||From Athalie (Op. 74), incidental music to the play written by Jean Racine. First performed in Berlin in 1845. Athalie (also known as Athaliah) was the daughter of Ahab and Jezebel (although some scholars believe she instead was Ahab's sister), and was queen of Judah for six years. She re-established the worship of Baal in Judah, much to the dismay of those who followed Yahweh ("I AM WHO I AM"). Baal was the Phoenician fertility god of the Canaanites, which the ancient Israelites reverted to worshipping during times of backsliding --- stiff-necked as they often were (much to the consternation of Yahweh). This portion of the piece is played while the priests loyal to Jehoash (ward of his great-uncle, the high priest Jehoiada) march to purge Athaliah and her extended family (including the then-sitting king of Israel) in the name of Yahweh.