The message from Univ. Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Hirschmann,
President of the Georg-Friedrich-Händel-Gesellschaft e. V., Internationale Vereinigung (Sitz Halle)

I was transported into the most divine Extasy” – these are the words of Eliza Haywood, published in her Epistles for the Ladies (London 1749) and written under the impression of a performance of Handel’s oratorio Joshua (HWV 64). Again Handel’s music proves its great power over human souls and its transcendent religious qualities. Similar to Judas Maccabaeus Handel’s topic in Joshua (first performed in March 1748) is the relationship between a leader and his people in a highly critical historical situation, here the division of the Promised Land among the Israelite tribes.

Handel’s insight into human feelings and religious emotions is once again celebrating triumphs, be it in some famous Accompagnati like the appearance of the Angel in “Leader of Israel”, be it in heroic choruses like “See the conqu’ring hero comes!”, be it in pathetic arias like “Shall I in Mamre’s fertile plain”; Handel’s mastery in painting with music is again proven by the musical miracle of letting the audience hear the sun stand still.

So Joshua documents once again that Handel’s art cannot be reduced to Messiah and that it is necessary to make known all his other masterpieces in Japan.
The Handel Festival Japan is a pioneer of this movement, and the International Handel Society supports the efforts of Professor Toshiki Misawa and his musicians with great sympathy and encouragement. So once again I would like to express my best wishes for the performance of Handel’s Joshua as a work of religious fervor accessible to people all around the world during this year’s Handel Festival.

Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Hirschman

Univ. Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Hirschmann
President of the Georg-Friedrich-Händel-Gesellschaft e. V., Internationale Vereinigung
(Sitz Halle; contact: www.haendel.de)
Head of Department of Musicology, Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg, Germany

Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Hirschman
Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Hirschmann