The oratorio Judas Maccabaeus was written in 1746, five years after Messiah, and was first performed in London at Covent Garden the following year. It quickly became one of Handel's most popular oratorios. It was written to commemorate the victory of William, Duke of Cumberland over Charles Edward Stuart the Pretender at the battle of Culloden on 16th April, 1746. With its warlike story of the triumph of a Jewish hero over invading forces, Judas Maccabaeus formed the ideal victory celebration. Leonardo Garcia Alarcon invests the music with rich emotions and a wholly Italianate baroque vocality.