Hanukkah, the Jewish Festival of Lights, commemorates the story of Judas Maccabeus, who in 167 B.C.E. led the Maccabean Jews against the invasion by the Seleucids, thus preserving Jewish culture and religion by regaining control of Jerusalem and rededicating the Temple. Handel recast the story of Judas Maccabeus as a celebratory ode to King George II, with music of unprecedented refinement, gripping suspense, and drama. Recorded live in concert in Berlin’s Philharmonie, Justin Doyle leads the Berlin Academy for Ancient Music, RIAS Chamber Chorus and vocal soloists Anna Dennis, Helen Charlston, Benjamin Hullett, and Henry Waddington.
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