at a public rehearsal and concert of the Symphony Society (the Oratorio Society assisting) on January 18 and 19, 1889. The third scene was performed by the German Liederkranz, under Reinhold L. Herman, on January 27 of the same year. The third and fourth scenes were in the scheme of the Cincinnati Music Festival, Theodore Thomas, conductor, on May 25,1894.
Each of the eight scenes into which the work is divided deals with an episode in the life of Israel's lawgiver. In the first scene we have the incident of the finding of the child in the bulrushes; in the second occurs the oppression of the Israelites by the Egyptian taskmasters, the slaying of one of the overseers by Moses, who, till then regarded as the king's son, now proclaims himself one of the oppressed race. The third scene discloses Moses protecting Zipporah, daughter of Jethro, a Midianitish priest, from a band of marauding Edomites, his acceptance of Jethro's hospitality and the scene of the burning bush and the proclamation of his mission. Scene IV deals with the plagues, those of blood, hail, locusts, frogs, and vermin being delineated in the instrumental introduction to the part, the action beginning while the land is shrouded in the "thick darkness that might be felt." The Egyptians call upon Osiris to dispel the darkness, but are forced at last to appeal to Moses. He demands the liberation of his people as the price to be paid for the removal of the plague; receiving a promise from Pharaoh, he utters a prayer ending with "Let there be light." The result is celebrated in a brilliant choral acclamation of the returning sun. The scene has a parallel in Rossini's opera. Pharaoh now equivocates; he will free the sons of Jacob, but not the women, children, or chattels. Moses threatens punishment in the death of all of Egypt's first-born, and immediately solo and chorus voices bewail the new affliction. When the king hears that his son is dead he gives his consent, and the Israelites depart with an ejaculation of thanks to Jehovah. The passage of the Red Sea, Miriam's celebration of that miracle, the backsliding of the Israelites and their worship of the golden calf, the reception of the Tables of the Law, the battle between the Israelites and Modbites on the threshold of the Promised Land, and the evanishment and apotheosis of Moses are the contents of the remainder of the work.