Last oratorio from G.F. Handel "Jephtha": "Dull delay, in piercing anguish"
Arno Argos Raunig – Sopranist
Produced by Viktoriia Kudricheva
Venezia, Italy, 2019
Jephtha (HWV 70) is an oratorio (1751) by George Frideric Handel with an English language libretto by the Rev. Thomas Morell, based on the story of Jephtha in Judges (Chapter 11) and Jephthes sive votum (Jeptha or the Vow) (1554) by George Buchanan. Whilst writing Jephtha, Handel was increasingly troubled by his gradual loss of sight, and this proved to be his last oratorio. In the autograph score, at the end of the chorus "How dark, O Lord, are thy decrees" he wrote "Reached here on 13 February 1751, unable to go on owing to weakening of the sight of my left eye."
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.