Thomas Arne, Judith: an Oratorio

McVeigh, Simon and Lynan, Peter, eds. 2016. Thomas Arne, Judith: an Oratorio. London: The Musica Britannica Trust and Stainer & Bell Ltd. ISBN 9780852499474 [Edited Book]

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Abstract or Description

Publisher’s note: “Although Arne’s Judith of 1761 was commended by Charles Dibdin as an oratorio ‘that does honour to the English genius’, and was long recognised as an important adjunct of the Handelian form and perhaps the finest such work by a native composer before Elgar, the difficulty of establishing an authoritative performing version of the composer’s only surviving work in the genre has undoubtedly contributed to its neglect. Here published in a complete, critical edition for the first time, it seems entirely fitting that this true cultural monument of 18th-century Britain should be celebrated with the hundredth volume of Musica Britannica.”

The edition is based on the autograph score in the British Library, but also references a wide range of manuscript and printed sources, published libretti and newspaper reports. The autograph itself bears abundant evidence of subsequent performances extending across Arne’s lifetime and beyond, a complex performance history that is charted at The extended preface analyses the various stages in the work’s evolution and places it in a wider historical, cultural and religious context.

Item Type:

Edited Book

Additional Information:

Summary of Performance History at


oratorio, London concert, British music

Departments, Centres and Research Units:



September 2016

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

13 Jul 2017 08:24

Last Modified:

09 Mar 2021 11:56


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