driving darkest shades of night,
Welcome as the spring that rains
Peace and plenty o'er the plains.
Not cheerful day,
Nor spring so gay,
Such mighty blessings brings
As peace on her triumphant wings.

Chorus of Virgins
Welcome thou, whose deeds conspire
To provoke the warbling lyre,
Welcome thou, whom God ordain'd
Guardian angel of our land!
Thou wert born His glorious name
And great wonders to proclaim.

Recitative ~ Jephtha (Tenor)
Horror, confusion! Harsh this music grates
Upon my tasteless ears. Begone, my child,
Thou hast undone thy father! Fly, begone,
And leave me to the rack of wild despair!

3. Air ~ Jephtha (Tenor)
Open thy marble jaws, O tomb,
And hide me, earth, in thy dark womb,
Ere I the name of father stain,
And deepest woe from conquest gain.
...da capo

4. Recitative

Zebul (Bass)
Why is my brother thus afflicted? Say,
Why didst thou spurn thy daughter's gratulations,
And fling her from thee with unkind disdain?

Jephtha (Tenor)
O Zebul, Hamor and my dearest wife,
Behold a wretched man,
Thrown from the summit of presumptuous joy,
Down to the lowest depth of misery.
Know, then, I vow'd the first I saw should fall
A victim to the living God. My daughter,
Alas, it was my daughter, and she dies.

5. Accompagnato ~ Storgè (Mezzo-Soprano)
First perish thou, and perish all the world!
Hath Heav'n then bless'd us with this only pledge
Of all our love, this one dear child, for thee
To be her murderer? No, cruel man!

Air ~ Storgè (Mezzo-Soprano)
Let other creatures die?
Or Heav'n, earth, seas and sky
In one confusion lie,
Ere in a daughter's blood,
So fair, so chaste, so good,
A father's hand's embrued.

6. Recitative ~ Hamor (Altus)
If such thy cruel purpose, lo, your friend
Offers himself a willing sacrifice,
To save the innocent and beauteous maid!

Air ~ Hamor (Altus)
On me let blind mistaken zeal
Her utmost rage employ.
'Twill be a mercy there to kill
Where life can taste no joy.
...da capo

7. Quartet

Zebul (Bass)
Oh, spare your daughter,

Storgè (Mezzo-Soprano)
Spare my child,

Hamor (Altus)
My love!

Jephtha (Tenor)
Recorded stands my vow in Heav'n above.

Storgè (Mezzo-Soprano)
Recall the impious vow, ere 'tis too late.

Jephtha (Tenor)
I'll hear no more,
Her doom is fix'd as fate!

Hamor, Zebul & Storgè
And think not Heav'n delights
In Moloch's horrid rites.

Scene 4

8. Recitative ~ Iphis (Soprano)
Such news flies swift. I've heard the mournful cause
Of all your sorrows. Of my father's vow
Heav'n spoke its approbation by success.
Jephtha has triumph'd, Israel is free.

Accompagnato ~ Iphis (Soprano)
For joys so vast too little is the price
Of one poor life. But oh, accept it, Heav'n,
A grateful victim, and thy blessing still
Pour on my country, friends, and dearest father!

9. Air ~ Iphis (Soprano)
Happy they! This vital breath
With content I shall resign,
And not murmur or repine,
Sinking in the arms of death.
...da capo

10. Accompagnato ~ Jephtha (Tenor)
Deeper, and deeper still, thy goodness, child,
Pierceth a father's bleeding heart, and checks
The cruel sentence on my falt'ring tongue.
Oh, let me whisper it to the raging winds,
Or howling deserts; for the ears of men
It is too shocking. Yet have I not vow'd?
And can I think the great Jehovah sleeps,
Like Chemosh and such fabled deities?
Ah no; Heav'n heard my thoughts,
And wrote them down;
It must be so. 'Tis this that racks my brain,
And pours into my breast a thousand pangs
That lash me into madness. Horrid thought!
My only daughter, so dear a child,
Doom'd by a father! Yes, the vow is past,
And Gilead hath triumph'd o'er his foes.
Therefore, tomorrow's dawn... I can no more.

11. Chorus
How dark, O Lord, are Thy decrees,
All hid from mortal sight,
All our joys to sorrow turning,
And our triumphs into mourning,
As the night succeeds the day.
No certain bliss,
No solid peace,
We mortals know
On earth below,
Yet on this maxim still obey:
"Whatever is, is right."

Act Three

Scene 1

12. Air ~ Jephtha (Tenor)
Hide thou thy hated beams, O sun, in clouds
And darkness, deep as is a father's woe;

Accompagnato ~ Jephtha (Tenor)
A father, off'ring up his only child
In vow'd return for victory and peace.

13. Air ~ Jephtha (Tenor)
Waft her, angels, through the skies,
Far above yon azure plain,
Glorious there, like you, to rise,
There, like you, for ever reign.
...da capo

14. Accompagnato ~ Iphis (Soprano)
Ye sacred priests, whose hands ne'er yet were stain'd
With human blood, why are ye thus afraid
To execute my father's will? The call of Heav'n
With humble resignation I obey.

Air ~ Iphis (Soprano)
Farewell, ye limpid springs and floods,
Ye flow'ry meads and leafy woods;
Farewell, thou busy world where reign
Short hours of joy and years of pain.
Brighter scenes I seek above
In the realms of peace and love.

15. Chorus of Priests
Doubtful fear and rev'rent awe
Strike us, Lord, while here we bow,
Check'd by Thy all-sacred law,
Yet commanded by the vow.
Hear our pray'r in this distress,
And Thy determin'd will declare.

16. Symphony

17. Recitative ~ Angel (Soprano)
Rise, Jephtha, and ye rev'rend priests, withhold
The slaught'rous hand. No vow can disannul
The law of God, nor such was its intent
When rightly scann'd; yet still shall be fulfilI'd.
Thy daughter, Jephtha, thou must dedicate
To God, in pure and virgin state fore'er,
As not an object meet for sacrifice,
Else had she fall'n an holocaust to God.
The Holy Sp'rit, that dictated thy vow,
Bade thus explain it, and approves thy faith.

Air ~ Angel (Soprano)
Happy, Iphis shalt thou live,
While to thee the virgin choir
Tune their harps of golden wire,
And their yearly tribute give.
Happy, Iphis, all thy days,
Pure, angelic, virgin-state,
Shalt thou live, and ages late
Crown thee with immortal praise.

18. Arioso ~ Jephtha (Tenor)
For ever blessed be Thy holy name,
Lord God of Israel!

19. Chorus of Priests
Theme sublime of endless praise,
Just and righteous are thy ways;
And thy mercies still endure,
Ever faithful, ever sure.

Scene 2

20. Recitative ~ Zebul (Bass)
Let me congratulate this happy turn,
My honour'd brother, judge of Israel!
Thy faith, thy courage, constancy and truth
Nations shall sing, and in their just applause,
All join to celebrate thy daughter's name.

Air ~ Zebul (Bass)
Laud her, all ye virgin train
In glad songs of choicest strain.
Ye blest angels all around,
Laud her in melodious sound.
Virtues that to you belong,
Love and truth demand the song.

21. Recitative ~ Storgè (Mezzo-Soprano)
Oh, let me fold thee in a mother's arms,
And with submissive joy, my child,
Receive thy designation to the life of Heav'n.

Air ~ Storgè (Mezzo-Soprano)
Sweet as sight to the blind,
Or freedom to the slave,
Such joy in thee I find,
Safe from the grave.
Still I'm of thee possess'd,
Such is kind Heav'n's decree
That hath thy parents bless'd
In blessing thee.

22. Recitative ~ Hamor (Altus)
With transport, Iphis, I behold thy safety,
But must forever mourn so dear a loss,
Dear, though great Jephtha were to honour me
Still with the name of son.

Recitative ~ Iphis (Soprano)
My faithful Hamor, may that Providence
Which gently claims or forces our submission,
Direct thee to some happier choice.

23. Air ~ Duet & Quintet

Iphis (Soprano)
All that is in Hamor mine,
Freely I to Heav'n resign.

Hamor (Altus)
All that is in Iphis mine.
Freely I to Heav'n resign.

Iphis (Soprano)
Duteous to the will supreme,
Still my Hamor I'll esteem.

Hamor (Altus)
Duteous to almighty pow'r,
Still my Iphis I'll adore.

Iphis, Hamor, Storgè, Jephtha & Zebul
Joys triumphant crown thy days,
And thy name eternal praise.
...da capo

Chorus of Israelites
Ye house of Gilead, with one voice,
In blessings manifold rejoice.
Freed from war's destructive sword,
Peace her plenty round shall spread,
While in virtue's path you tread;
So are they blest who fear the Lord.
Amen. Hallelujah.

Georg Friedrich Händel (1685-1759)


Oratorium in drei Akten

Libretto von
Thomas Morell (1703-1784)
Libretto (pdf)


1. Ouvertüre

Erster Akt

Szene 1

2. Accompagnato ~ Zebul (Bass)
So muss es sein, eh' Ammons Tyrannei,
die achtzehn Jahre unser Land schon quält,
zerschlägt das Volk von Israel.
Da Gott sich abkehrt, und mit seinem Wink nicht mehr, wie sonst, den Führer uns bestimmt,
so wählet selbst: wo ist ein bessrer Mann,
als Gilead's Sohn, mein tapf'rer Bruder Jephtha?
Zwar haben wir ihn einst verhöhnt und dann verbannt,
als einer Fremden Sohn; ich aber kenn' ihn:
sein edler Sinn wird nicht nach Rache streben,
wenn sein bedrängtes Volk nach Hilfe ruft.
Vielleicht erhört der Himmel unser Fleh'n,
wenn wir nun reuevoll um Gnade beten.

3. Arie ~ Zebul (Bass)
Ruft länger nicht die Götzen an,
denn sie sind taub und leer.
Entweiht mit lästerlichem Klang
des Herrn Altar nicht mehr.

4. Chor der Israeliten
Nicht mehr der Cymbeln Klang erschallt,
o Moloch, deiner Schreckgestalt,
zu grausem Tanz um deinen Opferherd.
Kamos, nicht dir lobsingen wir
im heil'gen Liede, das nur Gott verehrt.

Szene 2

5. Rezitativ

Zebul (Bass)
Doch Jephtha kommt, Gott, Herr, steh du uns bei.
O Jephtha! Wir bitten dich um Mitleid; schau
auf deiner reuevollen Brüder Not.
Vergiss, was dir geschah, und rette du das Land,
die Freude, aus der Hand des Feindes.

Jephtha (Tenor)
Ich will, wenn's Gott gefällt. Dies die Bedingung:
Die Macht, die mir im Krieg von euch verlieh'n,
soll auch im Frieden, wenn Gott uns siegen lässt,
die meine sein.

Zebul (Bass)
So sei's bei unsrem Gott.

6. Arie ~ Jephtha (Tenor)
Tugend erfüll' die Seele mein,
Güte nur mach mich groß.
Wer baut auf diesen Grund allein,
scheut nicht des Schicksals Los.
...da capo

7. Rezitativ ~ Storgè (Mezzo-Sopran)
Mit Schmerzen werden wir uns trennen, Jephtha,
wenn du gewappnet ziehst ins blut'ge Feld.
Doch ach, wie nichtig ist doch meine Klage,
da unser ganzes Volk am Boden liegt,
sehnend nach Freiheit sich und Glück.

Arie ~ Storgè (Mezzo-Sopran)
In sanften Lauten stimm' ich ein Klaglied
wie die verlass'ne Taube an.
Und seufzend wünsch ich dich zurück,
in Freiheit und in wahrem Glück.

Szene 3

8. Rezitativ ~ Hamor (Altus)
O welche Freude, geliebte Iphis,
dass ich noch einmal dich nun sehen kann.
Dem Monde gleich, der durch die Wolken bricht,
leuchtend dem nächt'gen Wanderer, so strahlt
auf mich dein Aug', und es vertreibt den Schmerz.
Dein holder Blick weckt neu zum Leben mich,
wie deines Vaters wachsame Führung
dies arme Volk mit neuem Mut beseelt.
O eile dich, vollende doch mein Glück!

9. Arie ~ Hamor (Altus)
Dumpfes Warten lässt den Liebsten
sich verzehren voller Qualen,
und vergebens harrt er dein.
Leuchte mir mit holdem Blicke,
täusch mich nicht mit falschem Glücke,
quäl mich nicht mit Furcht und Pein.

10. Rezitativ ~ Iphis (Sopran)
Die Liebe schweiget still, wenn Ehre ruft,
und dich mit Jephtha in den Krieg nun schickt.
Dort zeig als Held dich, und mit Kampfesmut
erweise würdig dich, sein Sohn zu sein;
empfangen wirst du dann verdienten Lohn.

Arie ~ Iphis (Sopran)
Nimm zu deinem liebend Herz
meins in die Brust hinein.
Dann fühlst du dich doppelt stark,
Sieg wird dir sicher sein.

11. Rezitativ ~ Hamor (Altus)
Wohlan, ich geh. Begeistert durch dein Wort
eil' ich zum Kampfe. Mit dem Siegeskranz
seh' ich mich schon gekrönt; dann bist du mein,
ein Preis, mehr wert als Ehre, Sieg und Ruhm.

Duett ~ Iphis (Sopran) & Hamor (Altus)
Nach solcher Müh, wie selig wir,
wie glorreich, wie beglückt!
Wenn uns des Sieges Kranz und Zier
das Fest der Liebe schmückt.
...da capo

Szene 4

12. Rezitativ ~ Jephtha (Tenor)
Was soll dies wirre Spiel in meinem Geist?
Bilder des Glücks erscheinen hier vor mir,
freundlich zuerst, und schwinden dann in Nacht.
Entflammt ist meine Brust: den Arm
erfüllt zehnfache Kraft, und der Busch des Helms
reckt sich zum Himmel. Sei demutsvoll, mein Herz;
es ist der Geist unsres Herrn,
ich lege ihm nun mein Gelübde ab.

Accompagnato ~ Jephtha (Tenor)
Wenn ich, geführt durch deine mächt'ge Hand
Ammon gestürzt und ihn mit seinem Heer
aus diesem hart bedrängten Land verjagt,
und kehre heim, gekrönt als Siegesheld;
so sei das erste, das hier vor mir erscheint,
dann dir, o Herr, geweiht, und soll geopfert sein.

Rezitativ ~ Jephtha (Tenor)
So sei's. Ihr Führer, hört, und hebet all vereint
die Stimme nun empor zu Israels Gott.

13. Chor der Israeliten
O Gott, sieh unsere große Not.
Straf' oder Lohn ist dein Gebot.
Wend ab den Zorn, sieh gnädig
an die Deinen, die dir flehend nah'n.

Szene 7

14. Rezitativ

Zebul (Bass)
Dies, Jephtha, war des stolzen Königs Wort:
Nicht Frieden! Nur Verderben, Sklaverei und Tod.

Jephtha (Tenor)
Auf denn zum letzten Kampf; so zieht ins Feld,
ihr Söhne Israels; stark sei euer Herz,
vertrauend auf des Herrn Gewalt und Macht.

15. Chor der Israeliten
Wenn donnernd seine Stimme schallt,
zerbricht vor Angst der Flut Gewalt;
erzitternd vor der Allmacht Hand;
sie rollt umsonst in Sturm und Wut;
gebannt durch dessen Faust,
durch den sie tobt und braust.
Scheu zähmet sie den stolzen Mut,
und spottend ihres Zornes lacht der Strand.

Zweiter Akt

Szene 1

16. Rezitativ ~ Hamor (Altus)
Als Bote großen Glücks, o teure Iphis,
komm ich zum Hause Israel und zu dir.
Hör', was geschah. Als beide Heere
schon zur Schlacht bereit, trat unser Führer vor
und bot dem stolzen Ammon Frieden an,
gerecht und billig. Da man ihn verwarf,
erklang der Schlachtruf nun; doch eh' ein Schwert
getaucht in Feindesblut, zerteilte rings
im Donner sich der Himmel und ergoss
zahllose Scharen Cherubim, und Jephthas Stimme
erscholl: "Dies ist ein Zeichen, Herr,
ich folge dir und deinem heil'gen Heere."
Dann stürzt er sich auf Ammons große Macht
und siegt im blut'gen Kampfe und verfolgt
den flücht'gen Feind bis in die tiefe Nacht;
d'rauf ruhten wir und freuten uns des Sieges.

17. Chor der Israeliten
Cherub und Seraphim, Jehovas Heer,
sind Boten des Geschicks,
gewärtig seines Blicks;
sie stürmen rasch, in Lichtgestalt,
mit Blitzes Glutgewalt.
Sie fahren sausend im Sturmwind daher.

18. Arie ~ Hamor (Altus)
Im Gewühl des Kampfes schreitend,
um den Preis der Liebe streitend,
sucht' ich dich, des Sieges Pfand.
Da ich nun mit Glück gesegnet,
Süße Freude mir begegnet,
acht' ich keinen and'ren Ruhm.
...da capo

19. Rezitativ ~ Iphis (Sopran)
so eilt, ihr Mädchen, und mit reichem Schmuck
bekleidet mich wie eine Braut,
um meinen Vater festlich zu empfangen,
und wenn umher die Banner fröhlich weh'n...

Arie ~ Iphis (Sopran)
Sendet sanften Lautenklang,
Flöt' und Harfen mit Gesang
zu Gottes Lob empor.
Wie in frohem Festeskreis
laut besingt Jehovas Preis
der heil'ge Tempelchor.
...da capo

Szene 2

20. Rezitativ ~ Jephtha (Tenor)
Der Himmel lächelt wieder auf sein reuiges Volk,
und der Siegesengel breitet seine Silberflügel aus,
um unsere Drangsal in friedevoller Ruhe zu enden.

Rezitativ ~ Jephtha (Tenor)
Zebul, deine Taten waren kühn,
nicht minder deine, Hamor;
doch die Ehre gebührt dem Herrn.

21. Arie ~ Jephtha (Tenor)
Sein starker Arm, mit plötzlichem Schlag,
zerstreute und vertrieb den stolzen Feind,
sie fielen vor ihm nieder, als durch den Himmel
er den rächenden Wind brausen hieß.
Sein starker Arm, mit plötzlichem Schlag,
zerstreute und vertrieb den stolzen Feind.

22. Chor
In Herrlichkeit lenkt er die Welt,
bewegt das All, wie's ihm gefällt.
Der Feinde Mut und stolze Pracht
zerschlägt der Herr mit jäher Macht.


Szene 3

1. Sinfonia

Rezitativ ~ Iphis (Sopran)
Heil, großer Siegesheld, teurer Vater, Heil!
Sieh, deine Tochter, in der Jungfrau'n Schar,
grüßt dich mit Liebe, wie sie dir gebührt.

2. Arie ~ Iphis (Sopran)
Sei gegrüßt wie heit'res Licht,
das die dunkle Nacht durchbricht,
wie der Lenz, der dieser Welt
Frieden schenkt und füllt das Feld.
Kein Tageslicht,
auch Frühling nicht
so reichen Segen bringt,
wie Fried', der seine Fahnen schwingt.

Chor der Knaben
Heil sei dir, des' Heldentum
uns erhob zu Macht und Ruhm!
Heil sei dir, den Gott gesandt
zum Erretter diesem Land.
Du erschienst, die Kraft des Herrn
zu verkünden nah und fern.

Rezitativ ~ Jephtha (Tenor)
Grauen, Entsetzen! Grässlich tönt dies Lied
in mein betäubtes Ohr. Zurück, mein Kind,
dein Vater ist vernichtet. Flieh, hinweg,
und lass mich in Verzweiflung untergeh'n!

3. Arie ~ Jephtha (Tenor)
Öffne, du dunkles Grab, den Schlund
und birg mich, Erd', im schwarzen Grund.
Eh' eines Vaters Grausamkeit
den Sieg kehrt um in tiefes Leid.
...da capo

4. Rezitativ

Zebul (Bass)
Warum, mein Bruder, bist du so verstört?
Warum verschmähst du deiner Tochter Gruß
und stößt sie von dir mit so hartem Sinn?

Jephtha (Tenor)
O Zebul! Hamor! und mein teures Weib!
Hört mich unsel'gen an,
der von dem Gipfel stolzer Freuden
stürzt nieder zum tiefsten Grund des Elends.
So hört: Ich schwor, das Erste, was ich säh'
zu opfern dem lebend'gen Gott: die Tochter,
o Grau'n, es war die Tochter, und sie stirbt.

5. Accompagnato ~ Storgè (Mezzo-Sopran)
Erst falle du, und alle Welt mit dir!
Es gab der Himmel dieses einz'ge Pfand der Liebe uns,
dies teure Kind, und nun willst du sein Mörder sein?
Nein, grausamer Mann!

Arie ~ Storgè (Mezzo-Sopran)
Lass and're Opfer sterben!
Mag Himmel, Land und Flut
zerbrechen und verderben,
eh einer Tochter Blut so rein,
so schön, so gut!
Vergießt des Vaters Wut.

6. Rezitativ ~ Hamor (Altus)
Bleibt dies dein harter Wille, sieh', dein Freund
bietet sich selbst als Opfer frei dir an,
um so zu retten dein herrlich Kind.

Arie ~ Hamor (Altus)
Nur mich, in blind verwirrter Wut,
mich treffe deine Hand.
Denn Gnade ist wohl dort der Tod,
wo jede Lebensfreude schwand.
...da capo

7. Quartett

Zebul (Bass)
O schone deine Tochter!

Storgè (Mezzo-Sopran)
Schone mein Kind!

Hamor (Altus)
Schone meine Geliebte!

Jephtha (Tenor)
Verzeichnet steht mein Eid im Himmel oben.

Storgè (Mezzo-Sopran)
Widerruf den frevlerischen Eid, ehe es zu spät ist!

Jephtha (Tenor)
Ich will nichts mehr hören,
ihr Tod ist beschlossen als Schicksal!

Hamor, Zebul & Storgè
Glaub nicht, dass der Himmel sich erfreut
an Molochs greulichen Gebräuchen!

Szene 4

8. Rezitativ ~ Iphis (Sopran)
Solche Kunde schreitet schnell.
Ich weiß die traurige Ursache eures Kummers.
Meines Vaters Eid hat der Himmel gebilligt durch den Sieg.
Jephtha hat triumphiert, Israel ist frei.

Accompagnato ~ Iphis (Sopran)
Für solche große Freude ist nur gering der Preis
meines einzigen Lebens. Oh, nimm es an, Himmel,
ein dankbares Opfer, und deinen Segen streu
auf mein Land, meine Freunde, meinen teuren Vater!

9. Arie ~ Iphis (Sopran)
Heil ihnen! Dem Lebenshauch
will ich gern entsagen
und ohne Murren oder Sträuben
in den Todes Arme sinken.
...da capo

10. Accompagnato ~ Jephtha (Tenor)
Tiefer und tiefer durchdringt dein Edelmut, mein Kind,
des Vaters blutendes Herz und hemmt
das grausame Urteil auf meiner stockenden Zunge.
Oh, lass es mich den rasenden Winden zuflüstern
oder den öden Wüsten, für Menschenohren
ist es zu schrecklich. Und doch habe ich nicht geschworen.
Und darf ich glauben, der große Jehova schlafe
wie Kamos und dergleichen fabelhafte Götzen?
Ach nein, der Himmel hörte meine Gedanken
und schrieb sie nieder.
Es muss sein. Das ist es, was mein Hirn foltert
und mein Herz mit tausend Martern erfüllt,
die mich in den Wahnsinn treiben. Grausiger Gedanke!
Meine einzige Tochter! Das teure Kind,
verurteilt vom Vater! Ja - der Eid ist gesprochen,
und Gilead hat über seine Feinde triumphiert!
Darum beim Morgengrauen... ich kann nicht mehr.

11. Chor
Wie dunkel, o Herr, sind deine Ratschlüsse!
Verborgen vor dem sterblichen Blick!
All unsere Freuden werden zu Leid,
unser Jubel zu Trauer,
wie die Nacht dem Tag folgt.
Kein Segen ist gewiss,
kein Friede hat Bestand,
den wir Sterblichen
auf Erden genießen.
Und doch gehorche dieser Regel:
"Was auch geschieht, es ist gerecht."

Dritter Akt

Szene 1

12. Arie ~ Jephtha (Tenor)
Verbirg deine verhassten Strahlen, o Sonne, in Wolken
und Dunkelheit, tief wie des Vaters Weh;

Accompagnato ~ Jephtha (Tenor)
ein Vater opfert sein einziges Kind,
gelobt als Unterpfand für Sieg und Frieden.

13. Arie ~ Jephtha (Tenor)
Tragt sie, ihr Engel, durch den Himmel,
hoch über das azurne Blau,
wo glorreich sie, wie ihr, erstehen
und, wie ihr, auf ewig herrschen soll.
...da capo

14. Accompagnato ~ Iphis (Sopran)
Ihr heiligen Priester, deren Hände niemals noch befleckt
mit Menschenblut, was seid ihr so verzagt,
meines Vaters Willen auszuführen? Dem Ruf des Himmels
folge ich in demütiger Ergebung.

Arie ~ Iphis (Soprano)
Lebt wohl, ihr reinen Quellen und Bäche,
ihr blumigen Wiesen und belaubten Wälder,
leb wohl, du geschäftige Welt, wo kurze Stunden
der Freude und Jahre des Kummers herrschen.
Schönere Welten such ich droben
im Reich des Friedens und der Liebe.

15. Chor der Priester
Bange Furcht und heilige Scheu
bannen uns, Herr, die wir hier uns neigen:
gebunden durch dein göttliches Gesetz,
zugleich verpflichtet durch den Eid.
Hör unser Gebet in dieser Not
und erkläre deinen Willen!

16. Sinfonia

17. Rezitativ ~ Engel (Sopran)
Erhebe dich, Jephtha, und ihr würdigen Priester, haltet
zurück die Schlächterhand! Kein Eid kann Gottes Gesetz
aufheben: dies war auch nicht sein Sinn,
wenn recht besehen, und doch soll er erfüllt werden.
Deine Tochter, Jephtha, musst du Gott weihen
in ewiger jungfräulicher Reinheit;
sie ist kein taugliches Opfer,
sonst wäre sie Gott auf dem brennenden Altar verfallen.
Der Heilige Geist, der deinen Eid dir eingab,
hieß ihn so auslegen und billigt deine Treue.

Arie ~ Engel (Sopran)
Glücklich, Iphis, sollst du leben,
da der Jungfrauen Chor für dich
die goldenen Harfen stimmt,
und in jährlichem Tribut dich ehrt.
Glücklich, Iphis, für alle Zeit,
rein, engelgleich, jungfräulich,
sollst du leben, und ferne Zeitalter
krönen dich mit unsterblichem Preis.

18. Arioso ~ Jephtha (Tenor)
Für immer gesegnet sei dein heiliger Name,
Herr Gott Israels!

19. Chor der Priester
Erhabener, die sei endloser Preis,
gut und gerecht sind deine Wege;
deine Gnade wirkt immerfort,
ewig standhaft, ewig gewiss.

Szene 2

20. Rezitativ ~ Zebul (Bass)
Empfang meine Glückwünsche zu diesem glücklichen Ausgang,
mein ehrwürdiger Bruder, du Richter Israels!
Dein Glaube, dein Mut, deine Beständigkeit und Treue
sollen die Völker besingen und in verdientem Beifall
sich vereinen und deiner Tochter Namen feiern.

Arie ~ Zebul (Bass)
Preist sie, all ihr Jungfrauen,
in frohen Liedern und holden Weisen!
Ihr seligen Engel um uns her,
preist sie mit melodischem Sang!
Tugenden, die euch eigen sind,
Liebe und Treue fordern das Lied.

21. Rezitativ ~ Storgè (Mezzo-Sopran)
O lass mich in der Mutter Arme dich schließen
und mit ergebener Freude, mein Knd,
annehmen deine Bestimmung für ein gottgefälliges Leben.

Arie ~ Storgè (Mezzo-Sopran)
Süß wie für den, der blind,
die Sonnenstrahlen sind,
so freu ich mich an dir,
gerettet Kind!
Du bist nun wieder mein;
Gott zeigte gnädig sich,
hat uns erlöst von Pein,
gesegnet dich.

22. Rezitativ ~ Hamor (Altus)
Mit Wonne, Iphis, seh' ich dich gerettet,
doch klagen lässt mich nun mein hartes Los,
hart, auch wenn Jephtha so mich ehren wird,
dass er nun Sohn mich nennt.

Rezitativ ~ Iphis (Sopran)
Mein treuer Hamor, möge die Vorsehung,
die unsere Ergebung sanft fordert oder zwingt,
die eine glücklichere Wahl bescheiden.

23. Arie ~ Duett & Quintett

Iphis (Sopran)
Was in Hamor mein eigen ist,
überlass ich frei dem Himmel.

Hamor (Altus)
Was in Iphis mein eigen ist,
überlass ich frei dem Himmel.

Iphis (Sopran)
Getreu dem höchsten Willen
will ich Hamor dennoch schätzen.

Hamor (Altus)
Getreu der Allmacht,
will ich Iphis dennoch anbeten.

Iphis, Hamor, Storgè, Jephtha & Zebul
Hohe Freude kröne dein Leben,
ewiger Ruhm deinen Namen!
...da capo

Chor der Israeliten
Ihr Kinder Gileads, mit vereinten Stimmen
frohlockt in mannigfachem Jubel!
Befreit vom Zerstörerschwert des Krieges,
soll der Friede seinen Reichtum verteilen,
da du den Pfad der Tugend beschreitest.
So sind die selig, die den Herrn fürchten.
Amen. Hallelujah, Amen!

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