[Handel, George Frederic. (1685–1759)]

"Samson. Ein Oratorium aus dem Englischen des Milton von Händel." - 1834 Manuscript German Translation Libretto

18mo.  18pp.  Manuscript edition of the libretto for Handel's Samson, in German translattion, according to information given along the lower front cover, prepared for a performance given on March 26, 1834 in the hall of the [Boys'?] school in Ansbach by the singing society ("den 26. Merz [sic] 1834 im K: [=Knaben?] Schulsaale zu Ansbach von dem Singverein").  Light foxing throughout, reinforced blue paper spine,  in very fine condition.

The oratorio was premiered on February 18, 1743 in Covent Garden, with an original libretto adapted from John Milton's Samson Agonistes by Newburgh Hamilton. 

Handel, who in Germany was always regarded as a German composer, was canonical at the time (unlike Bach, who was just being revived). Though originally much more intimate works, in the 19th century, a massed-choir performing tradition developed around Handel’s oratorios, and they were performed throughout Germany, including evidently in Ansbach, a city in northern Bavaria (Franconia), west of Nuremberg. Knowledge of the English language was not widespread in southern Germany at the time and for the present performance by a community choir in a small town, it is fairly certain that this translation was not original but rather copied from the musical edition used for the performance. (19667)


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