Founder of the Arts Florissants, pioneer of the rediscovery of Baroque music, the Franco-American conductor William Christie is the architect of one of the most remarkable musical adventures of the last thirty years. Currently conducting Jephtha at the Palais Garnier, he spoke to us about Handel’s oratorio.
Can you situate Jephtha within Handel’s career?
The theme of a father forced to sacrifice his daughter to honour a vow made to heaven seems rather archaic to us today. What can Jephtha have to say to our era?
“Handel takes particular care to lay bare the father beneath the warrior chief, – a father devastated at the idea of sacrificing his daughter.”
Handel devoted his life to composition, beginning with opera seria and finishing with oratorio. What, in your view, constitutes the difference between the two genres?
Your reading: Handel at the peak of his art