It is about the trials of the Jewish people in the desert, after their departure from Egypt. In the opening chorus the people complain about their fate: "Our tongues cleave to dry palates, we scarcely breathe." And then the First Israelite woman asks: "Is this Abraham's God? (...) We hunger and thirst, we grow pale. (...) The Lord takes pleasure in our downfall; and he thinks no more of his own". Aaron then urges the people: "Refrain, refrain from filling the air with your laments". The Second Israelite woman even asks for the people to be brought back to Egypt: "O bring us to those walls far off from which we mourn, o bring us back to them!" This causes anger from Moses, who has led his people out of Egypt: "Ungrateful nation, have you forgotten his wondrous works, which for you your God has done?" He asks God for mercy: "Open, Lord, in this moment, the bounty of thy grace." God answers by giving water to the people: "O miracle! God has heard us! And fresh silver streams spring forth from this rock, to quench the pain that devours our breast". In the second part the people and the two Israelite women bring praise to God, and here we also find a reference to the coming of Christ in the words of Moses: "One day for Adam's sinful world another Man will plead with the Judge. (...) [He] comes and brings us peace, and blessing and salvation is his name".
Anja Petersen (soprano) - Erste Israelitin;
Sarah Maria Sun (soprano) - Zweite Israelitin;
Daniel Johannsen (tenor) - Aaron;
Johannes Weisser (bass) - Moses.
Chorus Musicus Köln,
Das Neue Orchester,
Recoeded live at the Nikolaikirche, Leipzig, Germany, 2014.
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