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Handel [Händel, Hendel], George Frideric [Georg Friederich]free

  • Anthony Hicks

(b Halle, Feb 23, 1685; d London, April 14, 1759). English composer of German birth. Though consistently acknowledged as one of the greatest composers of his age, his reputation from his death to the early 20th century rested largely on the knowledge of a small number of orchestral works and oratorios, Messiah in particular. In fact, he contributed to every musical genre current in his time, both vocal and instrumental. The composition of operas, mainly on Italian librettos, dominated the earlier part of his career, and are the finest (though not the most typical) of their kind. In his later years his commitment to large-scale vocal works, usually with a strong dramatic element, found a more individual outlet in English oratorio, a genre that he invented and established.

Portrait of George Frideric Handel by Thomas Hudson (1756)

Private Collection, The Bridgeman Art Library International
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1. Halle.

He was the son of Georg Händel (1622–97), a barber-surgeon in the service of the Duke of Saxe-Weissenfels, and his second wife Dorothea Taust (1651–1730), daughter of a pastor. Though some documentation of Handel’s life in Halle survives, the only substantial account of his early years appears in John Mainwaring’s anonymously published Memoirs (1760) which seems to derive its information from Handel himself, perhaps recorded near the end of his life through intermediaries. Though its chronology is unreliable – Mainwaring’s dates, when checkable, are usually found to make Handel about four years younger than he actually was – it is probably as accurate as reminiscence allows. The boy’s early interest in music was at first frowned upon by his father; he was denied access to musical instruments and encouraged to study for the law. According to Mainwaring, he practised secretly on a clavichord in the attic. The Duke of Saxe-Weissenfels, having heard him playing the organ when he was about nine, persuaded his father to give him a musical education under Friedrich Zachow, organist at the Liebfrauenkirche at Halle, who gave him excellent tuition both on organ and harpsichord as well as in composition.

The death of his father on 14 February 1697, when the boy was not quite 12, perhaps removed a source of opposition to musical studies, but as the only surviving son of the marriage Handel also gained new responsibility for the maintenance of his family. He presumably kept open the possibility of a legal career, as is implied by his enrolment at the University of Halle in February 1702. A month later, however, he was appointed organist at the Calvinist Domkirche (Cathedral Church). The appointment was not renewed after the initial probationary year, by which time Handel had almost certainly become clear that he should devote himself to music, and that he needed to seek wider horizons. A taste for opera may first have been stimulated on a visit to Berlin; opera there ‘was in a flourishing condition’ and Handel is said to have met both Giovanni Bononcini and Attilio Ariosti. Such a visit is assigned by Mainwaring to 1698, but probably belongs to 1702, when both Italian composers were producing operas for the Prussian court. The fact that one of Handel’s earliest musical works (the trio sonata op.2 no.2) appears to contain borrowings from Bononcini’s operas of this period (Cefalo and Polifemo) suggests that the visit did indeed take place and was an important stimulant to the young composer. In summer 1703 Handel left Halle, to return only as an occasional visitor. His new life was to be spent in the great opera centres of Europe, beginning with Hamburg.

2. Hamburg.

The advantage of Hamburg to an aspiring and independent-minded theatre composer was that it contained the only regular opera company in Germany operating outside the courts. Since 1696 it had been dominated by the energetic and influential figure of Reinhard Keiser. Handel went to the opera house in 1703 as a second violinist, later playing continuo harpsichord. He also took the opportunity to gain additional income by giving private lessons. He soon became friends with the composer, singer and theorist Johann Mattheson, and Mattheson’s later writings (his Grundlage einer Ehren-Pforte, 1740, and his annotated translation of Mainwaring) provide much information on this period of Handel’s life.

Opportunities for Handel arose in 1704 at the opera house. Keiser, being (in Mainwaring’s words) ‘a main of gaiety and expence, involved himself in debts, which forced him to abscond’. In fact he moved temporarily to Weissenfels, leaving the management of the opera house to his partner Drüsicke; this allowed the younger composers a chance to display their talents, and occasioned some rivalry. At a performance of Mattheson’s Cleopatra on 5 December 1704 Handel refused to give up his place at the harpsichord to Mattheson after the latter had finished singing the role of Antony, and the two men fought an ineffectual duel, Handel’s life being spared only because Mattheson’s sword broke on a coat-button. After this, according to Mattheson, the pair became better friends than before.

Handel got the chance to compose his first opera because (again according to Mainwaring) ‘Keiser, from his unhappy situation, could no longer supply the Manager, who therefore applied to Handel, and furnished him with a drama to set’. The drama was F.C. Feustking’s Der in Krohnen erlangte Glücks-Wechsel, oder Almira, Königin von Castilien (usually known as Almira) – a challenging choice, since the libretto had been prepared for Keiser himself, who had already set it to music; only his enforced move prevented its performance in Hamburg. (He produced a revised version at Weissenfels on 30 July 1704; his original setting was never performed.) Handel’s version, opening on 8 January, proved very successful, with about 20 performances, and was followed immediately (on 25 February) by the less successful Nero (again on a Feustking libretto), the music of which is lost. Handel remained in Hamburg until summer 1706, but his activities as a composer seem to have been cut off with Keiser’s return in August 1705. He did however compose a pair of operas, Der beglückte Florindo and Die verwandelte Daphne, designed to be performed on successive nights, which were produced in Hamburg in January 1708 (both are lost except for some dances and other fragments). Since Handel is assumed to have been in Italy at that time, it has generally been thought that these works were composed shortly after Nero and were performed in the composer’s absence after news of his successes in Italy had reached Hamburg. However, it is unlikely that so unusual a project would be mounted without the composer, and newly-found evidence (Roberts, c1995) makes it more plausible to suggest that these operas were composed in Italy and that Handel returned to Hamburg late in 1707 to direct them.

Keiser’s influence on Almira and the whole of Handel’s subsequent operatic output can hardly be exaggerated. Not only did Handel incorporate fragments of musical material from several of Keiser’s operas in his own works almost throughout his life, but he also absorbed from Keiser the eclectic mix of national styles apparent in so much of his music. Though he was soon to refine and consolidate the specifically Italian elements in his music in Italy itself, he never relinquished French forms for overtures and dance music, and his use of orchestral colour, particularly the occasional instrumental doubling of the voice colla parte, was derived from German models. Less happy was his adoption in Almira of Keiser’s tendency to write for voice in quasi-instrumental style, but this was a fault that the next stage of his career was quick to remove.

3. Italy.

Mainwaring relates that ‘the Prince of Tuscany’, while visiting Hamburg, sought Handel out and met him several times, showing him examples of the latest Italian music and assuring him ‘that there needed nothing but a journey to Italy to reconcile him to the style and taste which prevailed there’. The reference seems to be to Gian’ Gastone de Medici, younger brother of Ferdinando de Medici, who travelled in Germany (Ferdinando, heir to Grand Duke Cosimo III, died in 1713, leaving Gian’ Gastone to succeed in 1723). Handel is said to have refused an invitation to return with the prince to Italy, but instead resolved ‘to go to Italy on his own bottom, as soon as he could make a purse for that occasion’. The journey seems to have been undertaken in the second half of 1706, and Handel may well have taken the advantage of Gian’ Gastone’s interest to present himself to Ferdinando at Florence, but his movements in this year are uncertain. By the beginning of 1707 he had reached Rome. His earliest patrons there were the cardinals Carlo Colonna and Benedetto Pamphili, and probably also Cardinal Pietro Ottoboni at whose concerts, says Mainwaring, Handel ‘was desired to furnish his quota’ of compositions; the latter remark must however be taken generally, as there is no confirmation that Handel wrote anything for Ottoboni. The most important compositions of the early months in Rome were for the church – perhaps surprisingly in view of Handel’s Lutheran faith, but signifying a determination to display the full range of his compositional skills. It was probably Colonna who commissioned the large-scale setting of the psalm Dixit Dominus, completed early in April 1707, as well as settings of two other Vesper psalms (Laudate pueri and Nisi Dominus) in July. The latter (if not the Dixit) were performed with a motet and two short antiphon settings in services for the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel on 15–16 July 1707. The Italian sacred cantata Donna che in ciel, commemorating the anniversary of the delivery of Rome from an earthquake on 2 February, also probably belongs to 1707, though the year is not certain.

Early in 1707 Handel composed a substantial solo cantata, Da quel giorno fatale (Delirio amoroso) on a text by Pamphili, and by May that year he had received from Pamphili his first major Italian libretto to set. It was not an opera, because a papal ban forbade public operatic performances in Rome, but an allegorical oratorio, Il trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno. In the same month he joined the household of his most important secular patron in Rome, the Marquess (later Prince) Francesco Maria Ruspoli, working partly at the Bonelli Palace in Rome and partly on Ruspoli’s country estate at Vignanello, and collaborating with such excellent musicians as the soprano Margherita Durastanti. Among his earliest assignments for Ruspoli were two motets and a setting of the Salve regina for the church at Vignanello, and the little hunting cantata Diana cacciatrice. Otherwise Handel provided chamber cantatas for Ruspoli’s weekly assemblies in Rome and larger cantatas for special occasions. A sequence of French songs and a cantata in Spanish were no doubt responses to special challenges. The lengthy cantata Clori, Tirsi e Fileno, performed in the early autumn, closed this period with Ruspoli. Meanwhile, Handel must already have drafted the score of his first all-Italian opera, almost certainly commissioned by Ferdinando de’ Medici. It was produced at the Cocomero theatre in Florence, probably in October 1707, under the title Vincer se stesso è il maggior vittoria, but known to Mainwaring and posterity as Rodrigo. The opera shows the benefits of his Italian studies, showing touches of new elegance in several arias and confident handling of the language in the recitatives.

It is in connection with Rodrigo that Mainwaring brings in the name of a singer, Vittoria, coyly hinting at an affair with the composer that began in Florence and was later resumed in Venice. The reference seems to be to the soprano Vittoria Tarquini, who, Mainwaring implies, turned her attention to Handel after a liaison with the bisexual Ferdinando. The fact that she is not listed in the cast of Rodrigo casts doubt on Mainwaring’s story, but in 1710 the Electress Sophia, discussing Handel’s appointment to the Hanover court, mentions gossip that Handel had been the lover of Vittoria (‘amant de la Victoria’). No other evidence of a sexual attachment is known for the rest of his life, though an early annotator of Mainwaring hints at occasional discreet affairs with women, adding that ‘his amours were rather of short duration, always with[in] the pale of his own profession’.

In the absence of any report of Handel’s movements in winter 1707–8, it is likely that he returned to Hamburg to direct the productions of Florindo and Daphne. The documentary record resumes in Rome, where, working once more for Ruspoli, Handel composed the dazzling score of his second oratorio La resurrezione in time for performance at the Bonelli palace on Easter Sunday (8 April) 1708. A specially designed set was prepared for the performance, with a backdrop illustrating scenes from the story, and the massive orchestra (at least 45 players) was led by Arcangelo Corelli. This unacted work illustrates Handel’s dramatic flair more strikingly than any previous composition, not only in its characterizations (the blustering Lucifer, the grief-stricken yet resolute Mary Magdalene) but also in such effects as the Angel’s interruption of the overture with a trumpet aria of great brilliance. His next major work was the dramatic cantata Aci, Galatea e Polifemo, written on a visit to Naples in June 1708, and almost certainly commissioned by the Duchess of Laurenzano for the wedding of her niece to the Duke of Alvito; she is the mysterious princess named as ‘Donna Laura’ in Mainwaring’s account. Details of the actual performance are unfortunately not known, but the work must have created astonishment with its writing for the bass voice of Polyphemus, demanding a range of two-and-a-half octaves.

After the Naples interlude Handel’s movements are uncertain, though further excursions to Florence and Venice are likely. He was in Venice at the end of 1709, when his second Italian opera, the satirical comedy Agrippina, opened the carnival season at the S Giovanni Grisostomo theatre on 26 December with enormous success. This was the season most popular with visitors, and Handel’s triumph before the international audience at once established a worldwide reputation and provided him with influential contacts. Among the latter were probably Prince Ernst Georg of Hanover, brother of the elector (the future George I of England), and the Duke of Manchester (the English ambassador), both of whom may have issued invitations for Handel to visit their respective countries. Much of the music of Agrippina was drawn from works Handel had composed earlier in Italy (with a little admixture of material from Keiser) and shows an assured mastery of the Italian idiom, the music more certainly reflecting character and dramatic context than in Rodrigo.

4. Hanover, Düsseldorf and London.

It is likely that Handel had several options open to him when the run of Agrippina closed near the end of February 1710. He journeyed north, passing through Innsbruck in March, where he was received by Prince Carl von Neuburg, Governor of the Tyrol, to whom he had been commended, but he did not take up an offer of assistance and continued to Hanover where he was appointed Kapellmeister to the electoral court on 16 June at a salary of 1000 thaler. The Electress Sophia reported that the electoral prince and princess (the future King George II of England and Queen Caroline) were delighted with his harpsichord playing. The Hanoverian appointment made generous allowance for travel, and by July Handel had moved on to Düsseldorf where he was received for several weeks by the Elector Palatine and the Electress Anna Maria de’ Medici (Ferdinando’s sister) before travelling to London in the early autumn. A few compositions can be assigned to this period, the most important being the splendid dramatic cantata Apollo e Dafne, apparently begun in Italy but not completed until 1710 (it may have been a substitute for the opera that the Electress Sophia believed Handel had been asked to write for Düsseldorf).

Italian-style opera had been introduced to London in 1705 and had gained popularity with the production (in English) of Nicola Haym’s arrangement of Giovanni Bononcini’s Camilla at Drury Lane on 30 March 1706. There followed three seasons of experiment and controversy among London theatre managers, in which attempts to establish a new genre of all-sung opera in English were swiftly suppressed by the more urgent public demand for real Italian music sung by Italian singers, especially the castratos. The Queen’s (later King’s) Theatre in the Haymarket, built by John Vanbrugh, became the London opera house. However, up to the time of Handel’s arrival in autumn 1710, the Italian operas produced in London had all been arrangements of earlier works or pasticcios. It fell to Handel to compose the first specifically designed for London, using the all-Italian company engaged by the manager Aaron Hill for the 1710–11 season. (A little of Handel’s music had reached London before him: most of the overture to Rodrigo had been used as act tunes in a revival of Jonson’s The Alchemist in January 1710.) The new opera, Rinaldo, opened on 24 February 1711, by which time Handel had already made a mark with ‘a Dialogue in Italian, in Her Majesty’s praise’ (apparently no longer extant) performed at St James’s Palace on Queen Anne’s birthday, 6 February.

Giacomo Rossi wrote the libretto of Rinaldo, but the scenario had been designed by Hill himself to ‘afford the Musick scope to vary and display its Excellence and fill the Eye with more delightful Prospects’ than had been the case with earlier Italian operas in London. The combination of an elaborate series of scenic effects with music of great passion and brilliance made Rinaldo the sensation of the season, with 15 performances, despite mockery from Addison and Steele in the Spectator. The harpsichord improvisations provided for in Armida’s aria ‘Vo’ far guerra’ gave Handel opportunity to display his prowess as performer as well as composer. After the end of the season (2 June), he returned to Hanover, stopping at Düsseldorf on the way, and visited his family in Halle in November. He was not in England for the 1711–12 London season (though Rinaldo was revived in January 1712), but a reference to his study of English in a letter of July 1711 makes it clear that he intended to return. Mainwaring assigns to this period at Hanover the set of 12 chamber duets found collected in several manuscript copies, but some are earlier in origin. ‘Towards the end of the year 1712, he obtained leave of the Elector to make a second visit to England, on condition that he engaged to return within a reasonable time’ (Mainwaring).

On his return to London Handel (according to Hawkins) stayed at the town house of ‘Mr Andrews, of Barn Elms’, but he soon moved to the more luxurious and stimulating environment of Burlington House in Piccadilly, where the young Earl of Burlington exercised a wide range of artistic patronage. Handel seems to have lived there for about three or four years (1713–16). His next opera, Il pastor fido, opened on 22 November 1712, but its unsensational pastoral style proved disappointing after Rinaldo and Handel swiftly returned to heroic gesture and magical effects with the more successful Teseo (10 January 1713) and a revival of Rinaldo (6 May). A further opera, Silla, was apparently written for private performance in June before the newly appointed French ambassador, but despite the existence of a printed wordbook it is not clear whether it was actually given. There were no Handel operas in the season of 1713–14, and he composed only one more for the rest of the decade, Amadigi (25 May 1715). This, like Teseo, was based on a French libretto and was again of magical heroic character. However, Handel was not absent from the opera house in the 1715–16 and 1716–17 seasons (the last in London before 1720); additional arias for revivals of Rinaldo and Amadigi belong to this period, and Handel also provided three new arias for the castrato Bernacchi in the 1716 revival of Pirro e Demetrio, which he may have directed.

As in Italy, Handel was anxious to prove himself as a composer of choral music. In England that meant compositions for the church and to a lesser extent the setting of court odes, the latter being provided regularly for the New Year and the birthday of the monarch as well as for special celebrations. However, such work was largely the prerogative of the musicians of the Chapel Royal and the court establishment. Handel was able to circumvent the difficulty by obtaining commissions directly from the monarch for ceremonial occasions, which also had the advantage of making available the substantial choral and orchestral forces he used with such great effect. What is probably his first English anthem, As Pants the Hart (hwv251a, dating from 1711–12) is however exceptional, being scored for voices and continuo only (Handel seems to have held the piece in particular regard, making several later versions). His first public church compositions were the Te Deum and Jubilate, given their official first performance on 7 July 1713 at the thanksgiving service celebrating the Peace of Utrecht, though they had been publicly rehearsed in March. His one attempt at a court ode, Eternal Source of Light Divine, also dates from this time, being almost certainly composed for the birthday of Queen Anne on 6 February 1713, though the queen’s ill-health may have prevented performance in that year and the next. It takes up several features of earlier English odes, including a ground bass movement, but with an expansiveness that is wholly individual.

At the beginning of June 1713 Handel was summarily dismissed from his Hanover post. The reasons probably relate to his involvement in the celebration of the Treaty of Utrecht (which was against Hanoverian interests); Handel may also have indiscreetly dropped a hint that he would prefer to remain in England. The Hanoverian representative in London, C.F. Kreienberg, expressed anxiety at the breach for the surprising reason that Handel had been useful in supplying reports on Queen Anne’s failing health obtained through his friendship with John Arbuthnot, her physician. But matters were smoothed over and he was assured that he could enter Queen Anne’s service and continue to serve when the elector became king. On 28 December 1713 the queen granted him an annual pension of £200, and when George succeeded to the crown on 1 August 1714 he kept his word: Handel’s arrears of salary from Hanover were paid and his new Te Deum was sung in the king’s presence on 26 September 1714.

Other musical activities in the period 1711–17 include the composition of Italian cantatas, some of them revisions of works written in Italy and perhaps given at private musical gatherings at Burlington House. A large cantata referring to the Spanish Succession, of which a substantial fragment (Echeggiate, festeggiate) survives, was apparently composed (again using earlier material) in 1711–12, but its purpose is unclear; it may not have been intended for performance in London. Handel also wrote and revised keyboard music. The threat of a pirated publication of a collection of his keyboard pieces, under the imprint of Roger of Amsterdam but probably prepared by London publisher John Walsh, prompted him to publish an authoritative collection of his own in 1720, under the title Suites de pieces, through the agency of Christopher Smith (originally Johann Christoph Schmidt of Ansbach), who became his chief copyist and business manager (Handel may have met him on a visit to Germany in 1716, but this journey cannot be confirmed). Handel checked the printing himself – there are indications of authorial proof changes on the plates – but this was to be the only time he ever directly supervised the publication of his music.

The most extensive non-operatic vocal work of this time was a setting of B.H. Brockes’s Passion oratorio, of uncertain date (no later than early 1717, possibly three years earlier); its first known performance was in Hamburg Cathedral on 23 March 1719, with settings of the same text by Keiser, Telemann and Mattheson. According to Mattheson it was composed in England and sent to Hamburg in ‘an uncommonly close-written score’. By far the best-known work of the period is the Water Music, an orchestral suite first played on 17 July 1717 to accompany a trip on the River Thames made by King George I and his entourage. Mainwaring’s story that it helped to heal Handel’s relations with the king in 1714 cannot be true, but Mainwaring may have confused the 1714 affair with a second period of difficulty in 1717, when a rift developed between the king and his son the Prince of Wales; the water trip (avoided by the Prince and Princess Caroline) was a political event, the first of a series arranged to allow the king to be more visible to his subjects. Handel’s provision of music may have indicated that, despite his good standing with the younger members of the royal family, his first loyalty was to the king.

5. Cannons.

In summer 1717 Handel began a brief but fruitful period in the service of James Brydges, Earl of Carnarvon and later Duke of Chandos, based mainly at Cannons, Brydges’s newly built mansion near Edgware. His presence at dinner there is recorded in August 1717; by the following summer he had completed 11 anthems and a large-scale Te Deum, all performed in the local parish church of St Lawrence, Whitchurch, which then served as Brydges’ private chapel. The form and scoring of the ‘Chandos’ anthems (as they became known) is unique to English church music and reflects Brydges’ maintenance of a substantial establishment of musicians at Cannons under the supervision of J.C. Pepusch. (Two of them were based on earlier anthems for the Chapel Royal, while a third was a revision of the Utrecht Jubilate.) Of greater significance for later activities were two dramatic works, the masque Acis and Galatea, composed in spring 1718, and the oratorio Esther, probably shortly afterwards. The first, unconnected with the Naples cantata, was modelled on the English masques by Pepusch and others produced at Drury Lane and Lincoln’s Inn Fields in 1715–18 as a modest (and moderately successful) counterblast to the Italian opera; but it comprehensively transcends them with its profound evocation of tragedy in a pastoral setting, leavened by touches of grotesque humour in the characterization of the giant Polyphemus. Esther, based on Racine’s biblical drama, is a less polished work, recycling portions of music from the Brockes Passion, but with several moments of high emotion. Given its importance as the first English oratorio, it is regrettable that nothing is known about how it came to be written; even the authorship of the libretto (variously attributed to Pope and John Arbuthnot, and drawing upon Thomas Brereton’s translation of the Racine play) is uncertain. The revivals of both Esther and Acis in 1732 inspired the series of English oratorios and secular musical dramas that were to crown Handel’s achievement.

6. The Royal Academy of Music.

On 20 February 1719 Handel wrote to his brother-in-law Michael Michaëlsen to apologize for not having visited the family at Halle since the death of Michaëlsen’s wife (Handel’s sister) the previous summer; he had been detained, he said, ‘par des affaires indispensables, et d’ou, j’ose dire, ma fortune depend’. These urgent affairs were the establishment of the Royal Academy of Music, an organization designed to put Italian opera in London on a secure footing. It was founded as a joint stock company, financed by subscription and incorporated by Letters Patent. The directors were elected by the subscribers, who were entitled to one vote per £200 subscribed, and, like the subscribers themselves, were drawn from the nobility and landed gentry, many of whom had been on the Grand Tour and had personal knowledge of opera in Italy; some were also good amateur musicians. Their interest in the venture was therefore not merely formal, nor specifically financial. Though the original proposal for the founding of the Academy offered the optimistic forecast that ‘the Undertakers will be Gainers at least five and twenty percent upon Twenty percent of the Stock’, the subscribers (who received only one dividend payment in the nine seasons of the Academy’s operation) cannot have harboured such illusions after the first couple of seasons. They subscribed partly from a genuine desire to see first-class opera in London and partly because subscribing was an appropriate way of exercising the artistic patronage expected from persons of their rank in society.

In May 1719 the king authorized an annual bounty of £1000 to the Academy and ordered its legal incorporation. On 14 May Handel was commissioned by the Lord Chamberlain to visit the Continent and contract ‘with such Singer or Singers … fit to perform on the English Stage’, Senesino being particularly required. Handel seems not to have returned to Italy, however, but instead went to Dresden, probably taking in Düsseldorf and Halle on the way. He was there by July and stayed on until September, when an illustrious opera company (including Senesino and Handel’s old colleague Durastanti) was assembled for a lavish production of Lotti’s Teofane to celebrate a royal marriage. Four of the singers (Senesino, Durastanti, Berselli and Boschi) were later engaged for the Academy, though only Durastanti came for the short first season. On 30 November the directors recommended that Handel (apparently still abroad) be appointed as ‘Master of the Orchester with a Sallary’; the duties and the salary are not known. At the same meeting it was agreed to approach Bononcini ‘to know his Terms for composing & performing in the Orchester’.

The first season of the Academy opened belatedly at the King’s Theatre on 2 April 1720 with Giovanni Porta’s Numitore. This seems to have been a stop-gap: Handel’s Radamisto, produced on 27 April, made a much greater impression and the première was marked by the first public appearance together of King George I and the Prince of Wales since their reconciliation earlier in the month. Handel’s dedication of the opera to the king acknowledged this indication of royal favour. An arrangement by Thomas Roseingrave of Domenico Scarlatti’s Narciso was the only other opera of the season. By the autumn the Academy was in full operation. Bononcini had been engaged, and the Academy’s first full-length season opened with his Astarto on 19 November 1720, with Senesino making his London début in the title role. For the rest of the decade Handel’s activities were closely bound to the fortunes of the Academy, which gave seven more seasons, the last closing in June 1728. As a composer, however, especially in the early years, he did not have the wholly dominant position that posterity accords him, and some of the directors and singers (who ranked in importance above composers) seem always to have been hostile to him. In the 1720–21 season he provided no complete new opera, though he wrote new music for the extensively revised version of Radamisto produced on 28 December 1720 and for the third act of Muzio Scevola (15 April 1721, the other acts being by the Academy’s cellist Filippo Amadei and Bononcini). Floridante (9 December 1721) was his only new opera of the following season, the main successes of which were Bononcini’s Crispo and Griselda.

Political events gave Handel the opportunity to take a more prominent role in subsequent seasons. The exposure in May and June 1722 of the Jacobite conspiracies involving Francis Atterbury, Dean of Westminster, put all Catholics under suspicion and made it more difficult for the directors to support Bononcini. His close friend Paolo Rolli, who had provided most of the librettos for the Academy operas and acted as its secretary, also lost his position. As a result Handel gained more opportunity for composition as well as a more congenial librettist in Nicola Haym. His position was not affected by the arrival in the autumn of 1723 of a third composer, Attilio Ariosti, who made some impact with Coriolano, produced on 19 February 1723, but always remained a secondary figure. The most important event of the 1722–3 season as far as the public were concerned was the arrival of the soprano Francesca Cuzzoni, a worthy match to Senesino, and it was Handel’s new opera Ottone in which she made her début on 12 January 1723. Handel was then sufficiently confident of his status to take her to task in rehearsals for refusing to sing her first aria (‘Falsa immagine’), though he had composed the opera before her arrival and must soon have become aware that he had not done justice to her capabilities. The three new arias added to Ottone for Cuzzoni’s benefit performance on 26 March could well have been a peace offering. There is no reason to suppose that Handel was always imperious with his singers: the role of Matilda in Ottone gave trouble to the contralto Anastasia Robinson, and was substantially reworked before performance in response to her requests (which however she diplomatically expressed through an intermediary). The season ended with a second new Handel opera, Flavio (14 May 1723), its lighter, satirical tone making a contrast to preceding Academy operas and perhaps reflecting a particular preference of the composer.

In the 1723–4 season Bononcini was again allowed two new operas (Farnace and Calfurnia); they were the last before Astianatte (6 May 1727), his final contribution to the London stage. They were quite outshone, however, by Handel’s Giulio Cesare in Egitto (20 February 1724). This deservedly made a sensational effect with its sumptuous scoring and melodic richness, and gave Senesino and Cuzzoni (as Caesar and Cleopatra) roles that fully stretched their vocal and dramatic talents. Two comparably great though very different masterpieces dominated the next season. Tamerlano, which opened the season (31 October 1724), and Rodelinda (13 February 1725) are comparatively restrained in instrumentation, but possess a taut dramatic power to which it is hard to find a parallel in opera of this period; and Rodelinda is as well endowed with melody as Giulio Cesare. These three operas marked the artistic peak of the Academy’s operations. By spring 1725 the directors, ever anxious for new sensations, had determined to obtain the services of a second great soprano, Faustina Bordoni, and thereby sowed the seeds of dissension which were ultimately to prove disastrous to the Academy. The loss of Haym as librettist and the return of Rolli was an additional hindrance to Handel. The 1725–6 season hung fire until Faustina finally appeared in Handel’s Alessandro on 5 May 1726, the time meanwhile having been filled in by a pasticcio (Elisa), revivals and Handel’s hastily prepared Scipione (12 March 1726). The choice of subject for Alessandro (Alexander the Great’s simultaneous wooing of the princesses Roxana and Lisaura), and Handel’s ingenious equalization of Cuzzoni’s and Faustina’s music, amusingly but perhaps unwisely pointed up the rivalry between the two prima donnas.

The 1726–7 season began late because of the absence of Senesino and opened with Ariosti’s Lucio Vero on 7 January 1727. Handel’s only new work was Admeto (31 January 1727); it proved the finest of the Cuzzoni-Faustina operas, the contrasting styles of the two singers being made a significant element of the characterization. The sopranos themselves, no doubt egged on by their supporters, nevertheless became increasingly hostile and finally came to blows on the stage during a performance of Bononcini’s Astianatte on 6 June. The incident caused great offence to the Princess of Wales, who was present, and brought the season to an abrupt end.

There were some directors who were prepared to resolve the matter by not renewing Cuzzoni’s contract for the following season, but eventually the same company (apart from the contralto Anna Dotti) was re-engaged, perhaps to make sure there was an opera season to celebrate the accession of the new king, George II (George I had died on 11 June). The first of Handel’s three new operas, Riccardo primo (11 November 1727), had been intended for the previous season, but its British subject proved particularly apt for the celebration of the new king’s coronation. All the operas in the rest of the season were Handel’s, including two new works: Siroe (17 February 1728), the first opera with a libretto by Metastasio to be heard in London, and Tolomeo (30 April 1728). By this time the directors and subscribers, riven by dissension and annoyed by the frequent calls for extra cash to meet the financial demands of the singers, were wearying of the whole venture. The production of John Gay’s Beggar’s Opera at Lincoln’s Inn Fields on 29 January 1728, which included the Academy’s troubles among its objects of satire, helped to devalue opera as a fit object for aristocratic support. Some subscribers indicated to the opera house manager J.J. Heidegger a willingness to carry on, but they were not enough to secure a season, and Heidegger fell back on masquerades to keep the theatre in use during winter 1728–9. At an ill-attended meeting on 18 January 1729 the directors effectively wound up the Academy as an active body and resolved (as the Earl of Egmont noted) ‘to permit Hydeger and Hendle to carry on operas without disturbance for 5 years’. Within ten days Handel set off for Italy to engage new singers for the following season.

Despite his involvement with opera, Handel found time for other musical activities in the 1720s. On 25 February 1723 he was made Composer of Music for His Majesty’s Chapel Royal – an honorary appointment because, as an alien, he could not hold an office of profit under the Crown. The title seems simply to have given official recognition to his role in supplying occasional music for the Chapel Royal, which in the mid-1720s included three orchestrally accompanied anthems and the Te Deum in A, all based to some extent on works written for Cannons. An exceptional opportunity for ceremonial church music arose after the unexpected death of George I in June 1727. For the coronation of his successor George II and his consort Queen Caroline at Westminster Abbey on 11 October Handel provided four new anthems of great splendour, showing how much he welcomed the chance to use the massed forces not available to him in the opera house. They included Zadok the Priest, which has been sung at every subsequent coronation of a British monarch. According to Burney (Sketch, p.34) Handel ‘took offence’ at being provided with the words of the anthems ‘by the bishops’, murmuring ‘I have read my Bible very well, and shall chuse for myself’. In fact the anthem texts had long been traditional in English coronations, and it seems rather to have been the case that Handel took them from Sandford’s description of the coronation of James II in 1685 (Burrows, G1977); but the anecdote may plausibly imply that Handel started composing the anthems before receiving a commission to do so. Notes made by William Wake, who as Archbishop of Canterbury presided at the service, indicate that the performances of the anthems were wretchedly confused, but Handel was later able to provide contexts in which they could be heard satisfactorily.

This decade also saw Handel settling into the London social scene. In August 1723 he took a lease on a house in Brook Street (now no.25) which was to be his home for the rest of his life. It was part of the new development of what became Mayfair, designed for upper-and middle-rank gentry, reflecting how Handel perceived his new status in society. He became music master to the royal princesses (the daughters of George II) and established an especially fond relationship with Anne, the Princess Royal; it was probably for her that he prepared a set of exercises in figured bass and counterpoint. Many of the solo sonatas and trio sonatas later published as his op.1 and op.2 were written at this period. They may well have been heard at private concerts given for the royal family, but nothing certain is known about their original purpose. In February 1727 Handel’s application to become a naturalized British subject was effected in the usual way by Act of Parliament; it was a clear demonstration of his permanent commitment to his country of adoption.

7. The Second Academy.

Between February and July 1729 Handel was in continental Europe in search of new singers. After visiting Venice, Bologna and Rome he went on to Germany to see his mother at Halle for the last time (she died in December 1730) and took in Hamburg on his way back. He succeeded in engaging a full company of seven singers, all but one (the aging castrato Bernacchi) new to London; they included the soprano Anna Strada del Pò, to remain his leading female singer for the next eight years. The first season under the new arrangements, much dependent on the support of the king, opened with Lotario (2 December 1729), newly composed but in the heroic style typical of the Academy period. This was followed (after a revival of Giulio Cesare) by the attractively satirical Partenope, suggesting a departure from tradition. But neither opera was well liked. The pasticcio Ormisda was more successful: it was the first of a number of such works compiled or arranged from the works of other composers (usually those of the new ‘Neapolitan’ school) that Handel was to offer over the next seven years in addition to his own compositions. For the ensuing season Handel had little choice but to re-engage Senesino, Bernacchi having proved a poor substitute. He opened with a revival of Scipione (3 November 1730). Poro (2 February 1731) was the only new opera and was well received. Handel strengthened his company for the following season with two newcomers to London, the tenor Pinacci and the excellent bass Antonio Montagnana, but his first new opera, Ezio (Handel’s last on a Metastasio text), was taken off after only five performances. Sosarme, the second new work, fared better.

On 23 February 1732, during the run of Sosarme, Bernard Gates, Master of the Children of the Chapel Royal, celebrated the composer’s birthday with the first of three private performances of the Cannons oratorio Esther at the Crown and Anchor Tavern in the Strand, beginning a long series of related events that eventually led Handel away from operatic composition and established English oratorio and unstaged musical drama as his main form of composition. The Esther revival stimulated the first public performance of the piece in London, by an unnamed group, on 20 April. This was without Handel’s authority, and he responded by producing a newly enlarged version of the work at the King’s Theatre on 2 May 1732, sung in English but using most of his Italian singers with English reinforcements. The many additions included new music and music taken from other works (Samuel Humphreys supplied new words where required) and the leading male role of Ahasuerus was adapted for Senesino. Two of the coronation anthems were among the additions, and were thus heard by a general audience for the first time in respectable performances. Though Gates’s production of Esther (technically a private performance) had been staged, Handel’s new version, presented in a public theatre, had to be given without action. (Burney’s account of these events implies that the Bishop of London personally banned stage presentation, but the public staging of biblical drama had long been forbidden in Britain and the bishop would merely have confirmed the position.) On 15 May an unauthorized performance of Handel’s other dramatic work for Cannons, Acis and Galatea, took place at the Little Theatre in the Haymarket. Handel again responded on 10 June with a new version of the same work – a combination of the Naples cantata Aci, Galatea e Polifemo with the Cannons masque and other music, sung in a mixture of English and Italian and presented as a serenata. In the space of six weeks two musical forms new to London, oratorio and serenata, had found a place in the city’s theatrical entertainment, but only as an occasional alternative to opera.

The season of 1732–3 led to further developments and a crisis. The new works were the remarkable Orlando (27 January 1733) and a second English oratorio, Deborah (17 March 1733). The latter was partly new and partly adapted from earlier works, including the Brockes Passion, and took in the two coronation anthems that had not been used in Esther. Unfortunately, Handel’s attempt to charge double prices for Deborah was resented. His relationship with Senesino deteriorated – the singer may have been unhappy with the unusually difficult and irregular role of Orlando, and with having to sing in English again in Deborah – and Handel dismissed him. Meanwhile a group of the nobility and gentry, headed by Frederick, Prince of Wales, were moving to undermine Handel’s position as the sole provider of Italian opera in London. Their motives are not easy to determine but were undoubtedly wider than personal hostility to the composer. Handel’s position as the effective controller of opera performances, with no body of aristocratic directors to govern him, appeared presumptuous in an age when musicians were regarded as servants; and the fact that he owed this position primarily to the king allowed him to be seen as a symbol of the corrupt Whig government, making him a natural focus of hostility for the new opposition groups cultivating Frederick as a future ‘patriot king’. In June a subscription was begun to form a new opera company (the so-called Opera of the Nobility), the directors of which immediately engaged Senesino and other members of Handel’s company (Strada excepted) to sing for them the following season under the direction of Nicola Porpora.

The attacks on Handel had the beneficial effect of galvanizing his supporters and generating (especially after the performances of Acis and Galatea and the English oratorios) a wider recognition of his stature as a musician. He was invited to receive the honorary degree of Doctor of Music at the revival of the ‘Publick Act’, the degree ceremony, at Oxford in summer 1733 and to provide music for the occasion. He did not in the event accept the degree but gave a series of concerts of mainly English works including the first performance of a new oratorio, Athalia, on 10 July 1733. Following the precedent of Esther, Humpreys provided a libretto based on Racine’s second biblical drama. Handel set it with newly composed music thoughout, creating a powerful study of the apostate queen of the Israelites.

By the autumn, Handel had managed to assemble a new opera company – Heidegger may have done the negotiations – which included his old colleague Margherita Durastanti and a fine new castrato, Giovanni Carestini. He opened on 30 October 1733 with the pasticcio Semiramide and continued with a revival of Ottone and two other pasticcios; but his audiences were thin, and four opera nights in December passed without a performance. The rival opera company opened its operations with Porpora’s Arianna in Naxo at Lincoln’s Inn Fields on 29 December, beginning four years of operatic warfare. Handel seems to have held his own in this first season. Carestini swiftly gained admirers, and Handel’s new opera Arianna in Creta, which opened on 26 January 1734, showed off his talents to the full. For the marriage of the Princess of Wales to the Prince of Orange in March Handel produced Parnasso in festa, his only full-scale Italian serenata, the music of which was partly new and partly adapted from Athalia. (The same oratorio also provided most of the music for the wedding anthem This is the Day, sung at the ceremony at the German Chapel of St James’s Palace on 14 March.) Some of the new music for Parnasso was in Handel’s best pastoral style and found appropriate inclusion in a much-altered revival of Il pastor fido that opened on 18 May 1734 and had a very successful run, extending the season into July.

8. Opera at Covent Garden.

Handel’s five-year agreement with Heidegger ended in 1734 and the Nobility Opera took over at the King’s Theatre. Fortunately another venue had become available: John Rich had opened his new theatre at Covent Garden on 7 December 1732 and saw advantage in offering Handel two opera nights a week as an alternative to the repertory of spoken plays. In the season of 1734–5 both opera companies gave of their best. The Nobility had managed to engage Farinelli, the greatest castrato of the age, as their leading singer and opened their season at the King’s Theatre with Artaserse (a pasticcio using some of Hasse’s setting) on 29 October 1734, following with a much-mangled version of Handel’s own Ottone. Handel could also offer an extra attraction at Covent Garden, the French dancer Marie Sallé and her company, for whom he provided newly written ballets in all the operas of the season. He opened on 9 November with a further revival of Il pastor fido, to which a new prologue featuring Sallé as the muse Terpsichore was added. Arianna was revived, and was followed on 18 December by Oreste, a pasticcio assembled by Handel himself from his own previous works, with new recitatives and dances.

The wholly new compositions were Ariodante (8 January 1735) and Alcina (16 April 1735) – two of his greatest operas, fully comparable with those of the Academy’s mid-1720s period. Their productions were separated by a Lenten season in which Handel gave the first London performances of Athalia and revivals of his two earlier oratorios, adding the further attraction of organ concertos – a new form of composition – in the intervals. Thus, in this one season, Handel displayed all aspects of his musical genius, both as performer (in the organ concertos) and as composer. These musical riches were not enough, however, to secure adequate financial returns, and Handel declined to attempt a further challenge to the Nobility Opera (again with Farinelli) in the following season. Instead he produced a brilliant setting of Dryden’s ode Alexander’s Feast at Covent Garden on 19 February 1736, filling out the evening with new concertos and an Italian cantata. The suggestion for this setting came from Handel’s friend Newburgh Hamilton, who also provided the words for extra numbers at the end of the ode, but it was of course Handel’s own introduction of major choral works to his public repertory that prompted the suggestion in the first place. Revivals of Acis and Galatea and Esther followed. The wedding of the Prince of Wales on 27 April gave Handel an excuse for a short celebratory opera season consisting of a revival of Ariodante (in which Gioacchino Conti, a new castrato, was allowed to include non-Handelian arias from his previous continental repertory) and eight performances of the newly composed Atalanta (12 May 1736) – light in mood, as befitted the occasion, but not at all shallow; Frederick ostentatiously refused to attend the first night. Handel again supplied a wedding anthem (Sing unto God) for the ceremony itself, most of the music being new but with the final solo and chorus from Parnasso in festa re-used to make an exhilarating conclusion.

By the autumn some sort of rapprochement between the opera factions seems to have taken place. The Nobility Opera remained at the King’s Theatre, for what was to be their last season, but Handel was able also to offer a full season of opera and other works at Covent Garden, with Frederick and his wife making a point of attending the opening production (a revival of Alcina on 6 November 1736). Handel produced three new operas – Arminio (12 January 1737), Giustino (16 February) and Berenice (18 May) – as well as a substantially rewritten version of his first Italian oratorio, renamed Il trionfo del Tempo e della Verità (23 March 1737) and an adaptation of Leonardo Vinci’s Didone abbandonata (13 April). The operas, all based on old-fashioned librettos with recitatives ruthlessly cut, display a level of musical invention lower than that in Alexander’s Feast, despite individual numbers of high quality. Opera seemed no longer to be Handel’s prime interest, though he was wary of abandoning it altogether. A crisis of confidence is suggested by a sudden deterioration in his health in April 1737, marked by the temporary paralysis of his right hand. In September he visited Aix-la-Chapelle (Aachen) where the vapour baths effected a complete cure.

9. From opera to oratorio.

By November 1737 Handel was back in London composing a new opera, Faramondo. The demise of the Nobility Opera enabled him to return to the King’s Theatre, where he shared musical activities with the composers Pescetti and Veracini in a season organized by Heidegger. Both operatic parties were apparently satisfied by this arrangement, and it was agreed that Handel was to receive £1000 for two new operas. The season opened with a pasticcio on 29 October 1737 but the death of Queen Caroline on 20 November closed the theatre until the new year. It reopened with Faramondo on 3 January 1738, Handel’s reappearance after his illness receiving acclaim along with the London début of the castrato Caffarelli. (In the closed period Handel had composed an expansive anthem for the queen’s funeral, The Ways of Zion do Mourn, properly sombre in tone, and drawing on chorale melodies from the Lutheran tradition in which both he and the queen had been raised.) Handel next prepared Alessandro Severo (25 February), a pasticcio drawing mainly on the operas of the previous season, and composed Serse (15 April), based on a largely comic Venetian libretto. The latter, the finest of his late operas (and one over which he took much trouble), received only five performances. Any financial difficulties that Handel might have met during the season were cleared by a benefit concert at the King’s on 28 March, when he presented what was effectively a pasticcio assembled from church music and oratorio under the title ‘An Oratorio’. The concert reportedly earned him about £1000. He was now on the way to becoming a revered public figure, though perhaps on account more of his recent English choral works than of his operas. In May 1738 a marble statue of him by Louis Roubiliac was commissioned for the pleasure gardens at Vauxhall, showing the composer informally posed and playing the lyre to suggest an identification with the god Apollo – a unique honour for a living composer. Two months earlier the full score of Alexander’s Feast (shown in the statue) was published: seven members of the royal family headed the lengthy subscription list. This was also the time when Handel first became involved in charitable work with his contribution to the establishment of the Fund for the Support of Decay’d Musicians (now the Royal Society of Musicians).

Heidegger attempted to arrange a further opera season at the King’s, but on 25 July announced that he had failed to obtain the requisite number of subscribers and ‘could not agree with the Singers th’I offer’d One Thousand Guineas to One of them’. Handel turned resolutely to oratorio, beginning Saul the following day; he immediately went on to compose the biblical oratorio Israel in Egypt, but before finishing Saul he hastily drafted Imeneo (a ‘wedding opera’, like Atalanta), perhaps on hearing of the betrothal of Princess Mary to Prince Frederick of Hesse. (The opera was not performed until November 1740, no connection being made with the princess’s marriage in May that year.) The libretto of Saul was the work of Charles Jennens, heir to rich estates in the Midlands. Scholar, man of letters and amateur musician, Jennens was one of the first of the composer’s supporters to understand the dramatic potential of oratorio. (He had supplied Handel with a libretto in 1735, but whether this was an early version of Saul or something entirely different is not known.) Jennens took as his basis the biblical account of the last days of King Saul, consumed by jealousy at the success of young David in the war against the Philistines, and eventually driven to necromancy (the encounter with the Witch of Endor) and death in battle. To this he added elements derived from Abraham Cowley’s unfinished epic Davideis, giving scope for female voices in the contrasting characters of Saul’s daughters, Michal and Merab. The chorus, not mere commentators, played a role as the people of Israel, directly affected by the downfall of their king. On this framework Handel created a musical drama of remarkable power, drawing the listener with sympathy into the growing disturbance of Saul’s mind while evoking vivid images of such scenes as the victory parade for David and the visit to the Witch. The expression of blended love and loss in the final elegy for Saul and Jonathan is one of the most moving moments in all Handel’s output.

Saul opened a season of oratorio and ode at the King’s on 16 January 1739, concluding on 19 April. Handel may have intended to perform Imeneo in a short post-Easter season, but instead he produced the semi-pasticcio Giove in Argo (generally called Jupiter in Argos, though the text was Italian) on 1 and 5 May; it used some music written for Imeneo and was described as a ‘Dramatical Composition’, presumably indicating that it was not fully staged. The new oratorios created a good impression, but audiences who hankered after Italian opera were not appeased by their massive choruses and rich orchestration; the mainly choral Israel in Egypt proved particularly difficult to swallow and its second performance was advertised as ‘shortened and Intermix’d with Songs’ (i.e. Italian arias).

Hints of a new move to revive Italian opera, and of a new rival for Handel, occurred at Covent Garden in April and May 1739, when Pescetti’s serenata Angelica e Medoro was performed four times by a company almost certainly financed by Charles Sackville, Earl of Middlesex and heir to the Duke of Dorset (his mistress, known as La Muscovita, was one of the singers). He had just returned from an extended stay in Italy and became the leading light of a new ‘opera party’. By May he had obtained a modest subscription for operas the following season. However, both he and Handel seem to have been anxious not to begin another operatic war. The King’s Theatre remained dark; Handel moved to Rich’s old theatre at Lincoln’s Inn Fields, giving English works at the end of 1739 and in Lent 1740. There were new works, a setting of Dryden’s A Song for St Cecilia’s Day (22 November 1739, the appropriate day) and L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato (27 February 1740). Meanwhile, Middlesex offered a season of Italian works, mainly in a light pastoral vein, at the Little Theatre in the Haymarket, opening on 1 December. The music for L’Allegro is a perfect expression of the moods suggested by the imagery of the two short poems by Milton from which the words are mostly taken. The first draft of a libretto, drawn solely from Milton, had been provided by the philosopher and amateur musician James Harris, now part of a circle of friends including Jennens and the 4th Earl of Shaftesbury who had taken an intense interest in Handel’s English works and were anxious to supply ideas for new ones. Handel wanted the contrasting attitudes of Milton’s Allegro and Penseroso to be encompassed in ‘one moral design’, and it was Jennens who undertook the revision of Harris’s text and who added a final part of his own praising the virtues of moderation – possibly in response to Handel’s wish for a ‘moral design’ to the whole. For the concerts at Lincoln’s Inn Fields and also (unusually) with publication in mind, Handel composed a set of concerti grossi or ‘Grand Concertos’ in a single burst of creative energy between the end of September and the end of October 1739. They were performed in the intervals of the concerts and in April 1740 were published by Walsh with an impressive subscription list led by six members of the royal family (fig.1). Their designation as Handel’s op.6, though perhaps fortuitous as merely following the issue of a second set of trio sonatas as op.5, was nevertheless a significant echo of Corelli’s much admired set of concertos with the same opus number.

5. List of subscribers to the 12 Grand Concertos op.6 (London: Walsh, 1740)

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Middlesex was not active the following season, a circumstance that led Handel to present himself once more as the nation’s operatic provider. He made a continental journey in summer 1740 (the only known detail of which is his playing of the organ in Haarlem on 9 September), when he presumably engaged the two Italians who joined his company for the winter season, the castrato G.B. Andreoni and the soprano Maria Monza. Imeneo was finally completed for performance but given only twice, apparently because of the illness of Francesina, the soprano (Elisabeth Duparc). Handel’s last opera, Deidamia, in which Monza appeared for the first time, opened on 10 January 1741, but after its second performance Handel continued his season with L’Allegro, with several new numbers sung in Italian by Andreoni. After the third and last performance of Deidamia, on 10 February, Handel returned to English works sung partly in Italian. The wide gaps between performances hint at a boycott of Handel, but the reference in a published letter of 4 April 1741 to ‘a faux pas made but not meant’ suggests that the gaffe was a social one, perhaps connected with Handel’s renewed (and to some, arrogant) return to operatic promotion.

10. Oratorios and musical dramas.

Whether Handel decided to forsake Italian opera at this moment is unclear; but such a decision had almost certainly been taken by the time he had completed his next venture – a series of oratorios and other concert works given in Dublin between December 1741 and June 1742. Before leaving London he composed the oratorio Messiah and drafted Samson. Just before his departure Handel also saw the first production (the pasticcio Alessandro in Persia) of a new, full, season promoted by Middlesex at the King’s; he later reported to Charles Jennens (a shade patronizingly) that it made him ‘very merry all along my journey’. He arrived in Dublin on 18 November (after a delay due to bad weather at Chester, where he was observed by the young Charles Burney) and soon announced a subscription series of six ‘Musical Entertainments’ to be held at Neale’s new music hall in Fishamble Street. All tickets were sold, and a second series of six concerts was equally successful. The repertory consisted mainly of English choral works from his recent London seasons, including Saul and L’Allegro. Among the singers was Susanna Cibber; she made a great impression, allowing her to recover a career that had previously been ruined by an adulterous affair. A concert version of Imeneo given as a serenata on 24 March 1742 was Handel’s last farewell to Italian opera.

Messiah was the climax of the Dublin season, receiving a public rehearsal (9 April) and two performances (13 April, 3 June) for the benefit of three charities after the subscription concerts had been completed. The libretto, selected from Scripture, had been prepared by Jennens at the end of 1739, but this was when James Harris was also proposing L’Allegro, and the latter seemed more congenial to Handel at the time. Jennens’s highly original conception has a didactic purpose, namely to justify the doctrine that Jesus Christ was truly the Messiah promised by the Hebrew prophets, but the message is conveyed subtly by telling the story of Jesus’s mission through the Old Testament texts that were held to predict it; the story itself is therefore the foreground, yet is neither directly narrated (except in the description of the Nativity) nor dramatized. In the final part, the promise of redemption obtained through Christ is contemplated and celebrated. It was Jennens’s intention that Handel should perform the oratorio in London in Passion Week, when staged entertainments were closed and the season was appropriate to the subject, but Handel saw its value for his Dublin visit and subdued possible controversy over the use of scriptural texts by performing it for charitable purposes.

The success of the Dublin season gave Handel the confidence to return to London with a clear view that the production of English concert works in oratorio form was enough for him to maintain his position as England’s leading composer. With choruses added to the operatic forms of recitative and aria, all the vocal forms in which he excelled were brought together, and concertos and other orchestral music could also be included, either in the course of a work or in intervals. There was the added practical advantage that performances were under his sole control, free from the complications and expenses involved with stage presentation. Back in London in the autumn of 1742 Handel revised and completed the score of Samson. This was a realization of a project which had been in his mind since an evening with Lord Shaftesbury in November 1739, when James Noel, the earl’s brother-in-law, read aloud the whole of Milton’s Samson Agonistes. Shaftesbury reported that whenever Noel paused for breath ‘Mr Handel (who was highly delighted with the piece) played I think better than ever, & his harmony was perfectly adapted to the sublimity of the poem’. Newburgh Hamilton converted the poem into an oratorio libretto with some skill, using verses from Milton’s minor poems for the arias and choruses. He explained in a preface that ‘as Mr Handel had so happily introduc’d here Oratorios, a musical Drama, whose Subject must be Scriptural, and in which the Solemnity of Church-Musick is agreeably united with the most pleasing Airs of the Stage: It would have been an irretrievable Loss to have neglected the Opportunity of that great Master’s doing Justice to this Work’.

Handel gave the first performance of Samson (18 February 1743) and introduced Messiah to London (23 March) in a Lenten season of concerts at Covent Garden Theatre, setting a pattern that, except for the 1744–5 season, he was to follow for the rest of his life. He invited subscriptions to six concerts, with an option for further performances, and achieved a total of 12. In Samson the combination of ‘Church-Musick’ and ‘Airs of the Stage’ was well exemplified in two styles of choral writing (exuberant and homophonic for the Philistines, solemn and polyphonic for the Israelites) and solo arias of many moods, encompassing the bleak despair of the blinded Samson’s ‘Total eclipse’ and Dalila’s seductive ‘With plaintive notes’. A largely English cast brought their theatrical experience to the performances: they included the tenor John Beard as Samson, Mrs Cibber in the advisory role of Micah, and the leading comic actress Catherine (‘Kitty’) Clive as Dalila. Samson was well received: Horace Walpole, a supporter of the Italian opera, grudgingly admitted that ‘Handel has set up an Oratorio against the Operas, and succeeds’. Messiah, however, had a mixed reception, drawing objections to the singing of Scripture in a theatre. A correspondent in the Universal Spectator asked whether or not an oratorio ‘is an Act of Religion …; if it is, I ask if the Playhouse is a fit Temple to perform it in’. On the other hand, if it is ‘for Diversion and Amusement only … what a Prophanation of God’s Name and Word it is, to make so light Use of them?’ This seems to have been an extreme view, but was enough to cause Handel to advertise the work only as ‘A New Sacred Oratorio’ (though the wordbook retained the title Messiah; fig.2) and make him wary of reviving it during the rest of the decade.

6. Wordbook for the first London performance of ‘Messiah’, Theatre Royal, Covent Garden, March 1743

Pierpont Morgan Library (James Fuld Collection)/Art Resource, N Y
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In April 1743 Handel suffered what Jennens described as ‘a return of his Paralytic Disorder, which affects his head and speech’. By July he had recovered, but the illness may have played a part in negotiations with Lord Middlesex, as the latter attempted to revive the flagging fortunes of his opera company. Christopher Smith reported to Lord Shaftesbury that Handel had promised Middlesex two new operas for 1000 guineas, but had then said ‘that he could – or would do nothing for the Opera Directors, altho’ the Prince of Wales desired him several times to accept of their offers, and compose for them, and said that by doing so he would only oblige the King and all the Royal Family but likewise all the Quality’. Instead Handel immersed himself in setting an English opera libretto – Congreve’s Semele – for concert performance, causing Smith to wonder ‘how the Quality will take it that he can compose for himself and not for them when they offered him more than ever he had in his life’. Handel did however allow Middlesex’s company to revive his Alessandro under the title Rossane (as markings in the conducting score confirm) but the adaptation was presumably left to G.B. Lampugnani, the new musical director of the opera company. (A surprising interpolation was the aria ‘Return, O God of hosts’ from Samson, with new Italian words.) After completing Semele Handel went on to compose a large-scale Te Deum and an anthem (The King shall Rejoice) to celebrate the king’s triumphant return from Germany after the Battle of Dettingen, keeping the composition ‘a great secret’ (according to Smith) and almost certainly on his own initiative. The scoring of the music with three trumpets and timpani suggests that Handel was expecting a grand thanksgiving service at (following precedent) St Paul’s, but the service was eventually held on 27 November in the small Chapel Royal at St James’s Palace, into which the orchestra must have fitted with difficulty.

In August and September Handel composed his second work for the next year’s season, the oratorio Joseph and his Brethren. The libretto was provided by a new collaborator, the Rev. James Miller, and was partly derived from an Italian libretto by Apostolo Zeno. In January 1744 he invited subscriptions for 12 Lenten concerts – twice the number first advertised for the previous season – and on 10 February opened with Semele. Joseph was given on 2 March, and there were revivals of Samson and Saul. Mary Delany, a long-standing friend and supporter of Handel, recognized the merits of Semele, but reported to her sister that it had ‘a strong party against it, viz. the fine ladies and ignoramus’s. All the opera people are enraged at Handel’. Clearly there was lingering resentment of Handel’s earlier snub to Lord Middlesex, but Semele itself – a secular drama presented ‘after the manner of an oratorio’ and dubbed ‘a baudy opera’ by Jennens – was also a problem to some. The ‘opera party’ felt that Handel was encroaching on their territory, while others who (on the strength of Samson and Messiah) were now looking to oratorio to offer spiritual uplift were not prepared for the unabashed sensuousness of a score depicting both wittily and tragically the fate of one of Jupiter’s paramours. (Mrs Delany noted that her husband, the Rev. Patrick Delany, did not ‘think it proper’ to go to Semele, ‘it being a profane story’). The sentimental Joseph proved more acceptable.

Handel ignored the implications of his 1744 season. He had previously presented works with classical subjects alongside oratorio proper, and the quality of Acis and Galatea and Alexander’s Feast confirms that the genre was important to him. Semele was a superb continuation of that line. Accordingly, he composed another classical drama that year, Hercules, as well as a new oratorio, Belshazzar. The Rev. Thomas Broughton’s libretto for Hercules was based on the story of Hercules’s death by the inadvertent action of his wife Dejanira, mainly as related in Sophocles’ Trachiniae but with additions from Ovid’s Metamorphoses and other classical sources. Handel set it to music of great seriousness and power, completing the draft score on 17 August. The libretto of Belshazzar was by Jennens, a remarkable treatment of the downfall of the Babylonian king based on the Bible but much expanded with details taken from Herodotus and Xenophon’s Cyropaedia. The progress of work on Belshazzar is recorded in four of Handel’s letters to Jennens. He acknowledged receipt of Jennens’s first act on 19 July. On 21 August he wrote to say he was ‘greatly pleased’ by the second act and was anxious for the third. Two days later he began composition, finishing the draft of Act 2 on 10 September. On 13 September he wrote again to Jennens, urging him to send the third act and assuring him that the libretto was ‘a Noble Piece, very grand and uncommon: it has furnished me with Expressions, and has given me Opportunity to some very particular Ideas, besides so many great Choru’s’. By 2 October Jennens had completed the third act, and Handel wrote to say that the piece was ‘a very fine and sublime Oratorio, only it is realy too long, if I should extend the Musick it would last 4 hours and more …’ (As a result several passages in the libretto were not set to music, but they were printed, with an indication they would not be sung, in the wordbook of the first performance.) The score was completed on 23 October.

Meanwhile, Handel had taken advantage of the fact that the opera company, racked by financial difficulties and legal actions, was not able to present a season in 1744–5. He therefore returned to the King’s Theatre and offered an extended subscription series of 24 oratorio-style concerts on Saturdays throughout the winter. This venture once again annoyed the opera party, or a faction of them, and a section of society led by Lady Brown, the wife of the British resident in Venice, boycotted the performances. A dignified newspaper announcement by Handel, offering subscribers their money back, had the effect of rallying his supporters and 16 of the promised 24 concerts were eventually given. Hercules, which opened on 5 January 1745, was seen by some as ‘an English Opera’, therefore meriting the same objections as Semele, and Jennens observed that ‘for want of the top Italian voices, Action, Dresses, Scenes & Dances … [it] had scarce half a house the first night, much less than half the second’; it received only two performances. Belshazzar had to be altered at the last minute because Mrs Cibber was ill and could not sing the part of Daniel, with the result that the solo roles had to be redistributed unsatisfactorily among the other singers. Messiah was revived on 9 April, apparently without fuss. After this difficult season, Handel was no doubt pleased to be able to join the Earl of Gainsborough and his family at their country seat in Exton, Rutland, where a ‘Theatrical Entertainment’ based on Milton’s Comus was arranged, the music being supplied from Handel’s operas and oratorios. James Noel (the earl’s brother) reported that though Handel had come ‘for Quiet and Retirement’, he was ready to comply with a request to add new music to the entertainment. The addition took the form of three charming songs, linked by a repeated chorus, the words being adapted from the final scene of Milton’s masque. Handel went on to Scarborough, where he could take the spa waters. By August he was back in London, but complaining (according to Thomas Harris, brother of James) of ‘his precarious state of health’ and not composing a major new work.

National events may themselves have made Handel uncertain about the prospects of another oratorio season. On 21 July 1745 Prince Charles Edward Stuart, the Young Pretender, landed in Scotland to lead the second Jacobite rebellion, the last attempt to overturn the Hanoverian Succession. His rapid progress in Scotland and, in November, into England, caused consternation in London. The theatres vied with each other to express support for the Hanoverian cause, and Handel made a modest contribution with A Song for the Gentleman Volunteers of the City of London (‘Stand round, my brave boys’), first sung by Thomas Lowe at Drury Lane on 14 November. Charles’s retreat north after reaching Derby on 4 December removed the immediate threat to London, and attention turned to the government’s determination to crush the rebellion with troops led by Prince William, Duke of Cumberland (the king’s younger son). At the beginning of 1746 Handel put together his Occasional Oratorio, partly new and partly reusing earlier material, especially from Israel in Egypt. Newburgh Hamilton compiled the libretto from Milton’s paraphrases of the psalms and an eccentric selection of verses by Edmund Spenser, designed (as William Harris noted) to be ‘expressive of the rebels’ flight and our pursuit of them’. On 31 January a press announcement stated that Handel would once again offer ‘Musical Entertainments on Wednesdays and Fridays the ensuing Lent, with Intent to make good to the Subscribers (that favoured him last Season) the Number of Performances he was not then able to complete’. However, Handel merely gave three performances of the Occasional Oratorio at Covent Garden, the first on 14 February, though eight concerts were outstanding from the previous season. It is reasonably certain that Handel was already planning another oratorio to mark Cumberland’s anticipated victory, but the season for oratorios had passed by the time that was achieved at Culloden on 16 April. A second song for Lowe ‘on the Victory obtained over the Rebels’ (‘From scourging rebellion’) had to serve as Handel’s immediate tribute to Cumberland’s success.

Handel composed Judas Maccabaeus, the planned victory oratorio, in July and August 1746. The libretto was the work of the Rev. Thomas Morell, who was to provide the words for three more oratorios and in later life left a fascinating account of his collaboration with the composer. On 6 March 1747 Handel began a new season of oratorios at Covent Garden similar to those of 1743 and 1744, but no longer on a subscription basis. Revivals of the Occasional Oratorio and Joseph had to be rescheduled to avoid clashing with the sensational trial of the Jacobite Lord Lovat for high treason. Judas Maccabaeus opened on 1 April, the printed wordbook carrying Morell’s dedication of the work to the Duke of Cumberland as a ‘Faint Portraiture of a Truly Wise, Valiant and Virtuous Commander’. It was highly successful and proved to be one of the most enduringly popular of the oratorios, though the alterations made for later revivals tended to emphasize its jubilant and military elements rather than the pleas for reconciliation and peace which Morell had thoughtfully incorporated and Handel had carefully set. The early performances also included a concerto for orchestra with two wind groups, the first of three such works partly but very effectively arranged from earlier music (especially choruses). The season seemed to mark the end of all opposition to Handel. Lord Middlesex’s company returned to the King’s Theatre and opened their season on 14 November 1747 with Lucio Vero, an all-Handel pasticcio, now more in tribute to the composer than in rivalry.

11. The later oratorios.

The pattern of Handel’s activities – composition in summer for performance the following year in Lent – became more settled for four years, although opportunities for other work were taken when they arose. Handel spent most of June 1747 setting a second libretto by Morell, Alexander Balus, and composed Joshua (on an anonymous text) in July and August. They were first performed in reverse order, Joshua on 9 March 1748, and Alexander Balus on 23 March. The subject of the former is the Israelites’ conquest of Canaan, the ‘promised land’, under the leadership of Joshua, the bloodthirsty aspects of which are tempered by a decorous love affair between the young warrior Othniel and Joshua’s daughter Achsah, and a sympathetic portrait of Othniel’s old father Caleb. It is possible that the oratorio, like Judas Maccabaeus, was originally intended as a tribute to Cumberland, and that its most famous number, the chorus ‘See, the conquering hero comes’, was written with him in mind, but no such association was ever made explicit; only a few numbers show Handel at his best. Alexander Balus is a more interesting if awkwardly constructed attempt to deal with an operatic subject in oratorio form, sympathetically relating the doomed love of the Egyptian queen Cleopatra for the Syrian king Alexander, with choral interpolations for the merry Syrians and the solemn Israelites colourfully characterized in the music. The librettos of the next pair of oratorios are again anonymous, but an examination of their literary style of Solomon and Susanna leaves no doubt that they are the work of the same writer. It is a pity he cannot be identified, as he had a real gift for polished lyric verse using clear images drawn from nature. He must have some credit for the new richness of style and depth of feeling that appears in the music, and which Handel subsequently sustained in all his late works. Solomon was composed between 5 May and 13 June 1748, Susanna between 11 July and 24 August; they were first performed (again in reverse order) on 17 March and 10 February 1749. Solomon presents three views of an ideal monarch ruling an ideal kingdom, all linked by the religious fervour attendant upon the building of the new temple in Jerusalem. In the first act Solomon and his queen appear as the young lovers of the Song of Songs, sensuously celebrating their mutual happiness. The second act shows Solomon’s wisdom in resolving a dispute between two harlots, each claiming a baby as her own. In the third act Solomon is visited by the Queen of Sheba, and uses a musical masque to demonstrate the artistic achievements of his kingdom. The use of full brass and an extra body of ripieno strings in the orchestra, coupled with writing for double chorus, gives the music special power and colour. Susanna, based on the Apocryphal story of the wife falsely accused of adultery by two lustful elders, is less exotically scored, but displays a more subtle richness in its melodic radiance and in its vivid characterization. Susanna herself has both charm and spiritual strength, while the two elders (tenor and bass) are almost caricatures, yet possessing real menace. Lady Shaftesbury thought that Susanna ‘will not insinuate itself so much into my approbation as most of Handel’s performances do, as it is in the light operatic style’; but that is only one happy aspect of a complex and highly serious work.

The 1749 oratorio season ended on 23 March with Messiah (not revived since 1745 but from now on to become an annual fixture), by which time preparations were well under way for a national celebration of the Peace of Aix-la-Chapelle, the treaty ending the War of the Austrian Succession. The main public event was to be a fireworks display in Green Park, presented on an elaborate triumphal arch built by the stage designer Giovanni Servandoni Handel produced an anthem (How Beautiful are the Feet, or ‘The Anthem on the Peace’) for the official service of thanksgiving at the Chapel Royal, St James’s Palace, on 25 April, mainly based on music from Messiah and other works. His more significant contribution was ‘The Music for the Royal Fireworks’, to be played outdoors at the display. It took the form of an orchestral suite, beginning with an especially splendid overture. Handel’s original intention (as confirmed by the indications in his autograph score) was that it should be performed by a massive wind band of 24 oboes, 9 horns, 9 trumpets, 12 bassoons and three sets of timpani, but before completing the score he decided to reduce the numbers and to double the woodwind with strings. This caused annoyance, as (according to letters written by the Duke of Montagu to Charles Frederick, ‘Comptrollor of His Majesty’s Fireworks’) it was the king’s wish that there should be ‘martial musick’ only, without ‘fidles’. It seems, however, that Handel had his way. To satisfy the enormous public interest in the music an open rehearsal was held in Vauxhall Gardens on 21 April. Despite a charge of half-a-crown per person, the event attracted a huge crowd, reported to be ‘above 12,000 persons’ and causing ‘such a stoppage on London Bridge, that no carriage could pass for three hours’. At the display itself on 27 April, the music was played at the start of the proceedings, the fireworks following immediately. Shortly afterwards Handel found an occasion at which the Fireworks Music could be played with normal orchestral forces. On 7 May he attended a meeting of the general committee of the Foundling Hospital, founded nine years earlier by Thomas Coram ‘for the Maintenance and Education of Exposed and Deserted Young Children’. His proposal for a concert in the newly-built chapel of the hospital, for the benefit of the charity, was accepted, and he was elected a governor. The concert took place on 27 May, with a programme consisting of the Fireworks Music, the Anthem on the Peace, extracts from Solomon, and a new anthem, Blessed are they That Considereth the Poor, which became known as the Foundling Hospital Anthem. It was the start of an important relationship with the hospital which lasted for the rest of Handel’s life.

Between 28 June and 31 July 1749 Handel composed his next oratorio, Theodora, with Morell acting once more as librettist. The subject was not taken from the Bible but from a story of two early Christian martyrs as related in Robert Boyle’s novel The Matryrdom of Theodora and of Didymus (1687). It was Morell’s best work for Handel, inspiring the composer to music of great profundity and tenderness in its portrayal of the doomed lovers, and vividly representing in its choruses the characters of the arrogant Romans and the persecuted Christians. It was Handel’s only composition of that summer. In August he visited Bath, and in September advised Jennens on the specification of an organ the latter intended to install at Gopsall, his country seat in Leicestershire. On 1 December Handel voted for the Whig candidate, Viscount Trentham, in the Parliamentary election. In the same month he became involved in a new venture, the only occasion when he was to compose a substantial amount of music for an English spoken drama. The Scottish writer Tobias Smollett had persuaded John Rich to stage his play Alceste at Covent Garden, and Handel (in settlement of a debt to Rich, according to Hawkins) agreed to supply the music. It was composed between 27 December 1749 and 8 January 1750, and almost certainly reached rehearsal, since Handel made new settings of two of the songs intended for Cecilia Arne in the role of Calliope. However, for reasons unknown the play was never performed, and its text is lost, leaving Handel’s music – a splendidly fresh, French-influenced sequence of movements lasting about an hour – as its only record. Theodora was first performed (with a new organ concerto, op.7 no.5 in G minor) in the 1750 oratorio season on 16 March. It was not well received. Its unusual subject and tragic ending no doubt told against it, and Handel, who (according to Morell) valued the work ‘more than any Performance of the kind’ was deeply disappointed. On hearing that one of his supporters was prepared to book all the boxes for a further performance, Handel replied: ‘He is a fool; the Jews will not come to it (as to Judas [Maccabaeus]) because it is a Christian story; and the Ladies will not come because it is a virtuous one’. And indeed Judas Maccabaeus was given four times in the season, Theodora only three. Samson was also revived, as in 1749, and with Messiah concluding the season a pattern was emerging in which these three oratorios were to become the mainstay of oratorio seasons both in Handel’s lifetime and long afterwards. The special position of Messiah was confirmed by a repeat performance in May at the Foundling Hospital Chapel, an addition to the season regularly repeated in future years.

Now 65 years old, Handel made his will, dated 1 June 1750; it was later amended by four codicils. He left the residue of his estate to his niece Johanna Friedericke Flörcke (daughter of his sister Dorothea Sophia) and remembered other German relatives. Among specific bequests was one to his loyal copyist and manager Christopher Smith of ‘my little House Organ, my Musick Books, and five hundred Pounds sterl.’ He spent a week (28 June to 5 July) converting the music for Alceste into a ‘Musical Interlude’, The Choice of Hercules, using a libretto adapted (probably by Morell) from a poem by Robert Lowth. This ‘interlude’ was in effect a dramatic cantata in which the youthful Hercules, presented with a choice of following Pleasure or Virtue, resists the temptations of the former and opts for the ultimately more glorious future promised by the latter. In August it was reported that Handel had decided to visit Germany to see his relatives and friends again, a decision likely to have been connected with the making of his will. The journey was temporarily upset when Handel had an accident on the way from The Hague to Haarlem in the Netherlands (it was reported on 21 August that he ‘had the misfortune to be overturned, by which he was terribly hurt, [but] is now out of danger’). He spent time in the Netherlands both in August and September, and in December, playing the organ at Deventer and at The Hague in the presence of his former pupil Princess Anne and her husband, and members of the Dutch nobility. On his return to London he took the trouble to send a crate of rare plants to Telemann in Hamburg, writing a lively letter which suggests a recent renewal of acquaintance.

12. Last years.

The continental visit had probably prevented Handel from keeping to his usual course of writing an oratorio in the summer of 1750, and he returned to composition at the start of 1751. Between 1 and 4 January he wrote his last orchestral work, the organ concerto in B flat (op.7 no.3), and on 21 January he began the oratorio Jephtha, again to a libretto by Morell. Whether he planned to include it in the forthcoming Lent season – only a month away – is not clear, but the possibility was soon ruled out, for a distressing reason. On 13 February, as he was setting the final chorus of Act 2, ‘How dark, O Lord, are thy decrees’, he noticed that his eyesight was failing. On the autograph score he noted, in German, that the sight in his left eye had become ‘so relaxt’ that he could not continue. The deterioration – presumably a cataract – was, however, slow, so that he was able to open a new oratorio season with Belshazzar on 22 February (with some new music setting words previously omitted, probably at Jennens’s insistence). The next day – his 66th birthday – he resumed work on Jephtha, completing the second act four days later. On 1 March he directed a revised version of Alexander’s Feast, with the new organ concerto and with The Choice of Hercules appended as ‘an Additional New Act’. (In later revivals it was placed between the two parts of the ode.) Handel’s personal misfortune soon became widely known: on 14 March Sir Edward Turner noted that ‘Noble Handel hath lost an eye, but I have the Rapture to say that St Cecilia makes no complaint of any defect in his Fingers’. The season ended prematurely, after only eight performances had been given, because of the death of the Prince of Wales on 20 March. In June Handel paid visits to Bath and Cheltenham, returning to London on 13 June. He resumed work on Act 3 of Jephtha on 18 June, working at a slower pace than usual. He paused in mid-July, and finished the act on 30 August.

Handel retained sufficient sight to direct a normal Lent season of 12 concerts in 1752, Jephtha (opening on 26 February) being the sole new work. Morell’s libretto is based on the biblical account of Jephtha’s vow of a sacrifice if he is successful in battle, with the terrible consequence that his own daughter has to be the victim. It has parallels with Theodora in having a heroine (Iphis) displaying exemplary spiritual strength in the face of death and an ardent lover (Hamor, a character invented by Morell) ready to die in her place. A tragic ending is however avoided by the appearance of an angel who explains that it would be contrary to divine law for Iphis to be sacrificed; she must instead be dedicated to God in perpetual virginity. Morell could claim some theological justification for the avoidance of the sacrifice, if not for the implausible implication that Jephtha had misunderstood his own vow, and for a heavy emphasis on the supposed happiness of the outcome. In this final scene (later revised, with the addition of a quintet) the music loses the intensity of feeling it has previously sustained, whether depicting the initial radiant innocence of Iphis, or the anguish of Jephtha when he finds he is the victim of a divinely engineered fate. No doubt the music would have been of the same general quality if Handel had remained in perfect health when writing it, but the power of its darker moments must surely reflect something of the composer’s own thoughts at the time. His sight continued to deteriorate, with the inevitable outcome. In August a newspaper announcement declared that he had been ‘seized … with a paralytick disorder in the Head, which has deprived him of sight’. An attempt at an operation was made in November by the royal surgeon William Blomfield, but any relief it produced was temporary. In January 1753 he was reported to have ‘quite lost his sight’.

Blindness was a severe blow to Handel’s activity as a composer, since his method of producing large-scale works by a process of drafting and revision was no longer available to him. Nor could he read scores of his earlier music and of other composers, a stimulant that seems always to have been important to him. He was nevertheless able to continue supervising his oratorio seasons, with help, and to play organ concertos by improvising the solo passages. He still relied on Christopher Smith as manager and copyist, but for musical preparation and direction he turned to Smith’s son, John Christopher, who returned from residence in France for the purpose. Judas Maccabaeus and Messiah were performed every year, and the lack of new works prompted the revival of oratorios unheard for several years, including (in 1756) Athalia and Israel in Egypt, often with substantial revisions, though no secular dramatic works were revived. Handel was also able to introduce nominally ‘new’ numbers from time to time, produced in collaboration with the younger Smith. Such additions became frequent from 1757 onwards, bearing out Lord Shaftesbury’s comment (in a letter of 8 February 1757) that Handel ‘is better than he has been for some years and finds he can compose Chorus’s as well as other music to his own (and consequently to the hearers) satisfaction’. One particularly fine duet and chorus, ‘Sion now her head shall raise’, did appear that year in Esther (it was subsequently moved to Judas Maccabaeus), and according to Burney was ‘dictated to Mr Smith by Handel, after total privation of sight’. Unfortunately nothing more is known of Smith’s work as an amanuensis, but the style of most of the late additions suggests that they were mainly composed by Smith on themes provided by Handel. In 1757 Handel and Smith were even able to produce a ‘new’ English oratorio, The Triumph of Time and Truth (11 March), but it was mainly an English version (with text by Morell) of Il trionfo del Tempo e della Verità of 1737, incorporating several pieces from other works. Nine new arias appeared in the 1758 season, almost all based on music from Handel’s Italian period: five in The Triumph of Time and Truth, two in Judas Maccabaeus and two in Belshazzar. In August that year Handel visited Tunbridge Wells with Morell, where it seems that he was operated on by the oculist John Taylor. A poem celebrated the ‘recovery’ of his sight, but probably not truthfully.

The last oratorio season Handel was able to supervise began on 2 March 1759 with a heavily revised Solomon, including six newly introduced songs. The composer was in poor health, however, and found it difficult to attend the performances. After the final concert (Messiah on 6 April) he became confined to his bed and had to cancel a proposed trip to Bath. On 11 April he dictated and signed the last codicil to his will, making several personal bequests as well as one of £1000 to the Society for the Support of Decay’d Musicians, the charity he had helped to found in 1738. He added a wish to be buried ‘in a private manner’ in Westminster Abbey, making provision for a ‘sum not Exceeding Six Hundred Pounds’ for the erection of a monument. He died at ‘a little before Eight o’clock’ on 14 April. His friend James Smyth reported that ‘he died as he lived – a good Christian, with a true sense of his duty to God and man, and in perfect charity with all the world’. His request for burial at the Abbey was granted, and took place in the evening of 20 April; ‘3000 persons’ were reported to have attended the service. Roubiliac’s monument, showing the composer with the open score of ‘I know that my Redeemer liveth’ from Messiah was unveiled on 10 July 1762.

13. Personality.

The image of Handel that has come down to posterity is largely based on the reminiscences of those who knew him personally, especially during his later years in England. Hawkins describes him as ‘a large and very portly man, sauntering in his gait as distinguishes those whose legs are bowed’. His features ‘were finely marked … his countenance placid’; they were probably best captured in the sculptures of Roubiliac rather than in the blander features of the portraits by Thomas Hudson though the latter convey the dignity of the man. Burney, who played in Handel’s concerts in the 1740s and was better placed to observe him more closely, gives a more vivid and rounded description:

He was impetuous, rough and peremptory in his manners and conversation, but totally devoid of ill-nature or malevolence; indeed, there was an original humour and pleasantry in his most lively sallies of anger or impatience, which, with his broken English, were extremely risible. His natural propensity to wit and humour, and happy method of relating common occurrences, in an uncommon way, enabled him to throw persons and things into very ridiculous attitudes …. Handel’s general look was somewhat heavy and sour; but when he did smile, it was his sire the sun, bursting out of a black cloud. There was a sudden flash of intelligence, wit and good humour, beaming in his countenance, which I hardly ever saw in any other.

The combination of irascibility with humour and good-heartedness is consistent with what can be gleaned from the comments and reactions of earlier contemporaries, as well as from the regrettably few surviving letters of Handel himself that are other than purely formal communications. Mattheson noted that as a young man in Hamburg Handel behaved ‘as if he did not know how many beans made five, for he was inclinded by nature to dry jokes’, and, despite the quarrel that led to their duel, clearly found him a congenial companion. The good reception he received from both ecclesiastical and temporal princes in Italy, and from the nobility in England, attests an ability to operate diplomatically while avoiding servility. At the same time there are signs of a fierce ambition, born of an awareness of his superiority as a musician, and a determination to maintain his independence. His early break from what would surely have been a safe living as a church musician in Germany attests as much, and in the two short periods when he was attached to a noble household, with Ruspoli in Rome and Brydges at Cannons, he was not a salaried employee, but a guest who honoured his host with compositions in return for the honour of association. His decision to settle in England, rather than in one of the many continental courts with substantial musical establishments, allowed him to remain independent. Though Italian opera in London depended on royal and noble patronage, it was managed as a public entertainment, and its personnel were not the servants of an individual patron. With oratorio, Handel was the promoter of his own performances, and he alone was responsible for their success or failure.

In personal relationships with professional colleagues he exercised absolute honesty and reliability in financial matters, and expected devotion to artistic ideals while taking account of the proper concern of performers to show themselves at their best. The two anecdotes that tell of Handel’s rage when singers objected to arias composed for them (Cuzzoni’s rejection of ‘Falsa immagine’ in Ottone, Carestini’s of ‘Verdi prati’ in Alcina) have to be set against his compliance with Anastasia Robinson’s plea for reconsideration of her arias in Ottone and the numerous alterations or replacements of arias in many other operas and oratorios (both before performance and for revivals) precisely to accommodate the needs of singers. His attitudes to his fellow composers were ambivalent. He clearly took keen interest in the work of others, as is evident from his use of the musical material he borrowed from them, but his expressed opinions as recorded by Hawkins and others, seem to have been polarized between esteem for unquestionable masters such as Purcell and Rameau (the latter always spoken of ‘in terms of great respect’) and scorn for the second-rate. Burney comments on his long-standing dislike of Maurice Greene (‘as a partizan for Bononcini, and confederate with his enemies’), adding that ‘he had had a thorough contempt for all our [English] composers at this time, from Dr Green down to Harry Burgess’. Handel nevertheless subscribed to 15 scores or sets of published music (listed in Simon, B1985, p.288), all except Telemann’s Musique de Table by composers working in England, including two by Greene’s pupil William Boyce, whose superiority to his master Handel no doubt recognized.

Handel’s role as a teacher is poorly documented and may be underestimated. After his early years in Hamburg, he had no need to give regular music lessons to supplement his income, and rarely did so except in the case of the younger John Christopher Smith and, more importantly, the daughters of George II. It is probable that all the royal princesses received tuition on the harpsichord from him (two harpsichord suites were written for the teenage Princess Louisa in 1739) but his chief pupil was Anne, the Princess Royal, until her marriage in 1734. It was almost certainly for her that he wrote out graded examples of figured basses and exercises in counterpoint in the mid-1720s, and through her he was able to maintain a personal connection with the court which was valuable to him during the operatic conflicts of the 1730s. He also played a role in helping the younger and less experienced singers with whom he worked, though in most cases (Strada, Francesina, Beard and Guadagni among them) this is visible only in the music he wrote for them and in the subsequent development of their careers. A more personal benefit is apparent in his employment of Susanna Cibber in the 1740s, enabling her to re-enter public life after being unjustly stigmatized by scandal.

Outside the world of professional music-making, and especially after he had established his own home in Brook Street in 1723, Handel generally confined his social life to cordial relationships within a private circle of friends, making contact with public affairs only in his support of charities. His presence at evening gatherings (such as that described by Mrs Delany in a letter of 12 April 1734) was always appreciated, though with a sense that it was a special privilege rather than part of the ordinary social round. He appears also to have been welcome in the country residences of his supporters when they moved out of London for the summer (as with the Earl of Gainsborough at Exton in 1745) though details of these visits are regrettably sparse. Elements of coarseness in his behaviour – a propensity to swearing in several languages and an excessive appetite for food and drink – were presumably excused as the faults of genius, and are in any case difficult to distinguish from the general manners of the age. A vicious caricature of him as ‘The Charming Brute’, with imposed porcine features and the motto ‘I am Myself Alone’ (dated 1754 and questionably attributed to Goupy) does however suggest some notoriety for gluttony and aloofness. In his later years, according to Hawkins, he ‘gradually withdrew into a state of privacy and retirement’, but remained a regular and fervent worshipper at his parish church of St George’s, Hanover Square.

14. Style and technique.

Handel’s music consolidates the characteristics of the main European styles of his day. A solid foundation in harmony and counterpoint, derived from his early training in Lutheran church music, always underpins the daring melodic invention and mercurial brilliance associated with the best Italian composers, while the French influence is apparent not only in the overtures and dances that follow French models but also whenever a special stateliness of utterance comes to the fore. A specifically English influence is more elusive, but echoes of Purcell, perhaps mediated though his immediate successors, are present in the setting of anthems and canticles, and in the occasional harmonic inflections heard in the English choral dramas, notably Acis and Galatea and Semele. The greatness of the music lies in the assurance with which Handel unites these styles and often quite disparate thematic elements under the control of well-directed harmonic progressions, and fashions melodic lines that are themselves shapely and memorable.

The Handelian synthesis as a whole did not undergo radical transformation during the composer’s career, so that his earliest music superbly exemplifies the then current styles (particularly Italian), while by the 1750s it was increasingly heard as possessing the virtues of an earlier age, especially in comparison with the harmonically simpler and melodically florid galant manner spreading through Europe and apparent in England in the work of Arne and John Christopher Smith. Handel was nevertheless alert to changing trends. The first stirrings of the galant in the music of Vinci and Pergolesi are absorbed into several arias in the 1730s, though Handel’s repeated-note basses invariably have more harmonic movement than those of the younger Italians, and he still prefers the Corellian walking bass for most movements. His move to oratorio awakened an interest in the choral compositions of earlier generations, producing a mix of older and newer styles which he is sometimes able to exploit for purposes of characterization: archaic for Israelites, modern for heathens. An explicitly galant movement finally appears in his last oratorio Jephtha (the duet ‘These labours past’, with sprightly violin lines and dainty appoggiaturas). The music has that character because it was borrowed from a Galuppi serenata written less than a year earlier, perhaps hinting that Handel would have absorbed more of the latest mannerisms had he been able to continue composing. Indeed there are further touches of the galant in the arias added to the oratorios after 1754, though these may be the result of the creative collaboration with Smith.

Handel’s gift for melody is displayed most boldly in arias from his Italian period which are simply unharmonized melodic lines, apart from cadential ritornellos. ‘Ho un non so che nel cor’ (La resurrezione and Agrippina) and ‘Bel piacere’ (Agrippina and Rinaldo) are examples, the latter given extra fascination by its inconstant time signatures. The strength of the melody is such that the absence of harmony is not noticed, or perhaps the melody implies the harmony so clearly it does not need to be realized. Mostly, however, Handel’s harmony is explicit, and can support an eloquent major-key melody with simple purity (‘Lascia ch’io pianga’ in Rinaldo, ‘Verdi prati’ in Alcina) or grip the listener with minor-key chromaticism and suspensions in a great lament or heartfelt plea (‘Voi ch’udite’ in Agrippina, ‘Soll mein Kind’ in the Brockes Passion, re-used in Esther).

In choral and orchestral movements Handel was freed from the structural constraints of the formal aria and could make the sheer sonority of massed forces an essential element of the music, sometimes (in choruses) marking key points in the verbal text. Supremely typical of ‘Handelian’ style are the choruses in which elemental thematic tags are developed into extended structures through an innate confidence in the power of plain diatonic harmony. ‘Sing ye to the Lord’ in Israel in Egypt and the Hallelujah chorus in Messiah are deservedly well-known examples, as is the fabulous opening of the coronation anthem Zadok the Priest, in which the underlying harmony of the orchestral introduction is temporarily subverted to give maximum impact to the return of the tonic at the entry of the chorus. But minor-key and chromatic harmony in choruses are also just as congenial to Handel as in arias (‘Ye sons of Israel mourn’ in Esther is a fine early example of a choral lament) and can take unsettling forms, such as the quasi-recitative style and uncertain tonality of ‘He sent a thick darkness’ in Israel in Egypt, or the unexpected tonal shifts in the final section of ‘Tyrants now’ in Hercules, bringing out the sense of hopelessness in the words ‘The world’s avenger is no more’. Handel’s formal fugal choruses are most effective when they are related to a dramatic context (as in ‘He trusted in God’ in Messiah, or ‘And ev’ry step he takes’ in Belshazzar) but otherwise may display only worthy competence. The fact that several such movements are based on material by other composers suggest that exercises in abstract counterpoint did not hold the same interest for Handel as for his great contemporary. (He is not known to have written a formal canon: the coda to the G major Chaconne, hwv442/2, comes nearest, and like the occasional canonic points in the Italian cantatas, is only in two parts.) He did however make good use of ground basses, both for jubilation (‘The many rend the skies’ in Alexander’s Feast and ‘To song and dance’ in Samson) and lamentation (‘Ah, wretched Israel’ in Judas Maccabaeus, ‘How long O Lord’ in Susanna – the latter using a chromatic bass similar to that of Dido’s lament in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas).

Handel’s technique in writing down his compositions can be studied in his autograph scores, the vast majority of which from about 1707 onwards are still happily extant. His practice in the case of large-scale vocal works, already set by the time he came to Italy, was to draft whole acts quickly and fluently, but entering only the words of the recitatives. He would then return to fill in the orchestration and set the recitatives. (This process of composition is recorded explicitly for later works in the dated notes made by Handel himself to record the progress of composition.) His writing is generally clear, but often untidy, and the process of preparing material for the performers to work from therefore always began with a fair copy of the autograph being made by a professional copyist, who would also (perhaps with assistance) prepare the vocal and instrumental partbooks. Before performance any of this material could be subjected to cuts, insertions, transpositions or other substantial alterations, which was not necessarily entered in the original autograph. Changes for revivals might be on a similar scale, but whereas these can usually be attributed to the requirements of new singers or other practical considerations, Handel’s pre-performance alterations seem often to have been made for purely artistic reasons. There are cases of Handel developing sketches to produce a polished result (an example in Susanna is set out in Dean, G1959, pp.552–3) but in others the first draft may itself be radically amended, with new material being incorporated (Roberts, D1987, analyses a case in Serse). Several scores (including Tamerlano, Scipione, Saul and Solomon) show massive restructuring before performance. This kind of compositional upheaval sets Handel apart from his contemporaries (autographs of operas and oratorios by other composers, insofar as they are available for study, usually exhibit only minor pentimenti) and show a self-critical composer striving for ideals in overall form as well as in matters of detail. In alterations for revivals, when the enthusiasm of creation had abated, these ideals often seem compromised, perhaps in pragmatic recognition that performances and audiences did not always share them.

15. Borrowing.

The question of ‘borrowing’ – the convenient term for Handel’s re-use of musical material both from his own works and, especially, those of other composers – looms large in any consideration of his compositional technique. He re-used his own music in several ways, not all of great interest, and in this respect he may not have been untypical of composers of the period, especially those working in the theatre. (Comparison is difficult because the output of his lesser contemporaries is much less studied and in many cases much of it is lost.) The simple transfer of a movement from one work to another, either because the earlier work was unlikely to be revived or simply because the movement was more useful in another place (such as a revived opera or pasticcio) is usually only a matter to be noted. In such cases Handel rarely wrote the piece out again, but left a scribe to copy a new score on which he would mark any necessary changes (e.g. to the words). Of more interest is Handel’s reworking of material in an essentially new composition which may vary from a fresh continuation of an opening point, or the transformation of a complete movement with addition of further material (as in the case of the choruses in Messiah and Belshazzar based on Italian duets, notably the conversion of ‘No, di voi non vuo fidarmi’ into ‘For unto us a child is born’). Composers of all periods have adopted such practices with their own music.

Handel’s use of the music of other composers, however, seems to be unique to him, and, despite much literature on the subject, has yet to receive the comprehensive study it deserves. This is partly because it is only recently that that the extraordinary extent and the varied nature of the borrowings has become apparent (particularly through the studies of John Roberts), and partly because many of the sources remain comparatively unknown and in some cases are still unpublished. It is clear that Handel borrowed musical material from others throughout his life. Notions that borrowing only occurred at certain periods, or could be specifically related to times of stress or illness, cannot be sustained. The impression that the practice reached a peak in the late 1730s still remains, however; possibly that is because important source works for other periods have yet to be found, but Handel’s change from opera to the broader canvas of oratorio may have prompted him to scan a wider range of potential sources and use them more intensely.

The fact that Handel borrowed was recognized in his lifetime. Mattheson refers in 1722 to a specific instance, Prévost in 1733 speaks of (as yet unconfirmed) indebtedness to French composers, and Scheibe in 1745 makes special mention of Handel’s use of the ideas of Keiser. Prévost took the view that such reworking honoured the original composers, whereas the German writers are more equivocal, though clearly not regarding the practice as heinous especially when the reworking was itself creative. It was however only in the mid-19th century that the major borrowings in the oratorios became generally known, in particular the indebtedness of Israel in Egypt to a Magnificat by Dionigi Erba and to a lesser extent a serenata by Stradella and a Te Deum by Francesco Urio. (The Stradella and Urio works were drawn upon more extensively elsewhere, the former in Joseph and the Occasional Oratorio, the latter in Saul and especially the Dettingen Te Deum.) The oddest case is the chorus ‘Egypt was glad’ in Israel in Egypt, which is no more than a shortened transcript of a canzona by J.K. Kerll. It also became known that Handel made copies of themes and occasionally large extracts from other compositions (including works of C.H. Graun, Gottlieb Muffat and Habermann) which he subsequently used. (Most of these copies are found in the autograph fragments now in the Fitzwilliam Museum.) The presentation of the relevant passages of Handel in parallel with their models by Sedley Taylor (D1906) usefully brought the subject to wide attention. Subsequent studies (sometimes anticipated by notes made by William Crotch in his keyboard arrangements of Handel choruses, published between 1810 and 1825) exposed major indebtedness to Telemann’s Musique de Table and Harmonische Gottes-Dienst, to Bononcini’s opera Xerse (especially, but by no means exclusively, in Handel’s own setting of the same libretto) and (in the op.6 concertos) to Domenico Scarlatti’s Essercizi. Handel’s use of Keiser’s music has been shown to extend far beyond previously noted relationships with the latter’s Octavia. Six volumes of Handel’s sources were published by Chrysander between 1888 and 1902 as a supplement to the Händel-Gesellschaft edition; Roberts, Handel Sources, adds nine more.

Handel’s borrowing does not affect his status as a composer, since his reputation is not built on any work or part of a work that is substantially the creation of another. His practice nevertheless needs to be recognized as peculiar, and cannot be regarded as common to the age; the same propensity to borrow has not been demonstrated in others (though a few instances in Vivaldi have been found). It is also distinct from the established traditions of reworking material in such compositions as parody masses, or in the ‘imitation’ of classical models in art and poetry, where the model is acknowledged and familiarity with it may be expected for full appreciation of the imitation. Handel did not expect his audiences to recognize his borrowings (though he presumably knew that a few colleagues or connoisseurs could be aware of them) and he never acknowledged them. Whatever may be thought of the morality of the practice – and it surely involves a trace of guile – it was obviously essential to Handel’s composition process, helping him to maintain a flow of ideas and opening new paths in his music. For the listener the existence of the borrowings is a bonus, allowing instructive comparisons between different ways of working the same musical material. Handel’s reshuffling of the rhythmic patterns of the pedestrian opening of the Urio Te Deum to create the enchanting tune of the Carillon Symphony in Saul, or his witty transformation of an already exuberant movement by Telemann (Musique de Table, ii, Air) in the organ concerto op.7 no.4 testify to his genius more eloquently than any verbal commendation.

16. Keyboard music.

The collections of keyboard music published in Handel’s lifetime are only a partial representation of a larger corpus of such works (the remainder being preserved in early manuscript copies and a few autographs) and their dates of issue have little correspondence with dates of composition. Study of stylistic traits (notably the appearance of certain cadential formulae found in the opera Almira of 1704–5) indicates that 11 suites and several single movements can be assigned to Handel’s Hamburg period or earlier (i.e. before 1706). The suites incorporate the traditional group of dance movements (Allemande–Courante–Sarabande–Gigue) but other movements, such as an opening Prelude, may be added. The Allemande–Courante pairs are invariably linked thematically in a manner adopted from French examples, a rhythmic transformation of the Allemande forming the basis of the Courante. Models for many movements may be found among the keyboard music of German composers of the previous generation. There are, however, no obvious precedents for the sarabandes, written in 3/2 and characterized by solemn two-bar phrases in the rhythm best known from the aria ‘Lascia ch’io pianga’ in Rinaldo, which is itself derived from an instrumental sarabande in Almira. The music of these early pieces has much lively invention, but several movements are thin in texture and tend to sprawl. Handel wrote little if any keyboard music in Italy – the Sonata in G for two-manual harpsichord hwv579 is possibly an instance – but returned to it in the 1710s and especially, it seems, around 1717 when he became attached to Cannons. A keener sense of structure becomes apparent, coupled with greater stylistic diversity. To this period belong 11 extended fugues, contrapuntally elaborate but preferring brilliance of effect to ingenuity. After 1720 Handel rarely composed for solo keyboard (the organ concertos from 1735 onwards partly filled the gap), but he wrote a fine suite in D minor hwv436 in the mid-1720s, and in 1739 two suites for the Princess Louisa, hwv 447 and 452, reverting to the traditional four-movement form but otherwise displaying mature craftsmanship.

The most important volume among the early printed collections of keyboard music is Handel’s own issue of Suites de Pieces pour le Clavecin … Première Volume, which appeared in November 1720. In a preface Handel explained that he had been ‘obliged to publish some of the following Lessons because surrepticious and incorrect copies of them had got abroad’ – apparently a reference to a pirated edition of keyboard pieces prepared by Walsh and issued under the imprint of Jeanne Roger of Amsterdam about the same time. (It is not clear whether the Roger volume actually appeared before Handel’s own.) The eight suites of the 1720 set draw upon the keyboard works of both the Hamburg and English periods, but many movements were revised, five of the fugues were included in the suites and seven new movements were added. Handel supervised the publication: emendations made to the plates at proof stage and visible in some copies can only have been the composer’s. The varied origins of the music make the collection a microcosm of Handel’s stylistic eclecticism.

Allemande–Courante pairs are at the core of five suites, but no.2 in F has the slow–fast–slow–fast form of the sonata da chiesa, no.6 includes a Largo in the French-style dotted rhythms, and no.7 begins with a complete French overture (in fact a keyboard transcript of the overture to the cantata Clori, Tirsi e Fileno of 1707). The theme and variations that ends the E major suite (no.5) has nothing to do with the ‘Harmonious Blacksmith’ attached to it by a 19th-century legend, but is a splendid revision of an earlier set of variations in G.

Subsequent publications give a misleading impression. A few copies of a second volume of Suites de Pieces were issued by Walsh around 1730 and a revised version, regarded as standard, came out in 1733. This includes the post-1720 suite in D minor hwv436 but otherwise gathers up movements printed in the unauthorized Roger volume which Handel had not included in his 1720 set and adds a G major suite of questionable authorship, hwv441, and a long, presumably early, Chaconne in G hwv442/2. Texts are unreliable, and the fact that the movements are not explicitly grouped into suites has led to the incorrect assumption that the suite in B flat hwv434 ends with a Minuet in G minor; the latter is in fact a single isolated movement. (The air of the B♭ suite is that used by Brahms for his Variations on a Theme of Handel.) The contents of the 1733 set need to be regarded critically, and texts are best determined from manuscript sources. Further publications are also scrappy: in 1734 Walsh printed four keyboard pieces said to be from Handel’s ‘early youth’, and in 1735 Six Fugues or Voluntarys, picking up the fugues of 1712–17 not used in the 1720 suites; these were well worth publishing, however, the fugues in A minor and C minor being particularly impressive. A further group of miscellaneous pieces, including the two suites of 1739 and sometimes called the ‘Fourth Collection’, appeared in Arnold’s edition around 1793. It has been left to recent editors (notably Terence Best in the Hallische Händel-Ausgabe) to bring all of Handel’s keyboard music to publication and establish a reliable chronology, showing it to have an important place in the work of his youth and early maturity.

17. Instrumental chamber music.

Handel’s chamber music consists almost entirely of solo sonatas and trio sonatas, but defining the exact canon is difficult because of the odd circumstances of the earliest publications; there are also problems of attribution. (The six trios once cited as among Handel’s earliest works, hwv380–85, are certainly spurious.) A set of 12 solo sonatas and a set of six trio sonatas (the latter designated ‘Deuxième Ouvrage’ or op.2, implying that the solos were op.1) were published about 1730 with the false imprint of Jeanne Roger, but the issue was in fact the work of Walsh, who shortly afterwards published revised versions under his own imprint. The purpose of this deceit remains unexplained, though it may have been designed to force Handel into allowing the music to appear. Another puzzle is that two of the violin sonatas in the Roger issue unlikely to be by Handel were replaced in the revised edition with two different sonatas which appear equally spurious. The ten remaining sonatas, designated for oboe, flute, recorder or violin, are certainly genuine, and most are extant in autographs datable from about 1712 (in the case of no.8, the C minor oboe sonata) to the mid-1720s, though manuscript versions are not always in the keys or for the instruments indicated by Walsh. Other solo sonatas are found in manuscript sources, including one for flute in D (hwv378), apparently dating from Handel’s Italian period, the opening of which Handel took up again around 1750 for his last chamber work, the very fine sonata for violin in D (hwv371). The form of all the sonatas is invariably based on the four movements of the sonata da chiesa, though extra movements in dance style are often added. These solos remain among the basic repertory of the relevant instrumentalists.

The trio sonatas also follow the sonata da chiesa form. Autographs of the op.2 set are lacking, and so their dates have to be guessed from their style and relationship to other works. According to a note made by Charles Jennens, no.2 in G minor was ‘compos’d at the age of 14’, and certainly appears to be a very early work, but if the age cited (presumably from a comment by Handel himself) has the same degree of error as the ages mentioned in Mainwaring’s Memoirs, a date of about 1703 is more likely, especially as the music is indebted to Bononcini’s Cefalo of 1702. The other op.2 sonatas have relationships with works of the Cannons period (1717–18) and were probably composed or reworked shortly afterwards. Manuscript sources supply other trios, notably three from a collection in Dresden. One, in F (hwv392) has the characteristics of Handel’s Italian period, but the others are hard to place and (despite the quality and popularity of the G minor trio hwv393) are of questionable authenticity.

The publication of a second set of seven trio sonatas as op.5 in 1739 seems to have been authorized by Handel, since nos.5 and 6, so numbered, are extant in autograph. The other sonatas are mostly compilations of movements originally written for orchestra, partly from the overtures to the Chandos anthems of 1717–18 and partly from the dances written for the operas of 1734–5. Nos.1, 2 and 3 appear to have new movements, presumably added by Handel for the publication. Inevitably the op.5 trios do not give the impression of being as well-wrought as those of op.2, but they usefully made some attractive music available for concert use, a function they still fulfil.

18. Orchestral music.

The presence of overtures, sinfonias and dances in operas and other major vocal works meant that Handel wrote purely orchestral music throughout his composing career, and there is not a sharp distinction between such pieces and the category of independent orchestral works. The overtures to the operas Rodrigo (1707) and Il pastor fido (1712), for example, are substantial orchestral suites unlikely to have been written specifically for the operas to which they were attached, and there are also instances of Handel incorporating movements from overtures in unassociated concertos. His first known independent orchestral work, probably written in Italy in 1707, is the three-movement Sonata a cinque with solo violin (hwv288), opening with a lovely melody Handel took up later in other works but otherwise disappointing. Two oboe concertos (hwv301 and 287) probably belonging to the early 1710s have more refinement (though the first cannot be firmly authenticated), and complete mastery is shown in four concertos from this decade which later formed part of the set published by Walsh in 1734 as Handel’s op.3 (though almost certainly without the composer’s approval or permission). In no.2 in B♭ and no.5 in D minor (hwv313 and 316), movements from earlier contexts are mixed with new material to create fully-formed concertos, no.2 being distinguished by delightful interplay between woodwind and strings and a ravishing oboe solo over arpeggios for two solo cellos. No.4 in F (hwv315) is another fine work, written for a benefit performance of Amadigi in 1716. No.1 (hwv312), consisting of a movement in B♭ followed by two in G minor, is presumably a fragment of a larger work; the music seems to cohere in performance. The major orchestral work of this period is the Water Music, a large-scale suite specially written to accompany a royal water party of June 1717, in which George I and his entourage were conveyed by barge along the Thames from Whitehall to Chelsea and back. The suite is remarkable for being the first orchestral work composed in England to include horns, crooked in both F and D; in movements in D major they are joined, sometimes in dialogue, by trumpets. The jovial opulence of such moments is balanced by lightly scored movements in both major and minor keys, mostly having G as their tonic. Though some of the music may have been written earlier for other contexts, the recent notion that the music was conceived or considered to exist as ‘three suites’ is questionable, since the earliest sources (keyboard transcripts from the early 1720s) show the movements in D and G in mixed order (as in the editions of Arnold and Chrysander). Ordering the movements by key had however become a practice by the 1730s, and is reflected in the keyboard arrangement published by Walsh in 1743.

The only movement in the op.3 concertos dating from the 1730s is the conclusion of no.6, a version for organ and orchestra of the last movement of the overture to Il pastor fido which also exists in several other forms. It is not known which is its original context, but it clearly presages the appearance of Handel’s first organ concertos in 1735. (It had been anticipated much earlier by the Sonata for solo organ and orchestra in Il trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno of 1707, a score that Handel had certainly perused when composing Deborah in 1733.) The organ concerto was effectively Handel’s own invention, allowing him to display his abilities in both performance and composition simultaneously, and most of his oratorio concerts included one or more from 1735 onwards. Six (one originally a harp concerto, delicately scored for muted strings and recorders) were collected and published by Walsh in 1738 as Handel’s op.4. No.2 in B♭ and no.3 in G minor, the earliest to be composed, draw on the op.2 trio sonatas for their material, and no.5 is simply an arrangement of a recorder sonata, but nos.1 in G minor and 4 in F are more expansive and original pieces. The Andante second movement of the latter imaginatively blends an organ registration of ‘Open Diapason, Stopt Diapason & Flute’ with pianissimo strings. In his next two organ concertos (hwv295 and 296a, called the ‘Second Set’ concertos because keyboard arrangements of them and four of the op.6 concertos were published under that title in 1740), Handel indicates for the first time that improvised solo organ movements are to be inserted ‘ad libitum’. The same requirement also appears in the later organ concertos composed between 1740 and 1751, and published posthumously as op.7. There are several striking movements in this set, none more so than the opening of no.1 in B♭, a magnificent chaconne (though not so called) in two sections with a part for pedal organ, though whether Handel was ever able to play it on such an instrument is not known.

The 12 concerti grossi or ‘Grand Concertos’ written in a burst of creative energy in September and October 1739 were consciously conceived as an integral set, clearly in emulation (though not imitation) of Corelli’s famous set with the same opus number and the same scoring for a concertino of two violins and cello with four-part ripieno strings and continuo. (Handel later added oboe parts to nos.1, 2, 5 and 6, mostly doubling the ripieno violins.) Each concerto has an individual form. Many movements blend inextricably the majesty of the French manner with italianate fluency, and a prodigious stream of invention coupled with intensity of feeling is maintained thoughout the set. The fact that earlier material is sometimes drawn upon (three of the concertos are based on the overture to the Ode for St Cecilia’s Day and the two ‘Second Set’ organ concertos) does not diminish the achievement, since the adapations are fascinating and often radical in themselves, and the recognition that several thematic elements are derived from Scarlatti’s Essercizi simply leads to admiration of the way Handel transforms them and uses them to build larger structures. The Polonaise in no.3 and the grave Musette of no.6 are haunting amplifications of standard dance forms. The set is an apotheosis of the Baroque concerto, to be set alongside the Brandenburg Concertos of Bach, as well as an epitome of Handel’s art, drawing on many sources and influences and uniting them in a style uniquely his own.

In 1747 and 1748 Handel produced three examples of a new type of orchestral concerto, later to be designated ‘concerti a due cori’ since they are all scored for two wind groups (called ‘cori’ by Handel himself, and apparently intended to be placed antiphonally) with the usual strings. The first to be composed, hwv334, was performed with Judas Maccabaeus and set a pattern of a French-style opening followed by faster movements with a wistful Adagio at their centre. All rework earlier material, but the first is mostly original, and the arrangements of oratorio choruses in the other two (hwv332, 333) are well conceived for the new medium. The concertos with horns (333 and 334), both in F, contain some splendid orchestral writing. The first of them contains the last working of a ground bass first found in the Queen Anne Birthday Ode and then adapted for the 1732 Esther: the unexpected appearance of new thematic material before the final statement of the bass gives extra lift to an already exhilarating movement.

Handel’s most massive orchestral project was his Music for the Royal Fireworks of 1748. In both its original conception for a large wind-band with parts heavily doubled, or the later version with strings and reduced winds, the sound is exciting, because Handel’s scoring for three horns and three trumpets is always calculated for maximum sonority, the high notes of the horns in D being dovetailed with the trumpets. The huge overture is the glory of the work, another ingenious modification of the French form in which the opening dotted rhythms are accommodated into a hymn-like melody, and the following Allegro is a kind of battle symphony dominated by fanfares exchanged between horns and trumpets. A pair of stately minuets, minor and major, concludes. As in other instances, Handel’s music transcends the event it celebrates and has elevated the spirits of many generations since.

19. Minor vocal works.

Handel’s contribution to the repertory of the Italian secular cantata is substantial and various. Most of it, as would be expected, dates from the three years (mid-1706 to mid-1709) he spent in Italy, and most of the rest from the following decade. About 60 cantatas for voice and continuo alone (the voice being usually soprano, sometimes alto and, in two examples, bass) come from the Italian period, and many of them are probably the product of meetings of the Arcadian Academy held by Ruspoli and other patrons, in which a poet, a composer and a singer could be challenged to write, set and perform a new cantata in the course of an evening. (Hendel, non può mia musa, the little cantata in praise of the composer himself, with text by Pamphili, has particular signs of being such a piece.) Another ten or so cantatas – numbers have to be approximate because of the complexity of multiple versions – may have been produced on similar occasions in England, perhaps at Burlington House or Cannons, though probably under gentler pressure; some are reworkings of earlier pieces composed in Italy, while at least three have new texts supplied by Paolo Rolli, later revised and published in the poet’s Di canzonette e di cantate libri due (London, 1727). The continuo cantatas usually have two or three arias with introductory or linking recitatives, but otherwise have no fixed form. An exceptionally striking example is O numi eterni (La Lucrezia), probably composed in Rome in 1707, which is in effect a dramatic scena in which the singer impersonates the Roman heroine Lucretia, intent on suicide after being raped. It contains only two formal arias, one of grim resolution and one hectic, but several arioso sections amid the recitative also depict the rapid shifts in the character’s emotional state. At the other end of the scale is Zeffiretto, arresta il volo, with a much more typical text of amorous anxiety: again two arias, but with just one linking recitative and amounting to no more than a charming trifle. The rest cover virtually all possibilities between these two extremes. Where comparison can be made between Handel’s setting of a text and a setting of the same text by a native Italian composer, Handel’s version tends to have greater emotional intensity. He is able, especially in minor keys, to suggest considerable harmonic density in the two-part writing for voice and bass.

The cantatas with instrumental or orchestral accompaniment range from quasi-operatic works of an hour or more in length to shorter pieces very similar to the continuo cantatas except for the presence of violins or an obbligato wind instrument in the arias. Again, most were composed in Italy, including two cantate a tre: Clori, Tirsi e Fileno (1707, for Ruspoli in Rome) and Aci, Galatea e Polifemo (1708, for a ducal wedding in Naples). The former has perhaps the more exquisite music, while the latter gains dramatic force from the classical myth which Handel was to treat even more potently in English ten years later as well as providing the fascination of a bass role covering a vocal range of two-and-a-half octaves. The finest of the longer works is surely Apollo e Dafne (apparently started in Italy and finished later: the date is problematic), another treatment of classical myth but making more impact than Aci with its delectable characterization of the nymph, especially in her opening aria, and the final, touching farewell of the frustrated god at the close.

The chamber duets and trios for voices and continuo form a genre distinct from the monodic chamber cantata, since the singers do not impersonate characters and the music is conceived as formal counterpoint, expressing the emotion of the text in a general way; they are, in fact, madrigals with continuo accompaniment. Mainwaring’s indication that 12 of the duets were written in Hanover to texts by Ortensio Mauro cannot be fully sustained: only six or seven come from that period (1711–12), the others being earlier. (The two trios also belong to the Italian period.) Another nine duets were written later in London, two around 1722 and the rest between 1741 and 1746. The latter group provided several ideas reworked in the English oratorios, including Messiah and Belshazzar. Some influence of Steffani is apparent in the fluidly melodious vocal lines, woven together with great care and with the musical points shared equally between the voices.

Handel wrote one English cantata (Venus and Adonis, with a text by John Hughes, unfortunately only partly extant) and, unlike most native British composers of the time, showed only slight interest in the English strophic song. (Several of the English songs attributed to him in contemporary song sheets are either spurious, or adaptations of Italian arias, or instrumental pieces with added words.) He did, however, provide three songs for plays, the third (‘Love’s but the frailty of the mind’ for a revival of Congreve’s The Way of the World in 1740) being particularly happy, and, as a gift, made a modest but apt setting of a Hunting Song (‘The morning is charming’) with words by his friend Charles Legh of Adlington Hall. His disinclination to make a wider contribution to the genre has the compensation that in the Attendant’s song in Susanna (‘Ask if yon damask rose be sweet’) he produced one of its finest exemplars.

20. Church music.

Handel was never, after Halle, a regular composer for the church, but he nevertheless produced a substantial body of anthems and liturgical settings over the course of his career, largely devised for particular ceremonies and all with orchestral or instrumental accompaniment. In Italy in 1707 he set Latin texts, including the three Vesper psalms Dixit Dominus, Laudate pueri Dominum and Nisi Dominus (all with chorus), together with motets and antiphons for solo voice. Dixit is an astonishing testimony to Handel’s compositional technique near the start of his Italian period, notably in his grasp of large-scale form. Vigorous and vivid word-painting (such as the percussive setting of the word ‘conquassabit’) abounds, but even when the text is not emotionally expressive Handel devises memorable effects with it, as in the combination of cantus firmus and chattering counterpoint of ‘Tu es sacerdos’ or the intertwined solo lines, strange harmonies and mystical chanting of the lower voices in ‘De torrente’. The other psalms, composed for a celebration of the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in July 1707 also mix brilliance and gravity, but on a lesser scale. For the same occasion Handel also wrote two short antiphon settings and a motet (Saeviat tellus inter rigores) requiring accomplished vocal virtuosity. More subtle are the two motets and Salve regina composed for the Marchese Ruspoli’s private chapel at Vignanello in May 1707, the daring harmonies of the Salve creating a peculiarly intense atmosphere.

Echoes of the Latin works, especially the psalms, are found in the earlier English church music, though what is probably Handel’s first exercise in the genre, As Pants the Hart in the earlier (1711–12) of two versions for voices and continuo only (hwv251a), loosely imitates the verse anthems of the standard English repertory. For the Te Deum and Jubilate of 1713 the ceremonial settings of Purcell and Croft are Handel’s formal models, but realized more fluently with richer musical material. The Chandos anthems and Chandos Te Deum of 1717–18 are set apart from other church works by their scoring (no normal alto parts and no violas) and a style combining expansiveness with a sense of intimacy, apt for the circumstances of their composition for the private delectation of James Brydges, Duke of Chandos. They were presumably performed in services held in the small church of St Lawrence, Whitchurch (still preserved), which then served as Brydges’ private chapel. The comparatively small forces involved do not inhibit Handel from creating music of considerable power, as the choruses ‘At thy rebuke, o God’ and ‘Though an host of men’ (respectively in Let God Arise and The Lord is my Light). Several movements from the Chandos settings were re-worked in compositions for the Chapel Royal in the mid-1720s, the conversion of Let God Arise and the Te Deum into a linked pair of Chapel Royal settings in A (hwv256b, 282) being particularly happy (especially in the advantageous shortening of the Te Deum). The outstanding church music of this decade is however found in the four coronation anthems of 1727, where the promise of the occasion at Westminster Abbey and the opportunity to write for large forces spurred Handel to music of new and sublime opulence. His concern for contrast is not abandoned: alongside the sustained majesty of Zadok the Priest (repeated at all subsequent English coronations) is found the tenderness of ‘Upon thy right hand did stand the queen’ in My heart is Inditing, and the curious anxiety of ‘Let justice and judgement’ in Let thy Hand be Strengthened.

From the 1730s onwards Handel’s church music becomes rarer and specifically related to public ceremonies. The first of the two royal wedding anthems, This is the day of 1734, is an oddly awkward pasticcio of movements, mostly from Athalia, given that it was prepared for the marriage of Handel’s favourite pupil, the Princess Royal Handel provided a finer and more original anthem, Sing unto God, for her brother the Prince of Wales in 1736, though in the final movement the adaptation for tenor of a solo line originally conceived for the castrato Carestini in Parnasso in festa is unduly demanding. In 1737 Handel marked the death of Queen Caroline with his funeral anthem The ways of Zion do Mourn, where a real sense of personal grief is reinforced in the music by Lutheran Chorale fragments and other quotations from German masters (including Jacobus Handl’s funeral motet Ecce quomodo moritur justus), surely in reference to the common heritage of the composer and the queen. With the extensive Dettingen Te Deum of 1743, and its more succinct partner, the Dettingen Anthem, Handel returns to grand ceremonial mode, but the Te Deum is weakened by its heavy indebtedness to sections of Urio’s Te Deum that Handel had previously (and with justice) not used; it does however have a fine central section, beginning at ‘We believe that thou shall come’, uninfluenced by Urio. This was Handel’s last major work for the church. The Anthem for the Peace of 1747 (How Beautiful are the Feet) and the Foundling Hospital Anthem of 1749 (Blessed are they that Considereth the Poor) are as much compiled as newly composed, both using choruses from Messiah, though the expansion of the latter (in 1751) with new solos and a duet gives it greater substance.

21. Operas.

Throughout the 36 years in which Italian opera was his major preoccupation, Handel adhered closely to the standard form of the period, determined by the priority given to solo singing and to stage presentation in which sets were changed in view of the audience and the curtain not lowered until the end of the evening. Solo arias, invariably in da capo form (though often with a shortened return to the main section), therefore dominate the operas, and scenes are generally constructed to begin with a number of characters on stage, each of whom sings an aria and leaves. The final scene usually ends with a coro sung by the soloists; ensembles are otherwise rare and largely confined to scenes of public rejoicing; only ‘Dall’orror’ in Act 3 of Alcina touches the profundity of the choruses in the English choral works.

Handel’s operas thus appear at a first glance very like those of his contemporaries; what sets them apart is the excellence of the music and its ability to express with immediate conviction the emotional states of the characters in the context of the drama. The latter quality, though already apparent in the prison scene of Almira (1705), is only intermittently present in the earlier operas (before 1720), in which the arias often hold the attention by musical interest alone. Much of the music of this period is worked out from ideas first found in the cantatas and other works of Handel’s Italian period, and in Agrippina the characteristic harmonic quirks of this period are often attractively retained. The harmony of the first London operas is smoother, but the orchestration is richer, with its new use of bassoon tone colour; the extravagance of four trumpets in Rinaldo was not repeated.

The operas of the Academy period are generally more serious in tone (the enjoyable exception is Flavio (1723), though Giulio Cesare (1724) is not without touches of wit), arias are more expansive and musical expression is more consistently allied to drama. Giulio Cesare is all-encompassing; the deft characterization of Cleopatra’s ‘infinite variety’, the sumptuous orchestration and the emotional power of so much of the music have rightly earned it a high reputation, though its odd structure with secondary characters commanding the final scenes of the first two acts (a circumstance dictated by the status of the original singers), presents problems in a modern context. Tamerlano (1724) and Rodelinda (1725) have less highly coloured scores but maintain dramatic force throughout, the tenor roles for Borosini (Bajazet and Grimoaldo respectively) being especially striking. The later Academy operas, with the exception of the subtle and tender Admeto (1727), are slightly lesser achievements; the rivalry between the leading sopranos Cuzzoni and Faustina and the need to balance their parts proved more an inhibition than a stimulant to Handel’s inspiration.

In the 1730s, when Handel was free to choose a wider range of librettos, a comic and fantastic note returns in Partenope (1730), Orlando (1733) and Alcina (1735), and the influence of the newer pre-classical manner developed by Vinci and Leo is often present. The mid-1730s operas attain a greatness comparable with the peak of the previous decade, with the scena, a potent element in many Handel operas, reaching new heights in the mad scene of Orlando and the end of Act 2 of Alcina. (For their full impact these works require the orchestral forces known to have been employed by Handel at the time: they include a band of over 30 strings – divided approximately 12.8.6.4.2 – with four bassoons and two harpsichords in addition to the stipulated winds.) Hints of new directions in opera are suggested in the later 1730s, but none, sadly, was followed up. A move to a synthesis with the French operatic style adumbrated in the sequences of dances and choruses in the operas of 1734–5 did not extend beyond that season. The romantic Ariodante (1735) also pointed to a more intimate, less artificial style, as did Atalanta (1736), but Handel turned back to older heroic librettos in 1737 and 1738 with what seems to be diminished musical inspiration (especially in comparison with the English choral works to which he was then giving attention); Giustino (1737) nevertheless has much to commend it. Serse (1738), a wholly successful comic opera deepened by moments of real anguish, indicated yet another line of development (also touched on in Imeneo), but by then external circumstances were drawing Handel away from opera, and his final effort in the genre, Deidamia, is uncertain in tone.

22. Oratorio forms.

The two oratorios Handel wrote in Italy in 1707 and 1708 are in the well-established form of the Italian vernacular oratorio, very similar in style to the aria-dominated opera of the period, and, in Rome, forming a useful substitute for it at a time when public performance of opera was prohibited. Each, however, has an innovative moment exploiting the composer’s special strengths. In Il trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno, Cardinal Pamphili, the librettist and patron of the work, introduced ‘un leggiadro giovinetto’ making wondrous sounds as one of the delights offered by the allegorical character of Piacere (Pleasure). Handel could thus play a role in his own oratorio as the soloist in a short Sonata for organ and orchestra, the earliest known example of such a movement. In La resurrezione Handel made a last-minute change to the opening, allowing the overture to lead directly into the Angel’s first aria, thus enhancing the sense of drama suggested by the Marchese Ruspoli’s provision of painted backdrops for the performance, although the work was not actually staged. Both of these features were prophetic of elements in Handel’s later English oratorios: the Sonata foreshadowed the introduction of organ concertos, and the opening of La resurrezione, though not imitated in later oratorios, stressed Handel’s interest in dramatic effect.

In England, Handel did not use his Italian works as direct models for oratorio, since his prime concern was to introduce the choral music which they lacked, but he was aware of the precedent of Latin oratorios with choral sections, such as Carissimi’s Jephte. The first version of Esther, produced privately in 1718, is clearly something of an experiment, drawing first on Racine’s declared intention (in the play on which the libretto is based) ‘to unite the singing with the action and to use for singing the praises of the true God that section of the chorus which the pagans [i.e. classical Greek playwrights] used for singing the praises of their false divinities’. Other influences were the German passion oratorio, an example of which (the Brockes Passion) Handel had just composed and from which he took some of the music for Esther, and, for the choruses themselves, the English anthem. For arias, the da capo form of opera was a model, but vocal solos could in general be treated much more flexibly: they could lead into choruses or be episodes within them. All these precedents are reflected in the first Esther, and there is also a hint of the choral representation of different peoples which Handel was to exploit with great brilliance in later works: the chorus first appear as a group of bloodthirsty Persian officers, though for the most part they impersonate the persecuted Israelites. Esther may not be entirely satisfactory as a whole because of its clumsy structure, but it contained all the formal ingredients that Handel was to mix in many different ways in future oratorios and in secular works that took oratorio form.

English oratorio as a public entertainment began with Handel’s production of a much revised version of Esther in London on 2 May 1732 (the circumstances are mentioned above, §7). The 1732 Esther included two of the coronation anthems of 1727, and its immediate successor, Deborah, included the other two as well as more music from the Brockes Passion, as if Handel was using his first English oratorios as a means of rehabilitating past work. Athalia, though still drawing a little on the Passion, moves decisively towards the conception of oratorio as an original and all-encompassing genre, especially with the addition of organ concertos in the 1735 London version as in other oratorio revivals that year. Parallel to this development runs Handel’s introduction of secular works presented in concert, beginning with the revised version of Acis and Galatea in 1732 and continuing with the serenata Parnasso in festa in 1734 (partly re-using music from Athalia but also with newly composed choral music) and the setting of Dryden’s Alexander’s Feast in 1736.

With Saul (1738–9), Handel continued the line of dramatic oratorio from the precedent of Athalia, adding an extra measure of vividness by the inclusion of orchestral interludes implying action or marking the passage of time, and by the presence of the exotic sounds of trombones and a carillon in the orchestra. Its pair for the same season, Israel in Egypt, takes a new path, however, being the first non-dramatic English oratorio, with a libretto compiled from purely scriptural texts. It also has a substantial and unprecedented number of choral movements. Israel in Egypt achieved a commendatory notice in the London Daily Post – the only such appraisal for any oratorio in Handel’s lifetime – but this was because its strong choral element had proved difficult for the London audience, for whom the contribution of solo singers was always of importance, however elevated the musical entertainment. The only successor in the same line was Messiah, which not only provided a better balance of solo and choral music but achieved its eventual status as the most famous of all oratorios by articulating its statement of faith with music absolutely direct in its appeal, and in which the sense of progress from hope through despair to triumph is meaningful even for those who do not share Christian belief.

Between Israel in Egypt and Messiah Handel returned to secular works, with a setting of Dryden’s shorter Cecilian ode, A Song for St Cecilia’s Day, first presented as a pair with Alexander’s Feast, and with L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato (1740, revised 1741). This last is surely the most personal of the secular works. James Harris’s perception in suggesting selections from Milton’s two poems acutely recognized the presence of both ‘Allegro’ and ‘Penseroso’ aspects in Handel’s make-up, and rightly expected that both would find equal expression in the music and would weave into a well-balanced whole. The fact that the contrasted moods are created through contemplation of images from an idealized English landscape also allowed Handel to reflect a serene appreciation of the country in which he had chosen to settle.

In the 1740s, with opera abandoned, Handel seems to have been determined to explore the possibilities of oratorio form just as widely as he had in the 1730s, but he was not always able to carry his audiences with him. Oratorio proper, on sacred subjects, gained interest from a new middle-class public suspicious of theatrical entertainments, but happy to find a format in which musical virtuosity could be enjoyed within an aura of respectable piety. The sacred nature of the subjects provided the reason why, even if written in dramatic form, an oratorio was not to be acted. Semele and Hercules, however, were secular dramas; there was no obvious reason why they should be presented in Lent ‘after the manner of an oratorio’ and only Handel’s keenest supporters were prepared to accept them. Handel therefore refrained from new secular works in oratorio form after 1745 (other than for The Choice of Hercules, reworked from the abandoned music for Alceste as an addition to Alexander’s Feast) but, with some credit to his librettists, still managed to find the variety that was important to him. In his last four oratorios – Solomon, Susanna, Theodora and Jephtha – he composed leading soprano parts, all for Giulia Frasi, combining loving warmth and spiritual strength (divided between three roles in the case of Solomon), but each within works of very different atmospheres: the public splendour of Solomon, the intimacy of Susanna, the contest of faith and oppression in Theodora and the heroic acceptance of divine fate in Jephtha.

It does not appear that the special quality of these late works was widely recognized by their first audiences. (In the case of Theodora it clearly was not.) After their initial performances they were seldom revived, with the partial exception of Jephtha, and when they were, it was in substantially cut or altered form. It may be that the clash between dramatic form and concert presentation that caused difficulty with the secular works also affected appreciation of sacred works seeming to demand visualisation of their action. According to Hawkins, Handel himself ‘used to say, that, to an English audience, music joined to poetry was not an entertainment for an evening, and that something that had the appearance of a plot or fable was necessary to keep their attention awake’. But the liveliness with which Handel told his ‘fables’ in music was inevitably dissipated in concert performance, especially for audiences not used to continuous concentration on theatrical presentations. Even in Handel’s last years the standard oratorio repertory began to be reduced to Messiah, Samson and Judas Maccabaeus, where action is mainly absent or narrated. Only in the late 20th century, when recordings, radio broadcasts and concert performances of opera have made the concept of unseen musical drama familiar, has Handel’s wide vision of what oratorio form could embrace become fully appreciated.

23. Handel and posterity.

Handel’s classic status as a composer, established by the end of the 1730s and symbolized by the presence of his statue in Vauxhall Gardens along with one of John Milton, was at first based on his choral music in general but became particularly associated with his oratorios. It was there that the union of musical excellence and sacred subject matter reached the sublimity to which, according to the philosophy of the time, the best of art should aspire. In 1753 William Hayes wrote of L’Allegro that ‘there is not a Scene which Milton describes, were Claude Lorraine or Poussin to paint, could possibly appear in more lively Colours, or give a truer Idea of it, than our Great Musician has by his picturesque Arrangement of musical Sounds’, but goes on to give greater praise to Israel in Egypt, in which ‘sublime Composition’ Handel has ‘exerted every Power human Nature is capable of’. Mainwaring’s Memoirs of 1760, the first separately published biography of any composer, has a section (attributed to Robert Price) appraising Handel’s music in similar terms, noting the ‘sublime strokes’ that abound in the oratorio choruses, especially those of Messiah. In the ‘three concluding choruses’ of that work (i.e. from ‘Worthy is the Lamb’ onwards), ‘each … surpasses the preceeding, till in the winding up of the Amen, the ear is fill’d with such a glow of harmony, as leaves the mind in a kind of heavenly extasy’.

Messiah and its two regular companions, Samson and Judas Maccabaeus, epitomized this sublimity, and they remained dominant in the London oratorio seasons continued after Handel’s death at Covent Garden and elsewhere, though Alexander’s Feast also retained some popularity. An attempt was made to continue the master’s legacy by the production of pasticcio oratorios based on Handel opera arias and choruses from the anthems and Latin psalms. In collaboration with Morell as librettist John Christopher Smith created Nabal (1764), Gideon (1769) and Tobit (apparently unperformed) in this way, while Samuel Arnold produced Omnipotence (1774) and Redemption (1786). Neither these nor entirely new works in the Handelian manner had much success, however, audiences preferring to stick with what were becoming ritual performances of their favourites.

The sense of ritual in Handelian performance was consolidated by the great Handel Commemoration of 1784 (the centenary of his birth as erroneously recorded by Mainwaring). With encouragement from George III (a keen Handelian, to the annoyance of Burney and other progressive musicians of the period), it turned into a national celebration held mainly in Westminster Abbey, with huge choral and orchestral forces collected from all over Britain. The three planned performances (sacred music on 26 May, opera and oratorio extracts at the Pantheon on 27 May and Messiah on 29 May) were extended to five with repeats of the two Abbey concerts. More Commemorations followed in London up to 1791, and were continued in spirit in festivals in other English cities. One important guest at the 1791 Commemoration was Joseph Haydn, who (according to William Shield) found that it confirmed ‘that deep reverence for the mighty genius of Handel, which … he was even prone to avow’. The experience of this and his subsequent London visit of 1795 gave Haydn the impetus to compose The Creation on a libretto said to have been originally intended for Handel.

The Commemoration festivals stimulated a general interest in Handel’s oratorios in continental Europe, but that had already begun through the efforts of individual enthusiasts. Earl Cowper, who had left England to settle in Florence in 1759, promoted performances of Alexander’s Feast and Messiah there in 1768. Michael Arne, while touring in Germany, introduced Messiah to Hamburg in 1772, and C.P.E. Bach directed the work there again in 1775. Johann Adam Hiller brought Messiah to Berlin in 1786 and was one of the first to ‘update’ Handel’s scoring with additional wind parts and other alterations to make it conform to current taste. Mozart continued this trend in Vienna between 1786 and 1790, when he arranged four of the choral works (Acis and Galatea, Messiah, Alexander’s Feast and the Ode for St Cecilia’s Day) for Baron von Swieten’s concerts at the Imperial Library.

In Britain in the 19th century the development of amateur societies devoted to choral singing extended the veneration of Messiah and its regular companions, now including Israel in Egypt. Cheap vocal scores first produced by the publishing firm founded by Vincent Novello made the music conveniently available to amateurs. The idea of celebrating the centenary of Handel’s death on the grandest of scales took root with the transfer of the Crystal Palace (erected for the Great Exhibition of 1851) to Sydenham, providing a concert venue of unparalleled size. A preliminary ‘rehearsal’ was held in June 1857 and the Centenary Festival in June 1859. The latter involved 2765 singers and 460 instrumentalists under the direction of Sir Michael Costa and consisted of three concerts: Messiah, a miscellaneous ‘Selection’, and Israel in Egypt. It set the pattern for a series of triennial Crystal Palace Festivals on a similar (in fact, generally larger) scale well into the next century, the last being in 1926. Several voices, including those of Sir George Grove and George Bernard Shaw, were raised against the musical distortions involved, but the festivals were as much expressions of national pride as celebrations of Handel’s genius, and it was only after the deprivations of war and the advent of a less certain age that a firm reaction against massiveness set in.

The first signs of a fresher and broader view of Handel’s oratorios appeared in England in the 1920s, ushered in by partly amateur stage performances of Semele (1925, Cambridge) and Samson (1929, Falmouth), and continued in the next decade with Athalia, Saul, Susanna and Hercules. The performances involved drastic cuts and other compromises, but nevertheless revealed the works to be dramatic rather than devotional, and thus exposed an aspect of Handel that had become obscured by his status as master of the religious sublime. There was also similar activity in Germany, beginning with a staged Hercules at Münster in 1925. This, however, was an offshoot of a more significant effort in Germany to revive Handel’s operas, begun by Oskar Hagen in Göttingen in 1920, and soon extending to Halle and other centres. The productions were characterized by even heavier alteration of the music, with high voice male roles allocated to tenors and basses, and revised orchestration. In Britain, revival of the operas was slower off the mark, but began in earnest in the 1950s, again with a mix of professional and amateur involvement. The Handel Opera Society, which at first staged both operas and oratorios, was founded under the directorship of Charles Farncombe in 1955, and its work was supplemented by revivals of operas under Anthony Lewis at the University of Birmingham and by Unicorn Opera (directed by Alan Kitching) at Abingdon. BBC broadcasts of the operas, including a Rodelinda as early as 1928, but especially a series under Arnold Goldsborough from 1948 to 1964, also helped reveal their musical riches.

In the 1970s the movement towards historically aware performances of early music, using period instruments, coupled with new scholarly understanding of the aesthetic validity of Baroque opera, suppressed the inclination to alter the form and scoring of Handel’s operas and cleared the way to their acceptance on the modern stage. By 2000 all the operas had been given stage revivals of some sort, and productions of the best known works (especially Giulio Cesare and Alcina) were common on the stages of Europe and the USA. The rise of a new generation of countertenors and some fine mezzo-sopranos prepared to play male heroes helped remove the prejudice against high voices in male roles – and in any case octave transposition became ridiculous in performances attempting to re-create the sounds of Handel’s own time. From the 1980s onwards the lesser-known oratorios as well as the rarer operas also became available to a wide public for the first time through recordings, partly thanks to the invention of the compact disc, which proved more suitable than its vinyl predecessor to accommodating the playing times of the works concerned. Not all the first recordings have been satisfactory textually or as performances, but it is nevertheless a matter for rejoicing that in the first years of a new century virtually all of Handel’s music in its many diverse forms has become accessible through recordings and a range of stage and concert performances far broader than at any other time. Messiah retains the iconic status it had acquired by 1750 and has never relinquished, and will no doubt continue to do so while the great Christian festivals are celebrated, but it now takes its place alongside many other peaks of Handel’s achievement which a happy combination of scholarly advocacy and the enthusiasm of practical musicians has, after much struggle, revealed.

24. Sources and editions.

Something has already been said (§14) of Handel’s compositional technique as exhibited in his autograph scores and, in the case of large-scale vocal works, his working copies or ‘conducting scores’. The survival of most of these documents from the period of his Italian visit to his final years is partly the result of the composer’s own care in preserving them and partly good fortune. Both sets of manuscripts were presumably included among the ‘Musick Books’ bequeathed to the elder Smith by the terms of Handel’s will, and both passed on Smith’s death in 1763 to his son John Christopher Smith. The latter presented most of the autographs to George III in the 1770s, apparently in gratitude for the continuance of his pension after the death of the Dowager Princess of Wales. These remained in the possession of the British royal family and are now in the British Library with the rest of the former royal music collection. Seven volumes of material, mostly autograph, were acquired separately by the 7th Viscount Fitzwilliam in 1778 and 1779, under unknown circumstances, and (rebound in 15 volumes) now form part of the Founder’s Bequest in the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge. The conducting scores were presumably retained by Smith and passed on his death in 1795 to his stepdaughter Lady Rivers. Their fate became precarious after she died in 1835, but in the 1850s the book dealer Thomas Kerslake acquired them (so he said) ‘from the waste-paper market’ and sold them to Victor Schoelcher, then engaged on his biography of Handel. In 1868 they were purchased for the Hamburg State Library at the behest of Friedrich Chrysander, who had just begun to issue his collected edition of Handel. (The conducting score of Messiah had however become detached from this group after 1835 and, having passed though other hands into the collection of Sir Frederick Ouseley, is now in the Bodleian Library, Oxford.) The autographs and conducting scores have been comprehensively catalogued. All Handel’s musical autographs, comprising some 8700 sheets, are described with analysis of their continuity, watermarks and rastra (patterns of staff rulings) by Burrows and Ronish (B1994); their work supplements the earlier descriptions of the British Library autographs by Squire (B1927) and of the Fitzwilliam autographs by Fuller Mailand and Mann (B1893). The conducting scores are catalogued by Clausen (B1972).

A few autographs and several manuscript copies from Handel’s Italian period (including conducting scores of the two Italian oratorios) were left behind in the collections of his patrons, particularly Ruspoli. These were acquired early in the 19th century by Fortunato Santini, whose vast collection was subsequently purchased by the Roman Catholic diocese of Münster and is now housed in the Episcopal Seminary there. Other supplementary manuscript collections were formed in England during Handel’s lifetime by several of his major supporters, including Charles Jennens (whose collection was incorporated into what became known as the Aylesford Collection), Elizabeth Legh of Adlington Hall in Cheshire (whose collection passed to the Earls of Malmesbury) and the 4th Earl of Shaftesbury. Information on these and other collections is given in Handel Collections (A1990), and detailed references to manuscript and other sources for all Handel’s works are cited in the thematic catalogue (Händel Werke-Verzeichnishwv) prepared by Bernd Baselt, which forms part of the Händel-Handbuch.

The quantity and diversity of the sources – which include early printed editions, though the production of these was rarely supervised by Handel himself – often present complex problems to editors. Both autographs and conducting scores make visible the changes made by Handel during composition and subsequently, presenting difficult decisions about how the variant versions should be taken into account in preparing a score for publication or practical use. In the case of the operas and oratorios it is usually possible to define distinct versions performed by Handel at different times (though not all will seem equally valid for modern revival), and in this task the printed wordbooks produced to accompany the original performances are a vital additional source of information. Careful analysis of all source material needs to be undertaken for a full scholarly edition, and even the task of producing a working text for performance of a large-scale vocal work should involve cross-checking of autographs, the working copy and librettos if the relationship between the modern text and Handel’s own performances is to be properly understood.

The earliest editors of Handel were conscious of the problem of variant versions, but saw their task as one of producing the ‘best’ version of a work, often that hallowed by performing tradition. The first attempt at a collected edition of Handel’s works – the first such project for any composer – was made by Samuel Arnold in the immediate wake of the 1784 Handel Commemoration. Between 1787 and 1797 Arnold issued 180 fascicles of music text (amounting to about 60 volumes when bound) covering most of the oratorios together with the instrumental and orchestral music. A loss of interest on the part of subscribers caused the project to close prematurely, leaving only five operas covered and a small selection of the vocal chamber works. The edition nevertheless contributed significantly to the dissemination of Handel’s music, especially outside Britain, and has some continuing value in its preservation of readings derived from manuscripts available to Arnold but no longer extant. Arnold dealt with variants only casually, sometimes including alternative settings or interpolations in appendices, but without information about their origins. A new attempt at an edition taking account of Handel’s autographs (which Arnold seems not to have consulted) was begun by the English Handel Society in 1843, but only 16 volumes (in inconveniently massive large folio) were issued to 1858, including 12 of the large choral works. Only George Macfarren’s Belshazzar made a serious attempt to face the textual problems involved.

The Händel-Gesellschaft edition prepared almost single-handedly by Chrysander was the first to cover virtually the whole of Handel’s output, including the Italian operas. All but one of the planned 94 volumes were issued between 1858 and 1902. (The exception was vol.xlix, covering miscellaneous vocal works, for which some plates were however prepared; offprints from them were issued by Moeck in 1960.) Some volumes (notably xxxii, lviii and part of xlviii) were reissued in revised form when access to new sources had been acquired. In addition Chrysander and Max Seiffert edited six supplementary volumes of works by composers whose music was significantly used by Handel, and facsimilies of the autographs of Jephtha and Messiah. For its time the edition was an astonishing achievement. It was finely printed and remains very useful, especially in the form of reduced size facsimile reprints (the first of which was published by Gregg Press in 1965). Nevertheless its deficiencies are serious, especially for major works with complicated textual histories. Chrysander had access to the autographs and (more conveniently placed for him) the conducting scores at Hamburg, but his choice of readings from these and other sources is often arbitrary and incomplete. In several cases he was unaware of sources that would have filled lacunae in his scores.

In 1955 a new project was inaugurated in Halle, Handel’s birthplace. The Hallische Händel-Ausgabe (Halle Handel Edition) was originally intended only to supplement Chrysander by issue of performing material based on his edition, but adverse comment on the first six volumes led to a change of policy, and in 1958 it was announced that a full critical edition would be produced. However, the editorial standards of the volumes that followed were extremely variable, partly as a result of the position of Halle in what was then communist East Germany and the consequent problems for scholars based there of travel restrictions and general communication with the West. In the 1980s the editorial directors responded to growing criticism, and new arrangements were made with the co-operation of organizations in Britain, West Germany and the USA. An active editorial board of German, British and American scholars was set up, new guidelines for the edition were prepared and procedures were established for monitoring the work of volume editors. The unification of Germany in 1990 removed communication problems, and the volumes issued since then have, with few reservations, shown a marked improvement in standards. Coverage of instrumental and orchestral music was broadly complete by 2000, with the deficiencies of the earliest volumes being remedied by issue of revised versions with appropriate critical reports.

Works

Editions

George Friedrich Händels Werke: Ausgabe der Deutschen Händelgesellschaft, ed. F.W. Chrysander, i–xlviii, l–xcvi, suppls.i–vi (Leipzig and Bergedorf bei Hamburg, 1858–94, 1902/R) [HG]

Hallische Händel-Ausgabe im Auftrage der Georg Friedrich Händel-Gesellschaft, ed. M. Schneider, R. Steglich and others (Kassel, 1955–) [vols. in progress are given in square brackets] [HHA]

hwv [Händel Werke Verzeichnis] refers to the numeration of works in the Händel-Handbuch, i–iii, which includes details of MS and printed sources. For further MS sources see Baselt, Verzeichnis (B1986) and Handel Collections (A 1990); for early printed editions (to 1800) see Smith (B1960).

Stage

Operas

operas in three acts unless otherwise stated

View large

HWV

Title

Libretto

Première (perfs. under composer)

Remarks

HG

HHA

1

Almira [Der in Krohnen erlangte Glücks-Wechsel, oder Almira, Königin von Castilien]

F.C. Feustking, after G. Pancieri

HTG, 8 Jan 1705 (c20)

some music lost

lv

ii/1

2

Nero [Die durch Blut und Mord erlangete Liebe]

Feustking

HTG, 25 Feb 1705 (?3)

music lost

5

Rodrigo [Vincer se stesso è la maggior vittoria]

adapted from F. Silvani: Il duello d’Amore e di Vendetta

Florence, Cocomero, cOct 1707

some music lost

lvi

[ii/2]

3, 4

Der beglückte Florindo; Die verwandelte Daphne

H. Hinsch

HTG, Jan 1708

two operas designed to be perf. sequentially; music almost all lost, but see ‘Other orchestral’

6

Agrippina

V. Grimani

Venice, S Giovanni Grisostomo, 26 Dec 1709 (?27)

1 aria in Songs in … Etearco (London, 1711); ov. and 1 aria in Songs in … Antiochus (London, 1712); 1 aria in Songs in … Hamlet (London, 1712)

lvii

[ii/3]

7a, 7b

Rinaldo

G. Rossi, based on scenario by A. Hill after T. Tasso: La Gerusalemme liberata

LKH, 24 Feb 1711 (15)

lviii (2 edns)

ii/4.1, 4.2

LKH, 23 Jan 1712 (9)

LKH, 6 May 1713 (2)

LKH, 30 Dec 1714 (11)

LKH, 5 Jan 1717 (10)

rev., 4/5 new arias

LKH, 6 April 1731 (6)

rev., many addns from other operas

8a, 8b, 8c

Il pastor fido

Rossi, after B. Guarini

LKH, 22 Nov 1712 (7)

end date 24 Oct 1712; ? 1 aria added during run

lix, lxxxiv

[ii/5]

LKH, 18 May 1734 (13)

rev., many addns incl. choruses from other works and 2 new arias

[ii/31]

LCG, 9 Nov 1734 (5)

further rev., ballet, prol. (Terpsicore) dances and 2 arias added

9

Teseo

5 acts, N.F. Haym, after P. Quinault: Thésée

LKH, 10 Jan 1713 (13)

end date 19 Dec 1712; last perf. incl. addns (?2 new arias)

lx

[ii/6]

10

Silla

Rossi

?LKH, 2 June 1713 (?1)

misattrib. G. Bononcini in GB-Lbl Add.5334

lxi

[ii/7]

11

Amadigi di Gaula

after A.H. de Lamotte: Amadis de Grèce

LKH, 25 May 1715 (6)

main autograph lost

arias added during run

lxii

ii/8

LKH, 16 Feb 1716 (6)

5th perf. (20 June) incl. 2 new syms.

LKH, 16 Feb 1717 (5)

3rd perf. incl. unidentified ‘new scene’

12a, 12b

Radamisto

adapted from D. Lalli: L’amor tirannico, o Zenobia, as rev. for Florence, 1712, after G. de Scudéry: L’amour tyrannique

LKH, 27 April 1720 (10)

lxiii

ii/9.1, 9.2

LKH, 28 Dec 1720 (7)

rev., 13 new items

LKH, 25 Nov 1721

LKH, Jan–Feb 1728 (c5)

further revs., 1 aria added

13

Muzio Scevola

P.A. Rolli, after Livy, as rev. for Vienna, 1710

LKH, 15 April 1721 (10)

only Act 3 by Handel; Act 1, F. Amadei; Act 2, G. Bononcini; end date 23 March 1721

lxiv

[ii/10]

LKH, 7 Nov 1722 (3)

rev. and shortened

14

Floridante

Rolli, adapted from Silvani: La costanza in trionfo, ? as rev. for Livorno, 1706

LKH, 9 Dec 1721 (15)

end date 28 Nov 1721

lxv

[ii/11]

LKH, 4 Dec 1722 (7)

5 arias added, 2 new

LKH, 29 April 1727 (2)

shortened, 2 new arias (MS lib amendments Lbl)

LKH, 3 March 1733 (7)

1727 version rev. and shortened

15

Ottone, re di Germania

Haym, adapted from S.B. Pallavicino: Teofane

LKH, 12 Jan 1723 (14)

end date 10 Aug 1722; last 3 perfs. with 4 new arias

lxvi

[ii/12]

LKH, 11 Dec 1723 (6)

LKH, 8 Feb 1726 (9)

rev., 5 new arias

LKH, 11 April 1727 (2)

LKH, 13 Nov 1733 (4)

rev., 3 arias and new duet added

16

Flavio, re di Longobardi

Haym, adapted from M. Noris: Flavio Cuniberto, as rev. for Rome, 1696

LKH, 14 May 1723 (8)

end date 7 May 1723

lxvii

ii/13

LKH, 18 April 1732 (4)

much rev.

17

Giulio Cesare in Egitto

Haym, adapted from G.F. Bussani

LKH, 20 Feb 1724 (13)

lxviii

[ii/14]

LKH, 2 Jan 1725 (10)

rev., 4 new arias; 2 more added during run

LKH, 17 Jan 1730 (11)

further revs., 2 new arias added during run (MS lib amendments Lbl, King’s 442)

LKH, 1 Feb 1732 (4)

18

Tamerlano

Haym, adapted from A. Piovene and rev. version: Il Bajazete, 1719, after J.N. Pradon: Tamerlan

LKH, 31 Oct 1724 (12)

first draft composed 3–23 July 1724

lxix

ii/15

LKH, 13 Nov 1731 (3)

shortened, but 1 new aria

19

Rodelinda, regina de’ Longobardi

Haym, adapted from A. Salvi, after P. Corneille: Pertharite, roi des Lombards

LKH, 13 Feb 1725 (14)

end date 20 Jan 1725

lxx

[ii/16]

LKH, 18 Dec 1725 (8)

4 new arias and new duet (MS lib amendments Lbl)

LKH, 4 May 1731 (8)

2 arias and duet added from other operas

20

Scipione

Rolli, adapted from Salvi: Publio Cornelio Scipione

LKH, 12 March 1726 (13)

end date 2 March 1726

lxxi

[ii/17]

LKH, 3 Nov 1730 (6)

rev. with 14 added items incl. 2 new arias

21

Alessandro

Rolli, adapted from O. Mauro: La superbia d’Alessandro

LKH, 5 May 1726 (13)

end date 11 April 1726; new aria added during run

lxxii

[ii/18]

LKH, 26 Dec 1727 (over 3)

LKH, 25 Nov 1732 (6)

shortened

revived as Rossane, LKH, 1743, 1744, 1747, 1748, probably with Handel’s co-operation

22

Admeto, re di Tessaglia

adapted from A. Aureli: Antigona delusa da Alceste, as rev. Mauro for Hanover, 1681

LKH, 31 Jan 1727 (19)

end date 10 Nov 1726; main autograph and perf. scores lost

new aria added during run

lxxiii

[ii/19]

LKH, 30 Sept 1727 (6)

LKH, 25 May 1728 (3)

new aria

LKH, 7 Dec 1731 (6)

rev., 6 arias added, 3 new

23

Riccardo primo, re d’Inghilterra

Rolli, adapted from F. Briani: Isacio tiranno

LKH, 11 Nov 1727 (11)

end date 16 May 1727

lxxiv

[ii/20]

Genserico [Olibrio]

after N. Beregan: Genserico, as rev. for Hamburg, 1693

only pt of Act 1 drafted early 1728; music mostly used in Siroe and Tolomeo

24

Siroe, re di Persia

Haym, adapted from P. Metastasio, as rev. for Naples, 1727

LKH, 17 Feb 1728 (18)

end date 5 Feb 1728

lxxv

[ii/21]

25

Tolomeo, re di Egitto

Haym, adapted from C.S. Capece: Tolomeo e Alessandro

LKH, 30 April 1728 (7)

end date 19 April 1728

lxxvi

[ii/22]

LKH, 19 May 1730 (7)

much rev. with 12 addl items

LKH, 2 Jan 1733 (4)

6 further addns

26

Lotario

adapted from Salvi: Adelaide, as rev. for Venice, 1729

LKH, 2 Dec 1729 (10)

end date 16 Nov 1729

lxxvii

[ii/23]

27

Partenope

adapted from Stampiglia, as rev. for Venice, 1707

LKH, 24 Feb 1730 (7)

end date 12 Feb 1730

lxxviii

[ii/24]

LKH, 12 Dec 1730 (7)

rev., new aria

LCG, 29 Jan 1737 (4)

shortened and rearranged

28

Poro, re dell’Indie

adapted from Metastasio: Alessandro nell’Indie

LKH, 2 Feb 1731 (16)

end date 16 Jan 1731

lxxix

[ii/25]

LKH, 23 Nov 1731 (4)

rev., 3 arias added

LCG, 8 Dec 1736 (4)

rev., 6 arias added (1 by L. Vinci, 2 by G.A. Ristori)

A5

[Tito]

after J. Racine: Bérénice

only Act 1 scenes i–iii composed, late 1731, entitled Titus l’Empereur; music partly used in Ezio

29

Ezio

adapted from Metastasio

LKH, 15 Jan 1732 (5)

lxxx

[ii/26]

30

Sosarme, re di Media

adapted from Salvi: Dionisio rè di Portogallo

LKH, 15 Feb 1732 (11)

end date 4 Feb 1732

lxxxi

[ii/27]

LKH, 27 April 1734 (3)

shortened, but 4 arias added

31

Orlando

adapted from Capece, after L. Ariosto: Orlando furioso

LKH, 27 Jan 1733 (10)

end date 20 Nov 1732

lxxxii

ii/28

32

Arianna in Creta

adapted from P. Pariati: Teseo in Creta, as rev. for Naples, 1721, and Rome, 1729

LKH, 26 Jan 1734 (16)

end date 5 Oct 1733

lxxxiii

[ii/29]

LCG, 27 Nov 1734 (5)

rev., with 2 arias, 1 new, and ballet

A¹¹

Oreste

adapted from G. Barlocci

LCG, 18 Dec 1734 (3)

pasticcio, music by Handel incl. new recits. and ballet

xlviii, 102 (ov.)

ii/suppl.1

33

Ariodante

adapted from Salvi: Ginevra, principessa di Scozia, after Ariosto: Orlando furioso

LCG, 8 Jan 1735 (11)

incl. ballet music; composed 12 Aug–24 Oct 1734

lxxxv

[ii/32]

LCG, 5 May 1736 (2)

dances omitted; 7 arias added (none by Handel)

34

Alcina

adapted from L’isola di Alcina, 1728, after Ariosto: Orlando furioso

LCG, 16 April 1735 (18)

incl. ballet music; end date 8 April 1735

lxxxvi

[ii/33]

LCG, 6 Nov 1736 (3)

dances omitted

LCG, 10 June 1737 (2)

35

Atalanta

adapted from B. Valeriano: La caccia in Etolia

LCG, 12 May 1736 (8)

end date 22 April 1735

lxxxvii

[ii/34]

LCG, 20 Nov 1736 (2)

36

Arminio

adapted from Salvi

LCG, 12 Jan 1737 (6)

end date 14 Oct 1736

lxxxviii

[ii/35]

37

Giustino

adapted from Beregan, as rev. Pariati for Rome, 1724

LCG, 16 Feb 1737 (9)

composed 14 Aug–20 Oct 1736

lxxxix

[ii/36]

38

Berenice

adapted from Salvi: Berenice, regina d’Egitto

LCG, 18 May 1737 (4)

composed 18 Dec 1736–27 Jan 1737

xc

[ii/37]

39

Faramondo

adapted from A. Zeno, as rev. for Rome, 1720

LKH, 3 Jan 1738 (8)

composed 15 Nov–24 Dec 1737

xci

[ii/38]

A¹³

Alessandro Severo

adapted from Zeno, as rev. for Milan, 1723

LKH, 25 Feb 1738 (6)

pasticcio, music by Handel, incl. new ov. and recits.

xlviii, 104 (ov.)

40

Serse

adapted from N. Minato, as rev. Stampiglia for Rome, 1694

LKH, 15 April 1738 (5)

composed 26 Dec 1737–14 Feb 1738

xcii

ii/39

4

Giove in Argo [Jupiter in Argos]

adapted from A.M. Lucchini

LKH, 1 May 1739 (2)

pasticcio semi-staged; new recits., 5 arias and final chorus

41

Imeneo

adapted from Stampiglia

LLF, 22 Nov 1740 (2)

drafted Sept 1738, rev. for perf. Oct 1740

xciii

[ii/40]

Dublin, New Music Hall, 24 March 1742 (2)

concert perf.; cuts, but 2 arias and 2 duets added

42

Deidamia

Rolli

LLF, 10 Jan 1741 (2)

composed 27 Oct–20 Nov 1740

xciv

[ii/41]

LLH, 10 Feb 1741 (1)

† printed libretto extant (facsimiles) of opera librettos in Harris, B1989) HTG Hamburg, Theater am Gänsemarkt LCG London, Covent Garden LKH London, King’s/Queen’s Theatre in the Haymarket LLF London, Lincoln’s Inn Fields LLH London, Little Theatre in the Haymarket

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3 arias in revival of Pirro e Demetrio (pasticcio, LKH, 1716)

No, non così severo [MS sources …]; Sento prima le procelle [MS sources …]; Vieni, o cara, e lieta in petto [MS sources …]

Miscellaneous operatic arias

Aure dolci, deh, spirate, c1722–6, hwv211; Col valor del vostro brando, c1711–13, hwv215, ed. in HHA, ii/4.1, 248; Con doppia gloria mia, c1722–6, hwv212; Con lacrime sì belle, c1717–8, ed. in HHA, ii/4.1, 232; L’odio, sì, ma poi ritrovo, c1722–6, hwv217; Lusinga questo cor, c1712–17 [MS sources …]; Quanto più amara fu sorte crudele, c1721–3, hwv222; Sa perché pena il cor, c1712–17, ed. in HHA, ii/4.1, 228; Sì, crudel, tornerà (frag.), c1738–41, hwv224; Spera chi sa perché la sorte, c1717–18, hwv225, ed. in HHA, ii/4.1, 237; S’un dì m’apparga, la mia crudele, c1738–41, hwv223; Vo’ cercando tra fiori (text in I. Zanelli: Nino (Rome, 1720)), c1726, hwv227

arrangements of operas by other composers [not in HG or HHA]; all in three acts
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HWV

Title

Libretto

Première (perfs. in London)

Remarks

Elpidia

adapted from Zeno: Li rivali generosi

LKH, 11 May 1725 (10), 30 Nov 1725 (5)

pasticcio mainly from L. Vinci: Ifigenia in Tauride and La Rosmira fedele, and G.F. Orlandini: Berenice, Venice, 1725; perf. Nov 1725 with revs.

Ormisda

adapted from Zeno

LKH, 4 April 1730 (14), 24 Nov 1730 (5)

pasticcio with arias by Vinci, J.A. Hasse, Orlandini and others; 12 ‘new songs’ announced from 21 April; 2 different sets of lib. amendments extant

A4

Venceslao

adapted from Zeno

LKH, 12 Jan 1731 (4)

pasticcio with arias by Vinci, Hasse, N. Porpora and others

A6

Lucio Papirio

Zeno, rev. C.I. Frugoni

LKH, 23 May 1732 (4)

by G. Giacomelli, Parma, 1729, slightly adapted

A7

Catone

Metastasio

LKH, 4 Nov 1732 (5)

mostly by L. Leo, Venice, 1729, with arias by other composers

A8

Semiramide

Metastasio

LKH, 30 Oct 1733 (4)

mostly by Vinci, with arias by other composers

A9

Cajo Fabricio

Zeno

LKH, 4 Dec 1733 (4)

mostly by Hasse, Rome, 1732, with arias by other composers

0

Arbace

Metastasio: Artaserse

LKH, 8 Jan 1734 (8)

mostly by Vinci, with arias by other composers

A¹²

Didone

Metastasio

LKH, 13 April 1737 (3)

mostly by Vinci, Rome, 1726

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Theatre music
View large

HWV

Title (Description)

Performances (no.)

Remarks

HG

HHA

43

The Alchemist (for Ben Jonson’s play)

LKH, 14 Jan 1710 (2); later revivals

9 items, nos.1, 3–9 from ov. to Rodrigo, no.2 (‘Prelude’) probably not by Handel, pubd Walsh (London, 1710), attrib. ‘an Italian master’ (copy GB-Lfom); see Price, G1975

44

[Comus] (3 songs and trio to conclude private arr. of Milton: A Maske presented at Ludlow Castle)

Exton, Leics., June 1745 (1), 29 July 1748 (1)

music re-used in Occasional Oratorio; see Hicks, G1976; ed. C. Timms and A. Hicks as Music for Comus (London, 1977)

45

Alceste (masque or semi-opera, T. Smollett, after Euripides)

composed Dec 1749–Jan 1750; music used in The Choice of Hercules; lib lost

xlviB

[i/30]

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For songs in plays, see under songs and hymns: I like the am’rous youth that’s free; Love’s but the frailty of the mind; ’Twas when the seas were roaring

Odes, oratorios, etc.

DNMH Dublin, New Music Hall, Fishamble Street LCG London, Covent Garden LFH London, Foundling Hospital LKH London, King’s/Queen’s Theatre in the Haymarket LLF London, Lincoln’s Inn Fields OCC Oxford, Christ Church Hall OST Oxford, Sheldonian Theatre

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HWV

Title (Libretto)

Performances under composer (no.)

Remarks

HG

HHA

46a

Il trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno (B. Pamphili)

? Rome, spr. 1707

D-MÜs score copied by 14 May 1707

xxiv

[i/4]

47

Oratorio per la Resurrezione di Nostro Signor Gesù Cristo (C.S. Capece)

Rome, Palazzo Bonelli, 8 April 1708 (2)

xxxix

[i/3]

74

Ode for the Birthday of Queen Anne (Eternal source of light divine) (? A. Philips)

probably composed Jan 1713 for perf. on 6 Feb but not perf.; rev. for 1714 celebration but again not perf.

xlviA

i/6

48

Der für die Sünde der Welt gemartete und sterbende Jesus [Brockes Passion] (B.H. Brockes)

? Hamburg, 1716

see Becker, C1956, for Hamburg perfs., 1719–21

xv

i/7

49a, 49b

Acis and Galatea (J. Gay and others, after Ovid: Metamorphoses, xiii)

Cannons, Edgware, 1718, LKH, 10 June 1732 (4), 5 Dec 1732 (4); OCC, 11 July 1733 (1), LKH, 7 May 1734 (1); CG, 24 March 1736 (2); LLF, 13 Dec 1739 (2), 28 Feb 1741 (2); DNMH, 20 Jan 1742 (2)

composed May 1718 (see Rogers, 1973), rev. for perfs. 1732–6 with added It. airs from cantata Sorge il dì (Aci, Galatea e Polifemo) and elsewhere

iii, liii

50a, 50b

Esther (? A. Pope and J. Arbuthnot, after Racine, trans. T. Brereton; with addns by S. Humphreys, 1732)

?Cannons, 1718; LKH, 2 May 1732 (6), 14 April 1733 (2); OST, 5 July 1733 (2); LCG, 5 March 1735 (6), 7 April 1735 (2), 6 April 1737 (2); LLF, 26 March 1740 (1); DNMH, 3 Feb 1742 (3); LCG, 15 March 1751 (1), 25 Feb 1757 (1)

extensively rev. for 1732 perf. with much new music; addns for 1735 perf. incl. org conc.

xl, xli

i/8 [i/10]

51

Deborah (Humphreys, after Judges v)

LKH, 17 March 1733 (6); OST, 12 July 1733 (1); LKH, 2 April 1734 (3); LCG, 26 March 1735 (3); LKH, 3 Nov 1744 (2); LCG, 8 March 1754 (2), 19 March 1756 (1)

music partly from earlier works; end date 21 Feb 1733

xxix

[i/11]

52

Athalia (Humphreys, after Racine)

OST, 10 July 1733 (2); LCG, 1 April 1735 (5), 5 March 1756 (3)

end date 7 June 1733; 1735 perf. with addns incl. Italian arias; 1756 perf. rev. with addns

v

[i/12]

73

Parnasso in festa (anon.)

LKH, 13 March 1734 (5); LCG, 9 March 1737 (2); LLF, 8 Nov 1740 (1); LKH, 14 March 1741 (1)

music mostly from Athalia; 1741 perf. ? not under Handel

liv

[ii/30]

75

Alexander’s Feast (J. Dryden: Ode for St Cecilia’s Day, 1697; addns from N. Hamilton: The Power of Music)

LCG, 19 Feb 1736 (5), 16 March 1737 (6); LKH, 17 Feb 1739 (3); LLF, 22 Nov 1739 (2); DNMH, 17 Feb 1742 (2); LCG, 1 March 1751 (4), 9 March 1753 (2), 14 Feb 1755 (2)

end date 17 Jan 1736; 1742 perf. with new solo (only bc extant) and duet; duet rev. 1751

xii

i/1

46b

Il trionfo del Tempo e della Verità (Pamphili, with anon. addns)

LCG, 23 March 1737 (4); LKH, 3 March 1739 (1)

extensive rev. of Il trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno with much new music; end date 14 March 1737

xx, xxiv

[i/4]

53

Saul (C. Jennens, after I Samuel xvii–II Samuel i and A. Cowley: Davideis)

LKH, 16 Jan 1739 (6); LLF, 21 March 1740 (1), 18 March 1741 (1); DNMH, 25 May 1742 (1); LCG, 16 March 1744 (2); LKH, 13 March 1745 (1); LCG, 2 March 1750 (2), 15 March 1754 (2)

composed 23 July–27 Sept 1738

xiii

i/13

54

Israel in Egypt (mainly from Exodus xv and Prayer Book Psalter)

LKH, 4 April 1739 (3); LLF, 1 April 1740 (1); LCG, 17 March 1756 (2), 4 March 1757 (1), 24 Feb 1758 (1)

parts ii and iii composed 1 Oct–1 Nov 1738; perf. 1739 and 1740 with arr. of Funeral Anthem as pt.i; perf. 1756–8 with new pt.i, mostly from Solomon and Occasional Oratorio

xvi

i/14

76

Ode for St Cecilia’s Day (From harmony, from heav’nly harmony) (Dryden)

LLF, 22 Nov 1739 (2), 13 Dec 1739 (2), 21 Feb 1740 (2), 11 March 1741 (1), 8 April 1741 (1); DNMH, 20 Jan 1742 (2); LCG, 18 March 1743 (1), 23 May 1754 (1), 21 Feb 1755 (1)

composed 15–24 Sept 1739

xxiii

[i/15]

55

L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato (pts. i–ii compiled from Milton by J. Harris and Jennens; pt.iii by Jennens)

LLF, 27 Feb 1740 (6), 31 Jan 1741 (3), 8 April 1741 (1); DNMH, 23 Dec 1741 (1), 13 Jan 1742 (2); LCG, 18 March 1743 (1), 23 May 1754 (1), 21 Feb 1755 (1)

composed 19 Jan–4 Feb 1740; MS word-book US-SM; perf. Jan 1741 with 7 new items; pt. iii (Moderato) omitted after 1742

vi

i/16

56

Messiah (compiled Jennens from the Bible and Prayer Book Psalter)

DNMH, 13 April 1742 (2); LCG, 23 March 1743 (3); LKH, 9 April 1745 (2); LCG, 23 March 1749 (1); LCG, LFH, 13 April 1750 (3); LFH, 18 April 1751 (2); LCG, FH, 25 March 1752 (3), 13 April 1753 (2), 5 April 1754 (2), 19 March 1755 (3), 7 April 1756 (3), 30 March 1757 (3), 10 March 1758 (4); LCG, 30 March 1759 (3)

composed 22 Aug–14 Sept 1741; 2 solos added 1743 (But lo! and Their sound); Rejoice and Their sound reset ?1745; But who may abide and Thou art gone up reset 1750

xlv

i/17

57

Samson (adapted Hamilton from Milton: Samson Agonistes and other poems)

LCG, 18 Feb 1743 (8), 24 Feb 1744 (2); LKH, 1 March 1745 (2); LCG, 3 March 1749 (4), 4 April 1750 (2), 6 March 1752 (3), 4 April 1753 (3), 29 March 1754 (1), 26 Feb 1755 (2), 14 March 1759 (3)

mostly completed Sept–Oct 1741; rev. for perf. Oct 1742; MS word-book, US-SM; 1 air added 1745; air from Occasional Oratorio added 1754

x

[i/18]

58

Semele (W. Congreve, rev. with addns from his poems and from Pope: Summer, or Alexis)

LCG, 10 Feb 1744 (4); LKH, 1 Dec 1744 (2)

composed 3 June–4 July 1743; MS word-book US-SM, 6 airs added for Dec 1744, some in It.

vii

[i/19]

59

Joseph and his Brethren (J. Miller, after A. Zeno, Giuseppe, and Genesis xli–xliv)

LCG, 2 March 1744 (4); LKH, 15 March 1745 (2), LCG, 20 March 1747 (2), 28 Feb 1755 (1), 9 March 1757 (1)

composed Aug–Sept 1743

xlii

[i/20]

60

Hercules (T. Broughton, after Sophocles: Trachiniae and Ovid: Metamorphoses, ix)

LKH, 5 Jan 1745 (2); LCG, 24 Feb 1749 (2), 21 Feb 1752 (2)

composed 19 July–17 Aug 1744

iv

[i/22]

61

Belshazzar (Jennens, after Daniel v, Jeremiah, Isaiah, Herodotus: History, i, and Xenophon: Cyropaedia)

LKH, 27 March 1745 (3); LCG, 22 Feb 1751 (2), 22 Feb 1758 (1)

composed 23 Aug–23 Oct 1744; MS word-book, US-SM; some items rev. 1751; new air added 1758

xix

[i/21]

62

Occasional Oratorio (Hamilton, compiled mainly from Milton’s paraphrases of the Psalms, with lines from E. Spenser: The Faery Queen, Hymn of Heavenly Beauty, Tears of the Muses)

LCG, 14 Feb 1746 (3), 6 March 1747 (3)

some of Acts 2–3 from other works, esp. Israel in Egypt; MS word-book (frag.), US-SM; 1 air added 1747

xliii

[i/23]

63

Judas Maccabaeus (T. Morell, after I Maccabees and Josephus: Antiquities, xii)

LCG, 1 April 1747 (6), 26 Feb 1748 (6), 9 March 1750 (4), 20 March 1751 (1), 18 March 1752 (2), 23 March 1753 (3), 27 March 1754 (2), 12 March 1755 (2), 26 March 1756 (2), 25 March 1757 (1), 3 March 1758 (2), 23 March 1759 (2)

composed 8/9 July–11 Aug 1746; MS word-book, US-SM; items added during first run; further airs added in later perfs., incl. 2 new airs in 1758

xx

[i/24]

64

Joshua (anon.)

LCG, 9 March 1748 (4), 14 Feb 1752 (2), 22 March 1754 (1)

composed 19 July–19 Aug 1747; MS word-book, US-SM; 5 items added 1754

xvii

[i/26]

65

Alexander Balus (Morell, after I Maccabees)

LCG, 23 March 1748 (3), 1 March 1754 (1)

composed 1 June–4 July 1747; MS word-book, US-SM; rev. 1754, with added items from Alceste

xxxiii

[i/25]

66

Susanna (anon., after Apocrypha)

LCG, 10 Feb 1749 (4), 9 March 1759 (1)

composed 11 July–24 Aug 1748; MS word-book, US-SM; shortened 1759, with added item from Semele

i

i/28

67

Solomon (anon., after II Chronicles, I Kings v and Josephus: Antiquities, viii)

LCG, 17 March 1749 (3), 2 March 1759 (2)

composed 5 May–13 June 1748; MS word-book, US-SM; rearr. 1759, with 5 added airs

xxvi

[i/27]

68

Theodora (Morell, after R. Boyle: The Martyrdom of Theodora and of Didymus)

LCG, 16 March 1750 (3), 5 March 1755 (1)

composed 28 June–31 July 1749; MS word-book, GB-Mp

viii

[i/29]

69

The Choice of Hercules (R. Lowth: The Judgement of Hercules, Glasgow, 1743, as revised for J. Spence’s Polymetis, 1747, adapted)

LCG, 1 March 1751 (4), 9 March 1753 (2), 14 Feb 1755

composed 28 June–5 July 1750; music mostly from Alceste; MS word-book (frag.), US-SM

xxviii

i/31

70

Jephtha (Morell, after Judges xi and G. Buchanan: Jephthes sive Votum, 1554)

LCG, 26 Feb 1752 (3), 16 March 1753 (2), 2 April 1756 (1), 1 March 1758 (1)

composed 21 Jan–30 Aug 1751; MS word-book, US-SM; air from Agrippina and qnt added 1756

xliv

[i/32]

71

The Triumph of Time and Truth (Morell, after Pamphili: Il trionfo del Tempo, trans. G. Oldmixon)

LCG, 11 March 1757 (4), 10 Feb 1758 (2)

music mainly from Il trionfo del Tempo e della Verità, with addns from other works; 5 airs added 1758

xx

[i/33]

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Sacred vocal

Latin church music

Edition

Three Antiphons and a Motet for Vespers, ed. G. Dixon (London, 1990) [D]

View large

HWV

Title/first words, Key

Scoring

Remarks

HG

HHA

231

Coelestis dum spirat aura, D/G, motet

S, 2 vn, bc

for St Antony of Padua; perf. Vignanello, 13 June 1707; ed. R. Ewerhart (Cologne, 1957)

232

Dixit Dominus (Ps cix), g

2 S, A, T, B, SSATB, 2 vn, 2 va, bc

completed April 1707

xxxviii, 53

iii/1

233

Haec est regina virginum, G, ant

S, str, bc

?perf. Rome, S Maria di Monte Santo, 15/16 July 1707; ed. R. Gorlini (Wiesbaden, 1984); ed. in D

236

Laudate pueri Dominum (Ps cxii), F

S, 2 vn, bc

? Halle, 1701–2 or ? Hamburg, c1706

xxxviii, 1

237

Laudate pueri Dominum (Ps cxii), D

S, SSATB, 2 ob, 2 vn, 2 va, bc

completed Rome, 8 July 1707

xxxviii, 19

238

Nisi Dominus (Ps cxxvi), G

A, T, B, SSAATTBB, 4 vn, 2 va, bc

completed Rome, 13 July 1707; autograph of Gloria patri reported to be destroyed in fire at Bristol, Feb 1860; vocal score of Gloria patri in Crystal Palace … Handel Festival 1891: The Selection (London, 1891), and of complete work ed. T.W. Bourne (London, 1898); full score ed. S. Tsuji (Tokyo, 1928); ed. W. Shaw (Borough Green, 1985)

xxxviii, 127 (psalm only)

239

O qualis de caelo sonus, G, motet

S, 2 vn, bc

for Pentecost; perf. Vignanello, 12 June 1707; ed. R. Ewerhart (Cologne, 1957)

240

Saeviat tellus inter rigores, D, motet

S, 2 ob, str, bc

for Our Lady of Mount Carmel; ? perf. Rome, S Maria di Monte Santo, 16 July 1707; ed. in D

241

Salve regina, g, ant

S, 2 vn, vc, org, bc

perf. Vignanello, ? Trinity Sunday, 19 June 1707

xxxviii, 136

242

Silete venti, B♭, motet

S, 2 ob, 2 bn, str, bc

c1723–5

xxxviii, 144

243

Te decus virgineum, g, ant

A, unis vn, bc

? perf. Rome, S Maria di Monte Santa, 15/16 July 1707; ed. in D

Alleluias, Amens:

S, bc

probably intended as vocal studies

272, 273, 274, 270, 269, 271

Alleluia … amen, d, G, a; Amen, F: Amen … alleluia, d, g

c1735–46

xxxviii, 166

276, 277

Amen … hallelujah, F; Hallelujah … amen, F

c1744–7; ed. A. Mann as Two Sacred Arias (New York, 1979)

hwv 244 (Kyrie eleison) and hwv 245 (Gloria in excelsis Deo) are by A. Lotti (Missa sapientiae), copied by Handel, c1749

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English church music

parenthesized numbers after titles refer to HG

View large

HWV

Title/first words, Key

Scoring

Remarks

HG

HHA

‘Chandos’ anthems:

composed 1717–18 at Cannons, Edgware, for James Brydges, created Duke of Chandos April 1719

251b

As pants the hart (6A), e

S, T, STB, ob, bn, 2 vn, bc

related to Chapel Royal settings

xxxiv, 207

iii/5, 53

248

Have mercy upon me, O God (3), c

S, T, STB, ob, bn, 2 vn, bc

xxxiv, 79

iii/4, 103

247

In the Lord put I my trust (2), d

T, STB, ob, bn, 2 vn, bc

see ‘Keyboard’, 206

xxxiv, 3

iii/4, 51

250a

I will magnify thee, O God (5A), A

S, T, STB, ob, bn, 2 vn, bc

movts The Lord is righteous and Happy, happy are addns; see Beeks (1978)

xxxiv, 133

iii/5, 3

256a

Let God arise (11A), B♭

S, T, SATB, ob, bn, 2 vn, bc

xxxv, 211

iii/6, 163

252

My song shall be alway (7), G

S, A, T, B, SATB, ob, bn, 2 vn, bc

Thou rulest the raging of the sea (trio), may be spurious; see Beeks, G1978

xxxv, 1

iii/5, 93

246

O be joyful (‘Chandos’ Jubilate) (1), D

S, T, B, STB, ob, bn, 2 vn, bc

arr. of ‘Utrecht’ Jubilate

xxxiv, 1

iii/4, 3

253

O come let us sing unto the Lord (8), A

S, 2 T, STTB, ob, bn, 2 rec, 2 vn, bc

xxxv, 41

iii/5, 141

254

O praise the Lord with one consent (9), E♭

S, 2 T, B, STTB, ob, 2 vn, bc

xxxv, 98

iii/6, 3

249b

O sing unto the Lord (4), F

S, T, STB, ob, bn, 2 vn, bc

partly based on Chapel Royal setting

xxxiv, 109

iii/4, 141

255

The Lord is my light (10), g

S, 2 T, STTTB, 2 rec, ob, 2 vn, bc

xxxv, 151

iii/6, 75

Coronation anthems:

for coronation of King George II and Queen Caroline; perf. Westminster Abbey, 11 Oct 1727

xiv

[iii/10]

259

Let thy hand be strengthened, G

SAATB, 2 ob, [bn], str, bc

261

My heart is inditing, D

SAATBB, 2 ob, [bn], 3 tpt, timp, str, bc

260

The king shall rejoice, D

SAATBB, 2 ob, bn, 3 tpt, timp, str, bc

258

Zadok the priest, D

SSAATBB, 2 ob, 2 bn, 3 tpt, timp, str, bc

Other occasional anthems:

mainly for Chapel Royal

251a

As pants the hart (6C), d

S, 2 A, 2 B, SAATBB, org, viol/vc

Chapel Royal, 1711–14

xxxiv, 277

iii/9, 3

251d

As pants the hart (6D), d

S, 2 A, 2 B, SAATBB, viol/vc, org

for Chapel Royal, 1722–6; rev. of above

xxxvi, 233

iii/9, 25

251c

As pants the hart (6B), d

S, 2 A, T, 2 B, SAATBB, ob, str, bc

1722–6, ? perf. Chapel Royal, 7 Oct 1722, related to Chandos and above versions

xxxiv, 239

251e

As pants the hart, d

S, 2 A, T, 2 B, SAATBB, 2 ob, str, bc

rev. version of hwv251c with new setting of Now when I think … For I went with the multitude, and Allelujah (from Athalia) added for ‘An Oratorio’, 28 March 1738

iii/9, 247

268

Blessed are they that considereth the poor (‘Foundling Hospital Anthem’) (16), d

2 S, A, T, SATB, 2 ob, 2 tpt, timp, str, bc

perf. Foundling Hospital, 27 May 1749; music partly from Funeral Anthem, Susanna and Messiah; ed. D. Burrows (London, 1983)

xxxvi, 154

266

How beautiful are the feet (‘Anthem on the Peace’), d

S, 2 A, T, B, SATB, fl, ob, bn, 2 tpt, timp, str, bc

for Peace of Aix-la-Chapelle; perf. Chapel Royal, 25 April 1749; music arr. from I will magnify (Chapel Royal setting), Occasional Oratorio and Messiah; see Burrows, G1973; facs. of 1st chorus in Das Autograph des Oratoriums ‘Messias’, ed. F. Chrysander (Hamburg, 1892/R), 285; ed. D. Burrows as The Anthem on the Peace (London, 1981)

267

How beautiful are the feet, D

S, SATB, 2 ob, 2 tpt, timp, str, bc

incomplete fragment associated with hwv266

250b

I will magnify Thee, O God (5B), A

A, T, B, SATB, ob, str, bc

1722–6; ? perf. Chapel Royal, 5 Jan 1724; based on movts from 4 Chandos anthems

xxxiv, 169

iii/9, 71

256b

Let God arise (11B), A

A, B, SATB, ob, bn, str, bc

1722–6; ? perf. Chapel Royal, 16 Jan 1726; partly based on Chandos setting

xxxv, 263

iii/9, 187

249a

O sing unto the Lord (4A), G

A, B, SATB, fl, 2 ob, 2 tpt, str

1712–14; ? perf. Chapel Royal, 26 Sept 1714

xxxvi, 219

iii/9, 49

263

Sing unto God (14), D

S, A, T, B, SATB, 2 ob, 2 tpt, ? timp, str, bc

for wedding of Prince Frederick and Princess Augusta of Saxe-Coburg; perf. Chapel Royal, 27 April 1736; final movt from Parnasso in festa; re-used, with addns from This is the day, for wedding of Prince Frederick of Hesse and Princess Mary, Chapel Royal, 8 May 1740

xxxvi, 80

265

The king shall rejoice (‘Dettingen Anthem’) (15), D

A, B, SSATB, 2 ob, bn, 3 tpt, timp, str, bc

for victory at Dettingen; completed 3 Aug 1743; perf. Chapel Royal, 27 Nov 1743 with ‘Dettingen’ Te Deum

xxxvi, 111

[iii/13]

264

The ways of Zion do mourn (‘Funeral Anthem’), g

SSATB, 2 ob, 2 bn, str, bc

for funeral of Queen Caroline; completed 12 Dec 1737; perf. Westminster Abbey, 17 Dec 1737; used with altered words as pt.i of Israel in Egypt, 1739

xi

[iii/12]

262

This is the day (13), D

A, T, B, SSAATTBB, 2 fl, 2 ob, bn, 2 tpt, ? timp, str, bc

for wedding of Princess Anne and Prince William of Orange; perf. German Chapel, St James’s, 14 March 1734; music mainly arr. from Athalia, Nisi Dominus (Gloria Patri) and ‘Caroline’ Te Deum; see Sing unto God

xxxvi, 27

Liturgical settings:

Te Deum, ‘Utrecht’, D

2 S, 2 A, T, B, SSAATB, fl, 2 ob, 2 tpt, str, bc

for Peace of Utrecht; completed 14 Jan 1713; perf. St Paul’s, 7 July 1713

xxxi, 2

iii/3, 3

279

Jubilate, ‘Utrecht’, D

2 A, B, SSAATTBB, 2 ob, 2 tpt, str, bc

for Peace of Utrecht; perf. St Paul’s, 7 July 1713; later arr. as O be joyful

xxxi, 46

iii/3, 79

Jubilate, ‘Chandos’, D

see ‘Chandos’ anthems, O be joyful

280

Te Deum, ‘Caroline’, D

2 A, T, B, SAATB, fl, 2 tpt, str

? perf. Chapel Royal, 26 Sept 1714; rev. with new version of Vouchsafe, O Lord, 1722–6, repeated 25 April 1749; later perfs. probably with 2 ob

xxxvii, 1

281

Te Deum, ‘Chandos’, B♭

S, 2 T, B, STTTB, fl, ob, bn, tpt, str, bc

c1718, for James Brydges, later Duke of Chandos

xxxvii, 25

282

Te Deum, A

A, T, 2 B, SAATBB, fl, ob, bn, str, bc

1722–6; ? perf. Chapel Royal, 16 Jan 1726, based on ‘Chandos’ Te Deum

xxxvii, 109

283

Te Deum, ‘Dettingen’, D

2 S, A, T, B, SSATB, 2 ob, bn, 3 tpt, timp, str, bc

for victory at Dettingen; composition begun 17 July 1743; perf. Chapel Royal, 27 Nov 1743

xxv

[iii/13]

Spurious:

257

O praise the Lord, ye angels of his (12)

by M. Greene; see Johnstone, G1976 and G1988

xxxvi, 1

Behold, now is the acceptable time

edn (Hilversum, 1964); arr. of solo, The righteous Lord, from ‘Chandos’ anthem In the Lord put I my trust

View large
Italian sacred cantatas
View large

HWV

Title/first words, Key

Scoring

Remarks

HG

HHA

230

Ah, che troppo ineguali

S, str, bc

? Rome, c1708–9, cantata for BVM; ?frag.

liiB, 148

233

Donna che in ciel

S, SSATB, str, bc

for anniversary of deliverance of Rome from earthquake; ? perf. Rome, c2 Feb 1707; ed. R. Ewerhart (Cologne, 1959)

View large

Giunta l’ora fatal (Il pianto di Maria), hwv234, for 4 vn, va, bc, is by G. Ferrandini, though attrib. Handel in several MSS; see Riepe and others, C1992

German sacred music

German church cantatas, presumably composed at Halle before 1704, are no longer extant; see W. Serauky: Musikgeschichte der Stadt Halle, ii/1, music suppl and notes (Halle and Berlin, 1940/R), 70ff, for text incipits of 7 lost cantatas attrib. Handel (hwv229¹–2297). The St John Passion (HG ix, HHA i/2), the cantata Ach Herr, mich armer Sünder (ed. M. Seiffert, Leipzig, 1928) and other unpublished works are almost certainly spurious; see Chrysander, C1858–67, i, 64–70, W. Braun, HJb 1959, and Händel-Ehrung, G1959. For Brockes Passion, see ‘Oratorios’.

Secular cantatas

unless otherwise stated, composed in Italy, 1707–9

Dramatic cantatas
View large

HWV

First words (title)

Scoring

Remarks

HG

HHA

82

Amarilli vezzosa (Il duello amoroso)

S, A, 2 vn, bc

copyist’s bill: 28 Aug 1708

v/3, 47

83

Arresta il passo (Aminta e Fillide)

2 S, 3 vn, va, bc

perf. 14 July 1708

liiA, 21

v/3, 67

Chi ben ama

2 S, str, bc

frag. added to Arresta il passo

liiB, 140

96

Cor fedele (Clori, Tirsi e Fileno)

2 S, A, 2 rec, 2 ob, str, archlute, bc

copyist’s bill: 10 Oct 1707; HG prints only frag. extant in autograph; ov. used for Oreste

liiB, 99

v/3, 96

Echeggiate, festeggiate

see below [Cantata per Carlo VI]

122

La terra è liberata (Apollo e Dafne)

S, B, fl, 2 ob, bn, str, bc

completed ? Hanover, 1710, but begun earlier in Italy

liiB, 1

v/4, 129

143

O come chiare e belle (Olinto, Il Tebro, Gloria)

2 S, A, tpt, 2 vn, bc

copyist’s bill: 10 Sept 1708

liiB, 38

v/4, 227

72

Sorge il dì (Aci, Galatea e Polifemo) (N. Giuvo)

S, A, B, 2 rec, ob, 2 tpt, 2 vn, va, 2 vc, bc

completed Naples, 16 June 1708

liii

[i/5]

119

[Cantata per Carlo VI]

3 S, A, B, 2 rec, 2 ob, str, bc

c1710, inc.; opening and title not known; extant frags. begin Echeggiate, festeggiate

liiB, 47

v/4, 53

View large
Solo and duo cantatas with instruments
View large

HWV

First words (title)

Scoring

Remarks

HG

HHA

78

Ah! crudel nel pianto mio

S, 2 ob, str, bc

c1707

liiA, 1

v/3, 3

79

Alla caccia (Diana cacciatrice)

S, coro (unison S), tpt, 2 vn, bc

copyist’s bill: 16 May 1707

v/3, 27

81

Alpestre monte

S, 2 vn, bc

HG prints only frag. extant in autograph

liiA, 17

v/3, 37

85

Behold, where Venus weeping stands (Venus and Adonis) (J. Hughes)

S, ?vn, bc

London, c1711; only 2 airs extant in kbd transcr. Dear Adonis and Transporting Joy, separately ed. W.C. Smith and H. Brian (London, 1938); in Songs and Cantatas, ed. D. Burrows (Oxford, 1988), 1–9

87

Carco sempre di gloria

A, str, bc

? for Annibali, March 1737; arr. from Cecilia, volgi un sguardo, with new aria; bc acc. only in HG

liiiA, 96

v/3, 265

89

Cecilia, volgi un sguardo

S, T, str, bc

perf. with Alexander’s Feast, Covent Garden, 19 Feb 1736

liiA, 78

v/3, 117

92

Clori, mia bella Clori

S, 2 vn, bc

liiA, 107

v/3, 141

97

Crudel tiranno amor

S, str, bc

? perf. King’s Theatre, 5 July 1721; all 3 arias added to Floridante, Dec 1722

liiA, 113

v/3, 235

98

Cuopre tal volta il cielo

B, 2 vn, bc

liiA, 121

v/3, 251

99

Da quel giorno fatale (Il delirio amoroso) (B. Pamphili)

S, rec, 3 vn, va, vc, bc

copyist’s bills: 12 Feb and 14 May 1707

liiA, 130

v/4, 3

105

Dietro l’orme fuggaci (Armida abbandonata)

S, 2 vn, bc

copyist’s bill: 30 June 1707

liiA, 153

v/4, 41

110

Dunque sarà pur vero (Agrippina condotta a morire)

S, 2 vn, bc

liiA, 162

v/4, 53

113

Figlio d’alte speranze

S, vn, bc

liiA, 174

v/4, 119

v/4, 17

123

Languia di bocca lusinghiera

S, ob, vn, bc

c1710–11

liiB, 156

124

[Look down, harmonious Saint] (N. Hamilton: The Power of Musick)

T, str, bc

frag., ?1736; ? written for Alexander’s Feast, incl. instead in Cecilia, volgi un sguardo

liiA, 101, 23, 80

132b, 12c, 132d

Mi palpita il cor

i: S, ob, bc; ii: A, fl, bc; iii: A, fl/ob, bc

for further versions see continuo cantatas Mi palpita and Dimmi, o mio cor

liiB, 152 (i); 1, 153 (ii)

v/4, 264, 185, 271

134

Nel dolce dell’oblio (Pensieri notturni di Filli)

S, rec, bc

liiB, 30

v/4, 195

140

No se emendará jamás (Cantata spagnuola)

S, gui

copyist’s bill: 22 Sept 1707; final aria later arr. as song (see ‘Spanish Song’)

liiB, 34

v/4, 203

142

Notte placida e cheta

S, 2 vn, bc

? copyist’s bill: 28 Aug 1708

v/4, 211

150

Qual ti riveggio, oh Dio

S, 2 ob, str, bc

see Kinsky and Sauchey, B1953, 1–4, and Marx, G1975

v/5, 3

165

Spande ancor a mio dispetto

B, 2 vn, bc

liiB, 60

v/5, 31

166

Splenda l’alba in oriente

A, 2 ?fl, ob, str, bc

c1710–12

liiA, 69

v/5, 41

170

Tra le fiamme (B. Pamphili)

S, 2 ob/rec, 2 vn, va da gamba, bc

liiB, 66

v/5, 55

171

Tu fedel? tu costante?

S, 2 vn, bc

copyist’s bill: 16 May 1707

liiB, 79

v/5, 79

173

Un alma innamorata

S, vn, bc

copyist’s bill: 30 June 1707

liiB, 92

v/s, 97

View large
Solo cantatas with basso continuo
View large

HWV

First words (title)

Scoring

Remarks

HG

HHA

77

Ah, che pur troppo è vero

S

l, 1

80

Allor ch’io dissi

S

l, 8

84

Aure soavi e liete

S

copyist’s bill: 16 May 1707

l, 12

86

Bella ma ritrosetta

S

88

Care selve, aure grate

S

c1717–18

l, 16

90

Chi rapi la pace

S

copyist’s bill: 31 Aug 1709

l, 20

91a, 91b

Clori, degli occhi miei

i: A; ii: B

l, 24

93

Clori, ove sei?

S

l, 30

94

Clori, si, ch’io t’adoro

S

95

Clori, vezzosa Clori

S

copyist’s bill: 9 Aug 1708

Dal fatale momento

see Doubtful and spurious cantatas

102a, 102b

Dalla guerra amorosa

i: B; ii: S

copyist’s bill: 31 Aug 1709

l, 34 (i)

100

Da sete ardente afflitto

S

copyist’s bill: 31 Aug 1709

l, 39

103

Deh! lasciate e vita e volo

A

c1722–5; text partly P.A. Rolli: Di canzonette e di cantate (London, 1727), no.22

l, 44

104

Del bel idolo mio

S

copyist’s bill: 31 Aug 1709

l, 48

106

Dimmi, o mio cor

S

similar to conclusion of Mi palpita il cor

l, 53

107

Ditemi, o piante

S

copyist’s bill: 9 Aug 1708

l, 58

109a, 109b

Dolc’ è pur d’amor l’affanno

i: A; ii: S

c1715–18; last aria taken from Stanco di più soffrire

l, 68 (i), 72 (ii)

111aa, 111b

E partirai, mia vita?

i: S; ii: S

ii c1725–8

l, 76 (i), 81 (ii)

112

Figli del mesto cor

A

l, 86

114

Filli adorata e cara

S

copyist’s bill: 31 Aug 1709

l, 90

115

Fra pensieri quel pensiero

A

l, 94

116

Fra tante pene e tante

S

copyist’s bill: 31 Aug 1709

l, 98

117

Hendel, non può mia musa

S

copyist’s bill: 9 Aug 1708; ed. D. Burrows, in Songs and Cantatas (Oxford, 1988), 28–34

118

[H]o fuggito amore anch’io

A

c1722–5; text in Rolli: Di canzonette e di cantate (1727), no.3; autograph of final aria (È troppo bella) in GB-Lbl, Zweig MS 36; ed. W.H. Cummings as La bella pastorella (London, c1887)

l, 171

120a, 120b

Irene, idolo mio

i: S; ii: A

l, 102 (ii)

121a, 121b

L’aure grate, il fresco rio (La solitudine)

i: A; ii: B

i, c1718; see Boyd, G1968; ed. M. Boyd (Kassel, 1970); ii, unfinished, c1721–3

l, 107 (ii)

127a, 127b, 127c

Lungi dal mio bel nume

i: S; ii: A; iii: A

i, completed Rome, 3 March 1708; ii: after 1718; iii: c1725–9

l, 110 (i), 117 (ii)

125a, 125b

Lungi da me pensier tiranno

i: S; ii: A

copyist’s bill for i or ii: 31 Aug 1709

l, 122 (ii)

126a, 126b, 126c

Lungi da voi, che siete poli

i: S; ii: S; iii: A

copyist’s bill for i or ii: 9 Aug 1708; iii: after 1710

l, 128 (ii)

128

Lungi n’andò Fileno

S

copyist’s bill: 28 Aug 1708

l, 134

129

Manca pur quanto sai

S

copyist’s bill: 9 Aug 1708

l, 140

130

Mentre il tutto è in furore

S

copyist’s bill: 28 Aug 1708; autograph sold Sotheby’s, London, 18 Feb 1963; GB-Lbl, facs. suppl.x, ff.116–21

l, 144

131

Menzognere speranze

S

copyist’s bill: 22 Sept 1707

l, 149

132a

Mi palpita il cor

S

Cfm 252, 5–6 has 1 aria for A; cf Mi palpita (‘Solo and duo cantatas with instruments’) and Dimmi, o mio cor

l, 161

135b, 135a

Nel dolce tempo

i: A; ii: S

l, 166 (i)

136a, 136b

Nell’ africane selve

B

l, 172 (i)

137

Nella stagion, che di viole

i: S; ii: A

copyist’s bill: 16 May 1707

l, 178 (i)

133

Ne’ tuoi lumi, o bella Clori

S

copyist’s bill: 22 Sept 1707

l, 182

138

Nice che fa? che pensa?

S

li, 1

139a, 139b, 139c

Ninfe e pastori

i: S; ii: A; iii: S

i: copyist’s bill: 28 Feb 1709; ii: after 1710; iii: c1725–8

li, 6 (i), 11 (ii), 16 (iii)

141

Non sospirar, non piangere

S

li, 20

146

Occhi miei, che faceste?

S

li, 24

144

O lucenti, o sereni occhi

S

li, 28

145

O numi eterni (La Lucrezia)

S

copyist’s bill: 31 Aug 1709

li, 32

147

Partì, l’idolo mio

S

li, 43

148

Poichè giuraro amore

S

copyist’s bill: 16 May 1707

li, 48

151

Qualor crudele sì mia vaga Dori

A

li, 53

152

Qualor l’egre pupille

S

copyist’s bill: 22 Sept 1707

li, 59

149

Qual sento io non conosciuto

S

153

Quando sperasti, o core

i: S; ii: A

copyist’s bill: 9 Aug 1708

li, 64 (i)

154

Quel fior che all’alba ride

S

c1739; text also set as trio and duet; in Songs and Cantatas, ed. D. Burrows, and in 10 Solo Cantatas, ed. A.V. Jones (London, 1985), ii, 24–27

155

Sans y penser

see ‘Songs and hymns’

156

Sarai contenta un dì

S

li, 68

157

Sarei troppo felice

S

copyist’s bill: 22 Sept 1707

li, 72 (without final recits and aria)

160a, 160b, 160c

Sei pur bella, pur vezzosa (La bianca rosa)

i: S; ii: S; iii: S

copyist’s bill for i: 16 May 1707; i: c1725–8; iii: c1738–41

li, 71 (ii), 80 (i), 86 (iii)

161a, 161b, 161c

Sento là che ristretto

i: A; ii: S; iii: S

copyist’s bill: 31 Aug 1709; ii is i transposed; iii c1725–8

li, 90 (i), 96 (ii)

158a, 158b, 158c

Se pari è la tua fe

S

copyist’s bill for ii: 28 Aug 1708

li, 102 (i), 106 (iii)

159

Se per fatal destino

S

copyist’s bill: 16 May 1707

li, 111

162

Siete rose rugiadose

A

c1711–12

li, 115

S’il ne fallait (Cantate françoise)

see ‘Songs and hymns’

163

Solitudini care, amata libertà

S

li, 118

164b, 164a

Son gelsomino (Il gelsomino)

i: A; ii: S

i: c1717–18; ii: c1725–8; text in Rolli: Di canzonette e di cantate (1727), no.17

li, 125 (ii)

167a, 167b

Stanco di più soffrire

i: A; ii: S

copyist’s bill for ii: 9 Aug 1708; last aria also in Dolc’è pur d’amor l’affanno

li, 130 (i)

168

Stelle, perfide stelle (Partenza di G.B.)

S

li, 134

169

Torna il core al suo diletto

S

li, 138

172

Udite il mio consiglio

S

HG erroneously incl. aria Allor che sorge; copyist’s bill for ii: 16 May 1707

li, 143

174

Un sospir a chi si muore

S

li, 153

175

Vedendo amor

A

in some MSS incl. as part of Venne voglia, but autograph headed separately

li, 158

176

Venne voglia ad amore

A

cantata Amore uccellatore, Cfm, incl. Venne voglia, Vedendo amor and additional material

li, 164

177

Zeffiretto, arresta il volo

S

copyist’s bill for final aria: 31 Aug 1709

li, 168

View large
Unidentified cantatas

Burney (BurneyH, iv, 261; ii, 702) states that the aria Sposo ingrata in Radamisto was conceived ‘for one of [Handel’s] juvenile cantatas at Hamburg, “Casti amori”’. ‘Casti amori, su volate’ is however a single aria, perhaps written for Hamburg early in 1708

see Roberts, ‘A New Handel Aria’, C1995. Burney also mentioned (1785, ‘Sketch’, p.[*7], fn (a)) MS of 2 cants. ‘which, C1967, 165, document 24; it probably refers to the March beginning, the cantata Alla caccia (HWV 79).

On 6 Feb 1711 (Queen Anne’s birthday) ‘a Dialogue in Italian, in Her Majesty’s Praise, set … by … Mr. Hendel’ was perf. at St James’s Palace, London; reported in The Political State of Great Britain, i (1711), 227.

Doubtful and spurious cantatas
View large

HWV

First words (title)

Scoring

Remarks

HG

HHA

Dalle tenebre orrende (Orfeo ed Euridice)

2 S, bc

D-MÜs, GB-Lbl. Attrib. J.A. Hasse in other MSS

108

Dolce mio ben

S, bc

Lcm 257, ff.28–32. Late insertion into Lcm MS, not attrib. Handel

l, 62

Lilla, vedi quel colle

A, bc

Lbl Add.14182, ff.78–80

Pastorella vaga bella

S, hpd, b

D-DS, LEm, DK-Kk. Attrib. Telemann in D-DS and DK-Kk; ed. M. Seiffert (Cologne, 1935); see W. Menke: Das Vokalwerk Georg Philipp Telemanns (Kassel, 1942), 125, and R. Donington: ‘Amore traditore: a Problem Cantata’, Studies in Eighteenth-Century Music: a Tribute to Karl Geiringer, ed. H.C.R. Landon and R.E. Chapman (New York and London, 1970), 171–2, 176n

Selve caverne e monti

S, bc

D-MÜs, GB-Lbl. Lbl Add.14165, f.83, attrib. D. Scarlatti

Usignuol che tra le fronde

S, bc

Lbl Add.14207, ff.180–85

3 English cants.

1: S, T; 2: S, Bar; 3: T, bar; all with 2 vn, bc

Ob (score), US-Wc (continuo part), I-Rsc (parts, lacking vn 1). Dialogue cants. arr. (? by W. Hayes) from items in Ottone, Flavio and Giulio Cesare; duet Gentle Hymen is arr. of Non tardate a festeggiar (Ottone); rest of music identified in Zanetti, G1959

1 To lonely shades fair Delia stray’d

2 With roving and ranging

3 So pleasing the pain is

View large

Index of cantata titles: Aci, Galatea e Polifemo (dramatic: Sorge il dì); Agrippina condotta a morire (solo … with insts: Dunque sara pur vero); Aminta e Fillide (dramatic: Arresta il passo); Amore uccellatore (solo with bc: Venne voglia ad amore); Apollo e Dafne (dramatic: La terra è liberata); Armida abbandonata (solo … with insts: Dietro l’orme fuggaci); Bianca rosa (solo with bc: Sei pur bella); Cantata spagnuola (solo … with insts: No se emendará jamás); Cantate françoise (see ‘Songs and hymns’); Clori, Tirsi e Fileno (dramatic: Cor fedele); Diana cacciatrice (solo … with insts: Alla caccia); Delirio amoroso (solo … with insts: Da quel giorno fatale); Duello amoroso (dramatic: Amarilli vezzosa); Ero e Leandro (unauthentic title) (solo … with insts: Qual ti riveggio); Gelsomino (solo with bc: Son gelsomino); Lucrezia (solo with bc: O numi eterni); Olinto, Il Tebro, Gloria (dramatic: O come chiare e belle); Orfeo ed Euridice (spurious: Dalle tenebre orrende); Partenza di G.B. (solo with bc: Stelle, perfide stelle); Pensieri notturni di Filli (solo with insts: Nel dolce dell’oblio); Solitudine (solo with bc: L’aure grate); Tebro (see Olinto, Il Tebro, Gloria); Venus and Adonis (solo … with insts: Behold where Venus)

Duets and trios with continuo

references to HG xxxii are to enlarged 2/1880

View large

HWV

First words (title)

Scoring

Remarks

HG

HHA

179

Ahi, nelle sorti umane

2 S

completed 31 Aug 1745

xxxii, 152

178

A miravi io son intento

S, A

by 1710–11

xxxii, 68

180

Amor gioje mi porge

2 S

by 1710–11

xxxii, 52

181

Beato in ver chi può (after Horace: Beatus ille)

S, A

completed 31 Oct 1742

xxxii, 138

181a

Caro autor di mia doglia

c1707; text also set by Keiser – see below under ‘Spurious’

xxxii, 1

181b

Caro autor di mia doglia

2 A

c1740–43, final movt inc.

xxxii, 10

184

Che vai pensando

S, B

by 1710–11

xxxii, 45

185

Conservate, raddoppiate

S, A

by 1710–11

xxxii, 89

186

Fronda leggiera e mobile

S, A

c1744

xxxii, 144

187

Giù nei tartarei regni

S, B

c1707–9

xxxii, 24

188

Langue, geme, sospira

S, A

c1722–3; text in G.D. de Totis: La caduta del regno dell’Amazzoni (Rome, 1690)

xxxii, 102

189

No, di voi non vuo fidarmi

2

completed 3 July 1741

xxxii, 122

190

No, di voi non vuo fidarmi

S, A

completed 2 Nov 1742

xxxii, 130

191

Quando in calma ride il mare

S, B

by 1710–11

xxxii, 75

200

Quel fior che all’alba ride

2 S, B

?c1708; also with variant text Quel fior che all’alba nasce and slight musical differences; text also set as solo cant. and duet

xxxii, 166

192

Quel fior che all’alba ride

2 S

completed 1 July 1741

xxxii, 116

201a, 201b

Se tu non lasci amore

2 S, B

2 versions; i (201a), completed Naples, 12 July 1708, has longer 1st movt; see W.H. Cummings’s note in MA, iii (1911), 59–60, and Kinsky (1953), 4–6; shorter version probably later

xxxii, 158

193

Se tu non lasci amore

S, A

c1721–4

xxxii, 108 (i)

194

Sono liete, fortunate

S, A

by 1710–11

xxxii, 31

196

Tacete, ohimè, tacete

S, B

by 1710–11; text by F. de Lemene (Poesia Diverse, Milan, 1692)

xxxii, 81

197

Tanti strali al sen mi scocchi

S, A

by 1710–11

xxxii, 94

198

Troppo cruda, troppo fiera

S, A

by 1710–11

xxxii, 36

199

Va, speme infida

2 S

by 1710–11; MS, ?autograph, sold White’s, London, 1 March 1814; see Notes and Queries, 1st ser., v (1852), 247

xxxii, 59

View large
Spurious
View large

HWV

First words (title)

Scoring

Remarks

HG

HHA

Cara sposa, io ti lascio

2 S

attrib. Handel in GB-Cfm 21, f.132R, attrib. A. Steffani in I-Vnm Cod.It.IV 768, f.27R; probably by neither

183

Caro autor di mia doglia

2 S

by R. Keiser, in his Divertimenti serenissimi (Hamburg, 1713) but attrib. Handel in some MSS

xxxii, 18

Dalle tenebre orrende (Orfeo ed Euridice)

2 S

see ‘Doubtful and spurious cantatas’

195

Spero indarno

S, B

attrib. Handel in GB-Lbl Add.5322, f.72v, doubtful

When Phoebus the tops of the hills does adorn

S, A

see ‘English songs’

View large

Songs and hymns

unless otherwise indicated all for high voice and continuo; none in HG or HHA

Edition

Songs and Cantatas for Soprano Voice, ed. D. Burrows (Oxford, 1988) [B]

English songs

published in contemporary songsheets and anthologies; few reliable MS sources known; details of printed sources in Smith, B1960, 160–204

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HWV

First words (title)

Text

Remarks

228¹

As Celia’s fatal arrows (The Unhappy Lovers)

probably authentic; ed. in B

As near Portobello lying (Hosier’s Ghost)

R. Glover

spurious; see Come and listen

228³

As on a sunshine summer’s day

B. Griffin

words added to authentic inst minuet (hwv506); as ‘Monsr Denoyer’s Minuet’ (Air XLIX) in C. Johnson: The Village Opera, Feb 1729, but as ‘Handell’s Minuet’ (Air XX) in version of same work entitled The Chambermaid, Feb 1730

Ask not the cause (Charming Chloris)

J. Dryden

words adapted to probably authentic music for another text; see The sun was sunk

2284

Bacchus one day gaily striding (Bacchus’ Speech in Praise of Wine)

T. Phillips

words added to authentic inst minuet (hwv530); tune is Air XVII in C. Coffey: The Devil to Pay, Aug 1731

2285

Charming is your shape and air (The Polish Minuet, or Miss Kitty [The Reproof])

authentic; tune is Air V in G. Lillo: Sylvia, Nov 1730

Cloe proves false (The Slighted Swain)

A. Bradley

see Faithless, ungrateful

2286

Come and listen (The Sailor’s Complaint)

spurious; for origins of tune see W. Chappell: Old English Popular Music (London, 1893), ii, 165; music not attrib. Handel until pubd as As near Portobello lying (see above)

2288

Faithless, ungrateful (The Forsaken Maid’s Complaint)

words added to authentic inst minuet (hwv A 157) derived from No non piangete (Floridante); in anthologies with adjusted vocal line as Cloe proves false (see above); ed. in B

2299

From scourging rebellion (A Song on the Victory obtained over the Rebels)

J. Lockman

inst acc. indicated in the chorus

228¹0

Guardian angels now protect me (The Forsaken Nymph [Leander])

probably spurious; not attrib. Handel until 1746 pubn; ed. in B

228¹¹

I like the amorous youth that’s free

J. Miller: The Universal Passion

probably for 1st perf. of Miller’s comedy, Drury Lane, 28 Feb 1737; with tr inst; ed. in B

218

Love’s but the frailty of the mind

W. Congreve: The Way of the World

perf. in revival of Congreve’s play, Drury Lane, 17 March 1740; ed. A.H. Mann, Early English Musical Magazine, i/6 (June, 1891); ed. in B

228¹²

My fair, ye swains, is gone astray (Phillis)

spurious, by T.A. Arne (Lyric Harmony, ii; London, 1746)

228¹³

Not Cloe that I better am

?authentic

228¹4

Oh! cruel tyrant love (Strephon’s Complaint of Love)

probably authentic; tune is Air XXV in J. Ralph: The Fashionable Lady, April 1730

Oh my dearest, my lovely creature

words adapted to probably authentic music for another text; see Di godere ha speranza (‘Italian songs’)

On the shore of a low-ebbing sea (The Satyr’s Advice to a Stock Jobber)

words adapted to probably authentic music for another text; see Says my uncle

228¹6

Phillis be kind

Parratt

words added to probably authentic inst minuet (hwv545)

228¹7

Phyllis the lovely, turn to your Swain (Phillis Advised)

probably spurious; anonymous in A Pocket Companion (1724), 111; not the same as Phillis the lovely, the charming and fair (to a minuet from the Water Music)

228¹5

Says my uncle, I pray you discover (Molly Mog, or The Fair Maid of the Inn)

[J. Gay] Mist’s Weekly Journal (27 Aug 1726)

probably authentic; in anthologies as On the shore of a low-ebbing sea (see above); tune also used for The Muses quite jaded with rhyming (Molly Lepell)

228¹8

Stand round my brave boys (A Song made for the Gentleman Volunteers of the City of London)

perf. Drury Lane, 14 Nov 1745

226

The morning is charming (Hunting Song)

C. Legh

c1747; facs. of fair-copy autograph (Adlington Hall, Cheshire) in Streatfeild (1909), 304

228²

The sun was sunk beneath the hill (The Poor [Despairing] Shepherd)

J. Gay

probably authentic; in anthologies as Ask not the cause (see above); ed. in B

228¹9

’Twas when the seas were roaring (The Melancholy Nymph [The Faithful Maid])

Gay: The What d’ye call it (1715)

probably authentic; ?orig. setting; tune is Air XXVIII in Gay: The Beggar’s Opera, Jan 1728; ed. in B

Venus now leaves her Paphian dwelling

words added to probably authentic inst minuet; without attrib. as one of 3 ‘Songs … on the Approaching Nuptial of the Prince of Orange’, March 1734; music = When I survey

228²0

When I survey Clarinda’s charms (Matchless Clarinda [The Rapture])

‘Mr. B’

words added to ?authentic inst minuet (hwv543); attrib. Geminiani as kbd minuet in The Lady’s Banquet, ii (May 1733), and as That which her slender waist confined, in Amaryllis, ii (1746); see Venus now leaves

228²¹

When Phoebus the tops of the hills does adorn (A Hunting Song [The Death of the Stag])

?spurious; for S, A

228²²

Who to win a woman’s favour

Cupid and Psyche, or Columbine Courtezan (1734)

words added to authentic inst minuet (hwv540a, related to minuet in Almira)

Why will Florella when I gaze (Florella)

anon. in R. Steele: Poetical Miscellanies (London, 1714), 211

?authentic; similar setting, in Amaryllis, ii (1746), attrib. W. Turner

228²³

Ye winds to whom Collin complains (An Answer to Collin’s Complaint)

probably authentic; ed. in B

228²4

Yes, I’m in love (The ‘Je ne sçai quoi’)

W. Whitehead

?authentic; c1746; with tr inst

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Many other Eng. songs using pre-existing music by Handel pubd in 18th century; extensive cross-index in Smith, B1960, 205ff, which should incl.: Let’s be merry and banish thinking (Poro); Love’s a dear deceitful jewel (Water Music, minuet); Love thou great ruler (Siroe); The birds no more shall sing (Acis and Galatea); Wine’s a mistress gay and easy (Ottone).

English hymns

HWV

First words (title)

Remarks

285

O love divine, how sweet thou art (Desiring to Love)

for S, bc; words C. Wesley; tunes known respectively as Fitzwilliam, Gopsall and Cannons; all ed. S. Wesley (London, 1826); ed. D. Burrows, The Complete Hymns and Chorales (London, 1988)

286

Rejoice, the Lord is King (On the Resurrection)

284

Sinners obey the Gospel word (The Invitation)

Italian songs

for Italian arias intended for inclusion in operas, see above under operas

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HWV

First words

Voice

Remarks

214

Dell’onda in stabile

A

with tr inst; c1748–9

2287

Di godere ha speranza il mio core

high

?authentic; songsheet (c1719) with alternative Eng. words (see Oh, my dearest, my lovely creature in ‘English songs’); also in The Monthly Mask of Vocal Music (Dec 1719)

È troppo bella, troppo amorosa

A

from Ho fuggito amore, see ‘Solo cantatas with continuo’

216

Impari del mio core

S

c1748–9

219

Non so se avrai mai bene

S

c1710–18

220

Per dar pace al mio tormento (frag.)

S

c1748–9

221

Quant’invidio tua fortuna

S

c1748–9

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For Italian arias intended for inclusion in operas see ‘Stage-operas’

French songs
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HWV

First words

Voice

Remarks

155

7 items:

S

copyist’s bill for ‘una cantata francese’, 22 Sept 1707; autograph indicates the last 6 items grouped as a ‘Cantate françoise’; ed. in Raugel, G1959; ed. P. Young (Kassel, 1972)

Sans y penser, chanson

S’il ne fallait [recit]

Petite fleur brunette, air

Vous, qui m’aviez procuré [recit]

Nos plaisirs seront peu durables [air]

Vous ne sauriez flatter [recit]

Non, je ne puis plus souffrir, air

2 songs:

S

Geneva, Bibliotheca Bodmeriana (autograph)

Sans y penser, chanson

Quand on suit l’amoureuse loi, chanson

ed. in B

Lorsque deux coeurs d’un tendre feu

[S]

listed in Smith, B1960, 181, as by Handel; melody resembles Air and Variations from kbd suite in E (see ‘Keyboard’, 148); probably spurious

Par les charmes d’un doux mensonge

[S]

‘Air d’Hindil’ in Ballard: Les parodies nouvelles et les vaudevilles inconnus, vii (Paris, 1737), 77, spurious

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German songs
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HWV

First words

Voice

Remarks

9 arias (B.H. Brockes):

S

with [vn], bc; 1724–7; GB-Lbl*; texts from Irdisches Vergnügen in Gott, i (Hamburg, 1721 and 2/1724); ed. H. Roth (Munich, 1921) and W. Siegmund-Schultze (Leipzig, 1981)

202

Künft’ger Zeiten eitler Kummer

203

Das zitternde Glänzen der spielenden Wellen

204

Süsser Blumen Ambraflocken

205

Süsse Stille, sanfter Quelle

206

Singe, Seele, Gott zum Preise

207

Meine Seele hört im Sehen

208

Die ihr aus dunklen Grüften

209

In der angenehmen Büschen

210

Flammende Rose, Zierde der Erden

Der Mund spricht zwar gezwungen Nein (Air en langue allemande)

S

version of aria from Almira with same text; ed. in B

Dank sei dir, Herr

unspecified

spurious; pubd (London, 1906) as from unspecified cantata; ? intended as insertion in Ger. version of Israel in Egypt; ? by Siegfried Ochs

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Spanish songs
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HWV

First words

Voice

Remarks

Dícente mis ojos (Air en langue espagnole)

S

version of last aria in cantata No se emendará jamás (see ‘Solo cantatas with instruments’); ed. in B

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Orchestral

Orchestral concertos

scoring given as ‘concertino; ripieno’ where appropriate

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[6] Concerti grossi, op.3 (London, 1734; rev. 2/c1734; 3/1741) [compiled from existing material composed 1712–33; no known autographs of movts not otherwise identifiable]

Twelve Grand Concertos in 7 Parts, op.6 (London, 1740)

HWV

Op.

Key

Scoring

Remarks

HG

HHA

312

3 no.1

B♭

2 rec, 2 ob, 2 bn, vn; 2 vn, 2 va, vc, bc

xxi, 3

iv/11, 3

313

3 no.2

B♭

2 ob, 2 vn, 2 vc; 2 vn, va, 2 vc, bc

MSS of Brockes Passion begin with 1 or 2 movts

xxi, 15

iv/11, 25

314

3 no.3

G

fl/ob, 2 vn; str, bc

movts from anthem My song shall be alway, ‘Chandos’ Te Deum, kbd fugue, G (see ‘Keyboard’, 231)

xxi, 27

iv/11, 49

315

3 no.4

F

2 ob, bn, str, bc

in some MSS as ov. to Queen Anne Birthday Ode; movt 1 as ‘Second overture in Amadis’, in 6 Overtures fitted to the Harpsichord, iii (London, 1728) and probably incl. in Amadigi, 20 June 1716; 1st edn of op.3 has different conc. here, see ‘Spurious orchestral’

xxi, 36

iv/11, 65

316

3 no.5

d

2 ob, str, bc

movts from Chandos anthems In the Lord put I my trust and As pants the hart

xxi, 45

iv/11, 79

317

3 no.6

D/d

org/hpd, 2 ob, bn; str, bc

movt 1 used in Ottone, pr. in Otho an Opera (London, 1723); movt 2: copy Lbl R.M. 18.c.6, ff.5–8 (printed version has spurious extra bar)

xxi, 54

iv/11, 93

319

6 no.1

G

2 vn, vc; str, bc

29 Sept 1739; 2 ob added later

xxx, 1

iv/14, 3

320

6 no.2

F

2 vn, vc; str, bc

4 Oct 1739; 2 ob added later

xxx, 16

iv/14, 29

321

6 no.3

e

2 vn, vc; str, bc

6 Oct 1739

xxx, 31

iv/14, 55

322

6 no.4

a

2 vn, vc; str, bc

8 Oct 1739

xxx, 46

iv/14, 73

323

6 no.5

D

2 vn, vc; str, bc

10 Oct 1739; 2 ob added later; arr. from ov. to Ode for St Cecilia’s Day

xxx, 60

iv/14, 91

324

6 no.6

g

2 vn, vc; str, bc

15 Oct 1739; 2 ob added later

xxx, 77

iv/14, 119

325

6 no.7

B♭

2 vn, vc; str, bc

12 Oct 1739

xxx, 95

iv/14, 153

326

6 no.8

c

2 vn, vc; str, bc

18 Oct 1739

xxx, 107

iv/14, 169

327

6 no.9

F

2 vn, vc; str, bc

[26] Oct 1739; movts arr. from org conc., F, 2nd Set no.1, and ov. to Imeneo

xxx, 118

iv/14, 185

328

6 no.10

d

2 vn, vc; str, bc

22 Oct 1739

xxx, 133

iv/14, 205

329

6 no.11

A

2 vn, vc; str, bc

30 Oct 1739; arr. from org conc., A, 2nd Set no.2

xxx, 148

iv/14, 225

330

6 no.12

b

2 vn, vc; str, bc

20 Oct 1739

xxx, 168

iv/14, 251

318

C

2 vn, vc; 2 ob, str, bc

25 Jan 1736, perf. with Alexander’s Feast, 19 Feb 1736; pubd in Select Harmony, iv (London, 1740)

xxi, 63

iv/15, 51

288

B♭

vn; 2 ob, str, bc

c1707, entitled ‘Sonata a 5’

xxi, 108

iv/12, 29

301

B♭

ob; str, bc

?early work; pubd in Select Harmony, iv (London, 1740); known as oboe conc. no.1

xxi, 85

iv/12, 17

302

B♭

ob; str, bc

pubd in Select Harmony, iv (London, 1740); Chandos anthem ovs. (O come let us sing, I will magnify) combined and transposed; known as oboe conc. no.2

xxi, 91

iv/12, 47

287

g

ob; str, bc

?171-–12; D-ROu (see Poppe, H1993); ed. (Leipzig, 1863) from unknown source; known as oboe conc. no.3

xxi, 100

iv/12, 3

335b

F

2 ob, 4 hn, bn, str, bc with org

c1746, version of ov. to Fireworks Music

xlvii, 72

iv/16, 77

335a

D

2 ob, bn, 4 hn, 2 tpt, timp, str, bc with org

c1746, version of ov. to Fireworks Music

xlvii, 80

iv/16, 37

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Organ, harp and harpsichord concertos

scoring given as ‘solo instruments; ripieno’; parenthesized numbers in Op. column refer to G.F. Händel: Orgel Konzerte, ed. M. Seiffert (Leipzig, 1921)

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Six Concertos, op.4 (London, 1738)

A Second Set of Six Concertos (London, 1740) [pubd in kbd transcrs. only; 4 are transcrs. of orch concs. op.6 nos.1, 5, 6 and 10]

A Third Set of Six Concertos, op.7 (London, 1761)

HWV

Op.

Key

Scoring

Remarks

HG

HHA

289

4 no.1 (1)

g/G

org; 2 ob, str, bc

1st perf. with Alexander’s Feast, 19 Feb 1736

xxviii, 3

iv/2, 2

290

4 no.2 (2)

B♭

org; 2 ob, str, bc

? 1st perf. with Esther, 5 March 1735

xxviii, 22

iv/2, 36

291

4 no.3 (3)

g

org; vn, vc; 2 ob, str, bc

? 1st perf. with Esther, 5 March 1735; also with different finale without org, see HHA iv/2, 116; also with altered solo part

xxviii, 33

iv/2, 54

292

4 no.4 (4)

F

org; 2 ob, 2 vn, bc

orig. with Alleluia chorus, completed 25 March 1735; perf. with Athalia, 1 April 1735; chorus ed. in HG, xx, 164

xxviii, 43

iv/2, 72

293

4 no.5 (5)

F

org; 2 ob, str, bc

arr. from rec sonata op.1 no.11; ? perf. with Deborah, 26 March 1735

xxviii, 58

iv/2, 94

294

4 no.6 (6)

B♭

hp; 2 rec, 2 vn, bc

perf. in Alexander’s Feast, 19 Feb 1736; pubd as org conc.

xxviii, 63

iv/2, 104

295

—(13)

F

org; 2 ob, str, bc

2nd Set no.1; 1st perf. with Israel in Egypt, 4 April 1739; later autograph revs. by Handel; incl. in Two Organ Concertos (London, c1761); ‘The Cuckoo and the Nightingale’

xlviii, 3

iv/8, 3

296a

—(14)

A

org; 2 ob, str, bc

2nd Set no.2; ? 1st perf. with Alexander’s Feast, 20 March 1739; see orch conc. op.6 no.11; incl. in Two Organ Concertos (London, c1761)

xlviii, 14

iv/8, 35

306

7 no.1 (7)

B♭

org; 2 ob, 2 bn, str, bc

17 Feb 1740; perf. with L’Allegro, 27 Feb 1740; MSS incl. fugue from orch conc. op.6 no.11

xxviii, 73

iv/8, 73

307

7 no.2 (8)

A

org; 2 ob, 3 vn, va, bc

5 Feb 1743; perf. with Samson, 18 Feb 1743

xxviii, 90

iv/8, 115

308

7 no.3 (9)

B♭

org; 2 ob, 3 vn, va, bc

4 Jan 1751; perf. with Alexander’s Feast and The Choice of Hercules, 1 March 1751; 2 versions of movts 1 and 3; ‘Hallelujah’

xxviii, 102

iv/8, 141

309

7 no.4 (10)

d

org; 2 ob, 2 bn, str, bc

movt 3 not in MSS; possibly compiled after Handel’s death from hwv303 and other frags.

xxviii, 115

iv/8, 189

310

7 no.5 (11)

g

org; 2 ob, 3 vn, va, bc

31 Jan 1750; finale, not in autograph, ? spurious arr. from op.4 no.3

xxviii, 126

iv/8, 217

311

7 no.6 (12)

B♭

org; 2 ob, 3 vn, va, bc

perf. 1749; orig. as orch suite without org, not completed as such

xxviii, 135

iv/8, 241

304

—(15)

d

org; 3 vn, va, bc

c1746; ed. S. Arnold: The Works of Handel (London, 1797)

xlviii, 57

iv/12, 69

305a

—(16)

F

org: ?2 ob, str, bc

c1748; arr. of Concerto a due cori no.3; HG follows spurious version in Arnold’s edn; see also ‘Keyboard’, 188

xlviii, 68

296b

A

org; str, bc

pasticcio conc.; movts from 2nd Set no.2, op.4 no.6, op.7 no.2

303

d

org; 2 ob, 2 bn, va, 2 vc, db, org

?c1738; movt used for op.7 no.4

xlviii, 51

iv/12, 87

343b

G

hpd; 2 ob, str, bc

c1739; final ritornello and orch bass added to kbd chaconne (see ‘Keyboard’, 229); ed. T. Best in Chaconne in G for Keyboard (London, 1979)

iv/19, 28

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Concerti a due cori

HG refers to 2/1894; each includes 2 wind choirs

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HWV

Op.

Key

Scoring

Remarks

HG

HHA

332

1

B♭

2 ob, bn; 2 ob, bn; str, bc

c1747, ? perf. with Joshua, 9 March 1748; movts arr. from Alexander Balus, Messiah, Belshazzar, Ottone, Semele and Lotario

xlvii, 130

iv/12, 97, and iv/16, 3

333

2

F

2 ob, 2 hn, bn; 2 ob, 2 hn, bn; str, bc

c1747, ? perf. with Alexander Balus, 23 March 1748; movts arr. from Esther, Messiah and Occasional Oratorio

xlvii, 159

iv/16, 89

334

3

F

2 ob, 2 hn, bn; 2 ob, 2 hn, bn; str, bc

c1747, ? perf. with Judas Maccabaeus, 1 April 1747; movt arr. from Partenope; later arr. as org conc., F, c1748; see also ‘Keyboard’, 188

xlvii, 203

iv/16, 175

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Suites and overtures

printed works published in London

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HWV

Title, key

Scoring

Remarks

HG

HHA

336

Overture, B♭

2 ob, str, bc

?1707; in Overtures, 11th Collection (1758)

xlviii, 108

iv/15, 3

339

Sinfonia, B♭

2 vn, bc

?c1704–6; perhaps intended for solo str

iv/15, 13 (as hwv338)

302b

Suite des pièces, F

2 ob, 2 hn, 2 vn, va ad lib, bc

c1737–8; only movt 1 extant, related to ov. to Chandos anthem, O come let us sing

xxi, 98

iv/12, 63

342

[Suite], F

2 ob, 2 hn, str, bc

c1722–3; 2 movts, related to Water Music; probaby all or part of ‘New Concerto for French Horns’ perf. London, Drury Lane, 20 March 1723

xlvii, 2

iv/13, 97

348–350

Water Music:

presumably all or part perf. during royal procession on River Thames, 17 July 1717; 2 minuets in A General Collection of Minuets (1729); 9 nos. pubd (by 1734); complete suites arr. hpd (1743); in score in Arnold edn, xxiii–xxiv (1788); orig. order of movts probably as in Arnold and HG, confirmed by MS kbd versions, c1721–3

xlvii, 18

iv/13, 3

Suite, F

2 ob, bn, 2 hn, str, bc

Suite, D

2 ob, bn, 2 tpt, 2 hn, str, bc

Suite, G

rec, fl, str, bc

337 (–338)

Overture, D:

c1722–3; movt 1 probably separate frag.; movts 2–3 ?intended to follow conc. movt used in Ottone (1723), i.e. 1st movt of orch conc. op.3 no.6

iv/15, 43

(i) —

2 ob, bn, 3 vn, va, bc

(ii) Adagio

fl, vn, str, bc

(iii) Allegro

2 ob, str, bc

341

Water Piece, D

tpt, str, bc

(1733); authenticity uncertain; movts arr. from Water Music and Partenope

iv/13, 106

342

Overture, F

2 ob, 2 hn, str, bc

c1734; movts used in ovs. to Parnasso in festa and Il pastor fido (1734)

xlviii, 141; lxxxiv, 70

347

Sinfonia, B♭

ob, 3 vn, va, bc

c1745, inc.; used for org conc. op.7 no.6 and introduction to Joshua

iv/19, 31

404

Sonata [Concerto], g

ob, 2 vn, bc

c1717; last movt version of kbd fugue (see ‘Keyboard’, 194)

iv/15, 29

351

Music for the Royal Fireworks, D

3 [24] ob, 2 [12] bn, 3 [9] tpt, 3 [9] hn, [3] timp [str, bc]

perf. 27 April 1749 for Peace of Aix-la-Chapelle (1749); movt 1 orig. for doubled wind only, str added in autograph and pubd parts; other movts originally for wind and str but str cancelled in autograph

xlvii, 100

iv/13, 61

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Other orchestral

in GB-Lbl unless otherwise stated

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HWV

Title, key(s)

Scoring

Remarks

HG

HHA

Marches

see ‘Music for wind ensembles’

532–543, 15¹-³7

Minuets

tr inst, bc

24 minuets out of 60 in A General Collection of Minuets made for the Balls at Court (London, 1729) appear not to derive from other works; others in MS sources

ii, 143 (1); xlviii, 140 (1)

iv/19, 167

421

Minuet, D

tr inst, bc

‘for his Majesty’s Birth Day’, in Select Minuets, ii (London, 1745), 17, and Handel’s Favourite Minuets (London, 1762), 62

iv/19, 179

420

Minuet, D

tr inst, bc

‘for the Prince of Wales’s Birth Day’, in Select Minuets, ii (London, 1745), 35

iv/19, 178

413

Gigue, B♭

str, bc

iv/19, 24

352, 353

Coro and [Bourrée], B♭ Allemande, g; Rigadon, d; Allemande, G; Bourrée, g; [Minuet], g; Allemande, G

2 ob, bn, str, bc

? dances from Daphne; rigadon and 2nd bourrée, 2 ob, bn, in Rigaudon, Bourrée and March, ed. K. Haas (London, 1958)

iv/19, 3

354

Minuet and Coro, B♭; Sarabande, F; Gavotte, g

str, bc

? dances from Florindo; kbd version of minuet, sarabande and gavotte, ed. in Pieces for the Harpsichord (London, 1928), nos.72, 23–4

iv/19, 12

344¹-0

Chorus and menuet, D

str, bc

?from Florindo

iv/19, 17

340

Allegro, G

2 vn, bc

xlviii, 140

iv/19, 22

355

Aria [Hornpipe], c

str, bc

kbd version (from GB-Lbl R.M. 18.b.8, f.70v), ed. in Pieces for the Harpsichord (London, 1928), no.52

iv/19, 19

356

Hornpipe, D

vn, va, bc

for Vauxhall concert, 1740

xlviii, 144

iv/19, 29

Hornpipe, G

unspecified

Lbl Add.29371, f.76v; tune entitled ‘Hendal’s Hornpipe’ = Air VI in Act 3 of C. Coffey: The Female Parson, April 1730; also in J. Rutherford: Compleat Collection of 200 … Country Dances, i (London, c1756), 35, and elsewhere; authenticity doubtful

Rigaudons, F and G

tr inst

in A Collection of the Newest Minuets Rigadons and French Dances (London, 1720) as part of a group of 6 minuets and 2 rigaudons attrib. to Handel

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Spurious orchestral

scoring given as ‘solo; ripieno’ where appropriate

View large

HWV

Title, key

Scoring

Remarks

HHA

Forest Music, D

see ‘Doubtful sonatas’

Concerto, F

vn; 2 ob, str, bc

in 1st edn of op.3 as no.4, replaced in later edns; repubd anon. in Select Harmony, iii (London, 1735); ed. in HHA iv/11, 105

Concerto, b

va; 2 fl, 2 vn, 2 va, vc, db

‘realised and orchestrated’ and ?written by H. Casadesus (Paris, 1925)

Concerto, E♭

ob; str, bc

S-Uu; ed. F. Zobeley (Brunswick, 1935); by R. Woodcock

Concerto, D

2 vn; 2 hn, 2 vn, bc

D-RH 616; ed. M. Seiffert (Leipzig, 1939); ed. in HHA iv/12, 131

Concerto, g

rec, 2 ob, bn, str, bc

PA Fü 2741a; ed. J.P. Hinnenthal (Bielefeld, 1952)

Concerto, D

fl, str, bc

DS; ed. A. Hoffmann (Wolfenbüttel, 1954); spurious arr. of 4 arias from Flavio

Suite, D

tpt, 2 ob, 2 bn, str, bc

PA Fü 17 (unattrib.); ed. J.P. Hinnenthal (Bielefeld, 1955), attrib. Handel

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Music for wind ensembles

mostly for military wind ensembles; not in HG unless otherwise stated

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A General Collection of Minuets … to which are added 12 Celebrated Marches, tr inst, b (London, 1729) [GCM, item no.]

Warlike Musick, tr inst, b (London, 1758) [WM, vol., p. no.]

30 Favourite Marches which are now in Vogue, tr inst (London, c1760) [TFM, p. no.]

HWV

Title, key

Scoring

Remarks

HHA

346

March, F

2 ob, 2 hn, bn

GCM, 3, and WM, ii, 26, both in G; TFM, 13 as ‘March in Ptolemy’; incl. in Tolomeo ov. in 6 Overtures … in 8 Parts, vi (London, c1740); ed. in HG xlviii, 143

iv/19, 54

419²

March, G

unspecified

GCM, 5; Ladys Banquet, ii (London, 1733), 21; WM, ii, 28; TFM, 15 as Ld. Loudon’s March

iv/19, 162

419³

March, G

unspecified

GCM, 6; Ladys Banquet, ii (London, 1733), 20; WM, ii, 28; TFM, 18 as Admiral Boscowin’s March

iv/19, 163

4194

March, F

unspecified

GCM, 9; WM, ii, 33

iv/19, 164

4195

March, C

unspecified

GCM, 11; WM, ii, 36

iv/19, 164

345

March, D

tpt, 2 ob, bn

WM, iv, 71 (in G); in Trio Sonata, op.5 no.2; ed. in HG xlviii, 142

iv/19, 26

422

Minuet, G

2 ob, 2 hn, bn

c1745, version in Fireworks Music

iv/19, 58

423

Minuet, G

2 ob, 2 hn, bn

c1745

iv/19, 59

63/329, 32b

Minuet, G

2 ob, 2 hn, bn

c1745, also in F; version in Judas Maccabaeus

iv/16, 262

416

March, D

tpt, 2 ob, bn

c1746, WM, iv, 74 as Dragoon’s March

iv/19, 56

417a,b

March, D

2 ?ob, 2 ?hn, bn

c1746, WM, iv, 73; related to chorus in Alexander Balus; only hn 2 part survives of fully scored version

iv/19, 166

415

March for the Fife, D

[fife], b

c1747, version of chorus from Joshua

iv/19, 60

414

March for the Fife, C

[fife], b

c1747, version of introduction to Joshua

iv/19, 60

March, C

3 tbn, timp

c1741, version of Dead March in Samson: see Burrows, H1990

Music for the Royal Fireworks

see ‘Suites and overtures’

410, 411

2 Arias, F

2 ob, 2 hn, bn

no.1 is arr. of Benchè tuoni (Teseo); ed. K. Haas (London, 1958)

iv/19, 45

Rigaudon, d, and Bourrée, g

2 ob, bn

ed. K. Haas (London, 1958); fom hwv352, 353; see ‘Other orchestral’

418

March, G

2 ob, bn

ed. K. Haas (London, 1958) [with above]

iv/19, 57

424

Ouverture [Suite], D

2 cl, hn

c1742; ed. J.M. Coopersmith and J. LaRue (New York, 1950); ed. K. Haas (London, 1952)

iv/15, 85

4196

March, C

unspecified

?authentic; WM, iv, 77, and TFM, 9, both as Handel’s March

iv/19, 165

March, D

[2 ob, bn]

2 versions in WM, ii, 29 and iv, 76, both as Grenadier’s March; 2nd version in trio sonata, op.5 no.2

Duo, F

2 [rec]

ed. T. Dart (London, 1948); see Trio sonatas hwv405

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Sonatas

[12] Sonates, tr inst, bc [op.1] (? London, Walsh, c1730), rev. as [12] Solos [op.1] (London, c1732) [c1730 edn pubd under false imprint of Roger, Amsterdam]

VI sonates, 2 tr insts, bc, op.2 (? London, Walsh, c1730), rev. as VI sonates, op.2 (London, c1732–3) [c1730 edn pubd under false imprint of Roger, Amsterdam]

Seven Sonatas or Trios, 2 vn/fl, bc, op.5 (London, 1739) [incl. reuse of existing music]

Trio sonatas
View large

HWV

Op.

Key

Scoring

Remarks

HG

HHA

386b

2 no.1

b

fl/vn, vn, bc

HG, op.2 no.1b; most MSS have transposed version in c, not indentical with ?orig. version in c (see hwv386a below)

xxvii, 92

iv/10/1/, 3

387

2 no.2

g

2 vn, bc

in GB-Mp copy: ‘Compos’d at the Age of 14’

xxvii, 105

iv/10/1, 15

388

2 no.3

B♭

2 vn, bc

HG, op.2 no.4; related to ov. to Esther and org conc. op.4 no.2

xxvii, 115

iv/10/1, 23

389

2 no.4

F

fl/rec/vn, vn, bc

HG, op.2 no.5; related to ovs. to Chandos anthems O sing unto the Lord, O come let us sing, and ov. to Parnasso in festa

xxvii, 122

iv/10/1, 35

390a

2 no.5

g

2 vn, bc

HG, op.2 no.6; related to org conc. op.4 no.3; arr. with org continuo (hwv 390b; HG xlviii, 118) unlikely to be Handel’s

xxvii, 128

iv/10/1, 45

391

2 no.6

g

2 vn, bc

HG, op.2 no.7

xxvii, 136

iv/10/1, 61

396

5 no.1

A

2 vn, bc

movts from ov. to Chandos anthem I will magnify and Arianna ballets, with 2 new movts

xxvii, 156

iv/10/2, 3

397

5 no.2

D

2 vn, bc

movts from ov. to Chandos anthem O be joyful and Ariodante ballets; for movts 6–7 see Marches in ‘Music for wind ensembles’

xxvii, 156

iv/10/2, 11

398

5 no.3

e

2 vn, bc

movts from ov. to Chandos anthem As pants the hart, Terpsicore/Il pastor fido and Ariodante ballets, and Ezio, with new movt

xxvii, 166

iv/10/2, 19

399

5 no.4

G

2 vn, bc

movts from ovs. to Athalia and Parnasso in festa, Il pastor fido, 1734, and Alcina ballets

xxvii, 172

iv/10/2, 29

400

5 no.5

g

2 vn, bc

movts from Terpsicore, and new movts arr. from Tamerlano, Athalia and 2 kbd fugues (see ‘Keyboard’, 83, 163); movt 6 ? not new

xxvii, 182

iv/10/2, 49

401

5 no.6

F

2 vn, bc

2 movts based on no.15; pubd version has orig. finale replaced by minuet

xxvii, 188

iv/10/2, 63

402

5 no.7

B♭

2 vn, bc

movts from ovs. to Chandos anthems Let God arise and O sing unto the Lord, Oreste ballets and Terpsicore

xxvii, 195

iv/10/2, 75

386a

c

rec/fl, vn, bc

HG, op.2 no.1a; ?orig. version of op.2 no.1

xxvii, 99

iv/10/1, 113

392

F

2 vn, bc

c1707–9; HG, op.2 no.3; D-Dl; see op.5 no.6

xxvii, 109

iv/10/1, 73

393

g

2 vn, bc

HG, op.2 no.8; Dl; authenticity uncertain

xxvii, 142

iv/10/1, 85

394

E

2 vn, bc

HG, op.2 no.9; Dl; authenticity doubtful

xxvii, 148

iv/10/1, 99

395

e

2 fl, bc

ed. F. Nagel (Mainz, 1971); authenticity uncertain

iv/19, 68

405

F

2 rec, bc

movts 2 and 3 ed. T. Dart as Grave and Allegro (London, 1951); full version in US-Wc M350. M3 Case, ed. C. Hogwood (London, 1981); upper parts of movt 1 identical with Duo in F (see ‘Music for wind ensembles’)

iv/19, 62

403

C

2 vn, bc

version of ov. to Saul, ?sketch for ov. not independent work

iv/19, 82

339

B♭

2 vn, bc

see ‘Suites and overtures’, hwv339

iv/19, 82

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Solo sonatas with continuo
View large

HWV

Key

Solo inst

Remarks

HG

HHA

362

a

rec

op.1 no.4

xxvii, 15

iv/3, 21

377

B♭

rec

ed. T. Dart, Fitzwilliam Sonatas (London, 1948), no.1

iv/18, 15

365

C

rec

op.1 no.7; movt 3 = version of hwv363a, movt 3

xxvii, 25

iv/3, 33

367a

d

rec

pubd in b for fl as op.1 no.9 (hwv367b), HG xxvii, 32, HHA iv/3, 42

iv/18, 19, 45

369

F

rec

op.1 no.11; see org conc. hwv293

xxvii, 40

iv/3, 52

360

g

rec

op.1 no.2; movts 2 and 4 also in no.7

xxvii, 9

iv/3, 16

378

D

fl

attrib. ‘Sr Weisse (?S.J. Weiss) but probably Handel’s, c1707; see Lasocki and Best, H1981

iv/18, 41

379

e

fl

ed. in HG as op.1 no.1a; movts adapted from hwv359a, 378, 360

xxvii, 2

iv/3, 2

357

B♭

ob

ed. A.H. Mann (London, c1892), for fl; ed. T. Dart (London, 1948), for ob

iv/18, 29

366

c

ob

op.1 no.8

xxvii, 29

iv/18, 32

363a

F

ob

autograph frag. of movt 3, GB-Cfm; pubd for fl, in G, as op.1 no.5 (hwv363b), HG xxvii, 19, HHA iv/3, 28

iv/18, 36

361

A

vn

op.1 no.3

xxvii, 12

iv/4, 2

371

D

vn

c1750; in HG as op.1 no.13

xxvii, 47

iv/4, 28

359a

d

vn

pubd for fl, in e, as op.1 no.1, HG xxvii, 6, HHA iv/3, 10

iv/18, 10

358

G

vn

ed. K. Hofmann (Neuhausen-Stuttgart, 1974), for rec

iv/18, 3

364a

g

vn

pubd for ob as op.1 no.6

xxvii, 22

iv/18, 6

364b

g

va da gamba

adaptation of hwv364a, authorized by autograph; ed. T. Dart (London, 1950)

406

A

vn

?sketch for orch movt; ed. R. Howat, with no.4, as Fantasia and Sonata (London, 1976)

iv/19, 96

412

a

[vn]

frag., 1 movt

iv/19, 67

408

c

[vn]

frag., 1 movt; related to 4th movt of hwv362 and 4th movt of Trio sonata hwv387

iv/19, 80

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Unaccompanied instrumental solos
View large

HWV

Key

Solo inst

Remarks

HG

HHA

407

Allegro, G (autograph, Cfm 262, 55, dated in pencil 1738), ?intended as prelude for unacc. vn

iv/19, 82

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Doubtful and spurious sonatas
View large

HWV

No.

Key

Scoring

Remarks

HG

HHA

380

1

B♭

ob, vn, hpd

no.1 of 6 sonatas, c1696, cited as Handel’s earliest music; attrib. doubtful

xxvii, 58

iv/9, 3

381

2

d

ob, vn, hpd

no.2 of 6 sonatas, as no.1

xxvii, 63

iv/9, 13

382

3

E♭

ob, vn, hpd

no.3 of 6 sonatas, as no.1

xxvii, 68

iv/9, 23

383

4

F

ob, vn, hpd

no.4 of 6 sonatas, as no.1

xxvii, 74

iv/9, 35

384

5

G

ob, vn, hpd

no.5 of 6 sonatas, as no.1

xxvii, 80

iv/9, 45

387

6

D

ob, vn, hpd

no.6 of 6 sonatas, as no.1

xxvii, 84

iv/9, 53

7

g

2 fl, hpd

Lcm 260; no.1 of 3 sonatas added to MS following 4 genuine sonatas; ed. J.A. Parkinson, attrib. Handel (London, 1969); spurious

8

D

2 fl, hpd

no.2 of 3 sonatas, as no.7

9

e

2 fl, hpd

no.3 of 3 sonatas, as no.7; in J.J. Quantz: 6 sonatas, op.3 (London, 1733)

10

d

fl, vn, vc, hpd

attrib. Handel, D-WD, ed. F. Zobeley as Concerto a 4 (Mainz, 1935); attrib. Telemann, Dl, DS; spurious

11

D

2 vn, vc, hpd

as no.10

12

g

vn, va da gamba, bc

DK-Kk; ed. M. Seiffert (Leipzig, 1934); spurious

13

F

ob, bn, bc

D-PA; ed. M. Seiffert (Leipzig, 1938); spurious

14

B♭

ob, vn, bc

PA; ed. W. Hinnenthal (Kassel, 1949); spurious

15

g

ob, vn, bc

F-AG; ed. W. Kolneder (Mainz, 1965); spurious

372

16

A

vn, bc

op.1 no.10, doubtful; in HG as op.1 no.14

xxvii, 51

iv/4, 46

373

17

E

vn, bc

op.1 no.12, doubtful; in HG as op.1 no.15

xxvii, 54

iv/4, 55

368

18

g

vn, bc

rev. op.1 no.10, doubtful

xxvii, 37

iv/4, 28

370

19

F

vn, bc

rev. op.1 no.12, doubtful

xxvii, 42

iv/4, 40

374

20

a

fl, bc

doubtful; no.1 of Six Solos, Four for a German Flute … Compos’d by Mr Handel, Sigr Geminiani, Sigr Somis, Sigr Brivio (London, 1730)

xlviii, 130

iv/3, 57

375

21

e

fl, bc

doubtful; no.2 of Six Solos, Four for a German Flute (London, 1730); movts 1–2 from Solo sonatas hwv366; movt 4 = kbd minuet, g, see ‘Keyboard’, 242

xlviii, 134

iv/3, 63

376

22

b

fl, bc

doubtful; no.3 of Six Solos, Four for a German Flute (London, 1730)

xlviii, 137

iv/3, 68

23

C

va da gamba, hpd

D-DS, spurious; ? by J.M. Leffloth (1705–31), see A. Einstein, SIMG, iv (1902–3), 170–72

xlviii, 112

24

G

vn, bc

LEm, spurious; ed. M. Seiffert (Leipzig, 1924)

25

D

fl, bc

PA, spurious; no.5 of J.J. Quantz: Solos for a German Flute [op.1] (London, 1730); misattrib. Handel in PA, ed. W. Hinnenthal (Kassel, 1949, 2/1960 with correct attrib.)

26

g

2 vn, bc

GB-Mp (‘not Handel’s’); ed. S. Flesch (Kassel, 1976)

27

G

fl, bc

B-Bc Litt. XY. 15, 115 ‘Sonata xxvii’, spurious; ed. R. Kubik (Kassel, 1980); see Lasocki and Best, H1981

Forest music

D

vn, bc

ed. W. Ware (Dublin, c1803); all 3 movts arr. from anon. hn duets in Forrest Harmony, ii (1733); spurious

View large

Keyboard

all probably for harpsichord and written before 1720, unless otherwise stated; full source information in HHA, iv/7 (forthcoming); numbers in left-hand column are for ease of cross-referencing contemporary printed sources and MSS, many of which have variant orderings

Editions

A Third Set of Lessons for the Harpsichord, ed. S. Arnold (London, c1793) [vols.cxxx–cxxxi of Arnold edn] [A]

Pieces for the Harpsichord, ed. W.B. Squire and J.A. Fuller Maitland (London, 1928) [B]

Unbekannte Meisterwerke der Klaviermusik, ed. W. Danckert (Kassel, 1930) [D]

The Young Pianist’s Händel, i, ed. M. Aldridge (London, 1969) [P]

Pieces à un & deux clavecins (Amsterdam, Roger, ?1721) [based on pre-1720 sources] [Roger]

Suites de pieces pour le clavecin, i (London, 1720) [partly new, partly earlier material]; HG ii, 1–60; HHA iv/1 [1720]

Prelude et chaconne avec LXII variations, op.1 (Amsterdam, ?1732) [1732¹]

Sonata pour le clavecin, op.2 (Amsterdam, ?1732) [1732²]

Capriccio pour le clavecin, op.3 (Amsterdam, ?1732) [1732³]

Preludio et allegro pour le clavecin, op.4 (Amsterdam, ?1732) [17324]

Fantasie pour le clavecin, op.5 (Amsterdam, ?1732) [17325]

Suites de pieces pour le clavecin, ii (London, 1733) [?unauthorized print of material from Roger excluded from 1720, and other items]; HG ii, 63–122; HHA iv/5 [1733]

Six Fugues or Voluntarys, op.3 (London, 1735); HG ii, 161–74; HHA iv/6, 1–23 [1735] (nos. 264, 231, 37, 27, 17, 83)

View large

No.

HWV

Key

Title

First published (contemporary; subsequent)

Remarks

HG

HHA

426

A

Suite:

1720, no.1

ii, 1

iv/1, 2

1

Prelude

rev. for 1720

2

Allemande

3

Courante

4

Gigue

5

468

A

Air

iv/6, 58

6

477

A

Allemande

iv/6, 50

7

560

A

Passepied

B i, 15

? transcr. of orch dance

iv/19, 158

454

A

Suite (Partita)

see under ‘Doubtful and spurious’

8

Allemande

9

Courante

10

Sarabande

11

Gigue

15

576/1

a

Prelude

B i, 38

iv/17, 106

16

576/2

a

Allegro

B i, 39

iv/17, 107

17

609

a

Fugue

1735, no.5

ii, 171

iv/6, 17

18

575

a

Prelude

paired with 19 in HG

ii, 140

iv/6, 67

19

496

a

Lesson

A, 9

2 copies in GB-Ob 1131, 1 in g

ii, 140

iv/6, 68

20

584

a

Sonatina

B ii, 33

HHA disputes authenticity

iv/17, 134

21

478

a

Allemande

B ii, 32

iv/17, 86

b

Suite (frag.):

25

479

Allemande

version of 118

iv/5, 102

26

489

Courante

iv/17, 130

27

608

b

Fugue

1735, no.4

ii, 168

iv/6, 12

440

B♭

Suite:

1733 [no.7]

[Prelude]

see 34

= 34

30

Allemande

Roger, 40; 1733, 47

2 versions

ii, 97; xlviii, 146

iv/5, 56, 112

31

Courante

Roger, 41; 1733, 48

ii, 98

iv/5, 58

32

Sarabande

Roger, 42; 1733, 49

2 versions

ii, 99; xlviii, 147

iv/5, 59, 113

33

Gigue

Roger, 42; 1733, 50

ii, 99

iv/5, 60

434

B♭

Suite:

1733 [no.1]

modern edns erroneously incl. 242 here

34

Prelude

Roger, 55; 1733, 1

before 30 in some MSS; 2 versions

ii, 63

iv/5, 1, iv/19, 111

35

Sonata (Allegro)

Roger, 56; 1733, 3

autograph (GB-Lfom) is frag. of early version

ii, 64

iv/5, 2

36

Air (with 5 variations)

Roger, 58; 1733, 5

2 versions

ii, 66

iv/5, 5

37

607

B♭

Fugue

1735, no.3

ii, 166

iv/6, 9

38

470

B♭

Air

B ii, 16

for 2-manual hpd

iv/17, 124

39

471

B♭

Air

B ii, 26

in G as no.10 of A General Collection of Minuets (London, 1729)

iv/17, 118

40

585

B♭

Sonatina

ii, 150

iv/6, 56

41

469

B♭

Air

arr. of movt in org conc. op.7 no.6

iv/19, 132

443

C

Suite:

D, 17

iv/17, 1

50

Prelude [and Fugue]

51

Allemande

52

Courante

53

Sarabande [and Double]

54

Gigue

version of 126

55

484

C

Chaconne (with 49 variations)

B i, 22

D incl. version with 26 variations as part of above suite

iv/17, 10

578

C

Sonata:

c1750; ? orig. for musical clock

ii, 154

iv/6, 60

56

Allegro

57

Trio

version of 268

58

Gavotte

version of finale of orch conc., C

59

577

C

Sonata

1732²; The Ladys Banquet, v (London, c1734)

in A Collection of Lessons … by Dr Greene, ii (c1755), but probably Handel’s

ii, 151

iv/6, 24

60

490

C

Fantasia

17325; The Ladys Banquet, v (c1734)

ii, 133

iv/6, 35

62

457

C

Air

P i, 2

see Mann, C1964–5

iv/19, 159

63

559

C

Passepied

B ii, 63

version of 91, related to finale of Radamisto; see Mann, C1964–5

iv/19, 159

64

472

C

Prelude (Allegro)

B i, 19

iv/17, 52

446

c

Suite:

for 2 kbd, 1 part lost

reconstruction in Suite for Two Keyboards, ed. T. Dart (London, 1950), and in Suite à deux clavecins, ed. D. Burrows (Wiesbaden, 1998)

xlviii, 162

iv/19, 102

70

Prelude [Allemande]

71

Courante

72

Sarabande

version of 81

73

Chaconne

444

c

Suite (Partita):

D, 40

iv/17, 96

74

Prelude

75

Allemande

version of 80

76

Courante

77

Gavotte

78

Menuet

445

c

Suite:

iv/17, 101

79

Prelude

B ii, 27

80

Allemande

B ii, 27

version of 75

81

Courante

B ii, 30

version of 72

82

458

c

Air

B i, 20

HHA disputes authenticity

iv/17, 138

83

610

c

Fugue

1735, no.6

ii, 173

iv/6, 21

90

460

D

March

P i, 4

iv/19, 160

91

504

D

Passepied

B ii, 54

version of 63, derived from finale of Radamisto

iv/19, 160

448

d

Suite:

xlviii, 170

iv/17, 60

95

Overture

96

Allemande

97

Courante

98

Sarabande I, II

99

Chaconne (with 10 variations)

449

d

Suite:

xlviii, 152

iv/17, 68

100

Prelude

101

Allemande

version of 277

102

Courante

103

Sarabande

104

Air (with 7 variations)

version of 116

105

Gigue

106

Menuet

437

d

Suite:

1733 [no.4]

107

Prelude

Roger, 1

partly used in 112; also hwv561

xlviii, 149

108

Allemande

Roger, 2; 1733, 25

ii, 81

iv/5, 29

109

Courante

Roger, 3; 1733, 26

ii, 82

iv/5, 30

110

Sarabande (with 2 variations)

Roger, 4; 1733, 27

ii, 82

iv/5, 31

111

Gigue

Roger, 4; 1733, 28

ii, 83

iv/5, 33

428

d

Suite:

1720, no.3

ii, 12

iv/1, 18

112

Prelude

new for 1720 (partly from 107)

113

Allegro [Fugue]

orig. independent; rev. for 1720

114

Allemande

new for 1720

115

Courante

new for 1720

116

Air (with 5 variations)

version of 104; rev. for 1720

117

Presto

rev. for 1720 from keyboard version of Il pastor fido ov.; many versions incl. hwv495a, 495b

436

d

Suite:

1733 [no.3]

probably post-1720

ii, 75

iv/5, 20

118

Allemande

1733, 16

version of 25

119

Allegro

1733, 18

120

Air [Sarabande]

1733, 19

121

Gigue

1733, 20

122

Minuet

1733, 22

447

d

Suite:

A, 3

composed 1739 for Princess Louisa

ii, 125

iv/6, 38

123

Allemande

124

Courante

125

Sarabande

126

Gigue

version of 54

127

461

d

[Hornpipe]

P i, 11

iv/19, 161

128

564

d

Prelude

B i, 17

iv/17, 50

129

562

d

Prelude

iv/6, 55

130

563

d

Prelude

iv/17, 35

131

475

d

Sonata (Allegro)

B ii, 50

iv/17, 128

132

d

Sonatina

follows 111 in many MSS

xlviii, 150

iv/17, 84

133

565

d

Prelude

B ii, 45

430

E

Suite:

1720, no.5

ii, 32

iv/1, 44

145

Prelude

new for 1720, replacing 149

146

Allemande

3 versions, incl. rev. for 1720

147

Courante

3 versions, incl. rev. for 1720

148

Air (with 5 variations; ‘Harmonious Blacksmith’)

2 versions, incl. rev. for 1720; see also 230

149

566

E

Prelude

see 145

iv/17, 121

150

612

E

Fugue

ed. H.D. Johnstone (London, 1974)

copy, Lco

iv/19, 112

151

425

E

Sarabande/Minuet

B i, 37

see B. Matthews, ML, xlii (1961), 127–31 for facs. of autograph

438

e

Suite:

1733 [no.5]

ii, 84

iv/5, 34

160

Allemande

Roger, 10; 1733, 29

161

Sarabande

Roger, 11; 1733, 30

162

Gigue

Roger, 12; 1733, 31

2 versions

429

e

Suite:

1720, no.4

ii, 24

iv/1, 34

163

Allegro [Fugue]

orig. independent; incl. autograph of another version, Lbl

164

Allemande

Roger, 14

new version for 1720

165

Courante

Roger, 14

166

Sarabande

Roger, 16

ending rev. for 1720

167

Gigue

Roger, 17

427

F

Suite/Sonata:

1720, no.2

ii, 6

iv/1, 10

175

Adagio

Roger, 43

rev. for 1720

176

Allegro

Roger, 44

177

Adagio

Roger, 45

178

Allegro [Fugue]

Roger, 46

179

Allegro

Roger, 49; 1733, 64 (in G)

not in 1720; as prelude to 228 in 1733; variant is hwv488

ii, 142

iv/5, 76

180

464

F

Air

version of Air in Water Music

iv/13, 97

181

465

F

Air (with 2 variations)

B ii, 48

iv/17, 126

182

476

F

Allemande

c1730–35

iv/6, 51

183

481

F

Capriccio

1732³; The Ladys Banquet, v (c1734)

ii, 144

iv/6, 28

184

485

F

Chaconne

A, 16 (2 staves); B ii, 18 (4 staves)

for 2-manual hpd

ii, 136

iv/17, 54

185

611

F

Fugue

B ii, 42

iv/17, 87

186

492

F

Gigue

P i, 17

iv/6, 54

187

567

F

Prelude

B ii, 41

iv/17, 119

188

305a, 305b

F

Concerto

ed. F. Hudson as Concerto in Judas Maccabaeus (Kassel, 1976)

c1748; org part of conc. (arr. from Concerto a due cori no.3) adapted for solo perf.

iv/16, 253

189

463

F

Air

iv/19, 159

433

f

Suite:

1720, no.8

ii, 54

iv/1, 72

193

Prelude

new for 1720

194

Fugue

orig. independent

195

Allemande

Roger, 50

196

Courante

Roger, 51

197

Gigue

Roger, 53

rev. for 1720

198

568

f

Prelude

B ii, 41

orig. preceded 195

iv/17, 120

431

f♯

Suite:

1720, no.6

ii, 39

iv/1, 54

204

Prelude

new for 1720, replacing 208

205

Largo

206

Allegro [Fugue]

from fugue in ov. to In the Lord put I my trust

207

Gigue

2 versions

208

570

f♯

Prelude

orig. preceded 205

iv/6, 57

450

G

Suite (Partita):

D, 34

iv/17, 27

211

Prelude

212

Allemande

213

Courante

214

Sarabande

215

Gigue

216

Minuet

441

G

Suite:

1733 [no.8]

authenticity questionable

ii, 100

iv/5, 61

217

Allemande

1733, 51

218

Allegro

1733, 52

219

Courante

1733, 54

220

Aria

1733, 56

221

Minuet

1733, 57

222

Gavotte

1733, 59

223

Gigue

1733, 62

571

G

Prelude and Capriccio:

xlviii, 166

iv/17, 38

224

Prelude

225

Capriccio/Toccata

ed. E. Rimbault: The Pianoforte (London, 1860), 340

see Pestelli, H1972

487

G

Concerto:

226

Allegro

B i, 59

version of sinfonia in Scipione, Act 3

iv/17, 114

227

Andante

B i, 62

version of Andante in orch conc., op.3 no.4

iv/17, 116

228

442

G

Chaconne (with 62 variations)

1732¹; 1733, 65

preceded in 1732¹ by part of fantasia by W. Babell (HG xlviii, 230; HHA iv/5, 114), and in 1733 by 179 in G

ii, 110

iv/5, 77

229

435

G

Chaconne (with 20/21 variations)

Roger, 18; 1733, 9

2 versions in MSS; prints have different versions with omissions; 2 authentic versions ed. T. Best as Chaconne in G for Keyboard (London, 1979)

ii, 69

iv/5, 11

230

430/4a, 4b

G

Chaconne/Aria (with 5 variations)

2 versions; see 148 for other versions in E

iv/1 (rev.), 106

231

606

G

Fugue

1735, no.2

orch version as finale to orch conc., op.3 no.3

ii, 163

iv/6, 4

232

579

G

Sonata

Roger, 60; B ii, 4

for 2-manual hpd

iv/6, 80

233

491

G

Gavotte

B i, 15

234

582

G

Sonatina (Fuga)

B ii, 46

iv/6, 56

235

474

G

Air

based on chorus in Acis and Galatea; ? for org

iv/19, 130

g

Overture:

241

Ouverture

Roger, 34

version of ov. to cant. Cor fedele; rev. as 250

242

434/4

Minuet

Roger, 36; 1733, 8

ii, 68

iv/5, 10

g

Suite:

in a in Roger; other sources in g

243

572

Prelude

Roger, 6

iv/6, 79

244

Andante (Sonata)

Roger, 6

= 251

245

Allegro

Roger, 8

= 252

439

g

Suite:

1733 [no.6]

1733 and modern edns omit sarabande

ii, 88

iv/5, 40

246

Allemande

Roger, 24; 1733, 34

247

Courante

Roger, 26; 1733, 37

248

Sarabande

Roger, 28

2 versions; rev. as 253

xlviii, 148

249

Gigue

Roger, 28; 1733, 40; other versions: B i, 41, 44

3 versions, incl. hwv493a, 493b

iv/5, 106, 108

432

g

Suite:

1720, no.7

ii, 45

iv/1, 61

250

Ouverture

see 241

241 rev. for 1720

251

Andante

see 244

= 244

252

Allegro

see 245

= 245

253

Sarabande

see 248

248 rev. for 1720

254

Gigue

orig. independent; rev. for 1720

255

Passacaille (Chaconne)

Roger, 37

orig. independent

453

g

Suite:

? transcr. of orch items

256

Ouverture

B i, 8

iv/17, 44

257

Entrée

B i, 10

iv/17, 46

258

Menuets I, II

B i, 11

259

Chaconne

B i, 12

iv/17, 47

452

g

Suite:

A Favourite Lesson (London, c1770)

composed 1739 for Princess Louisa; copies, Cfm, Lbl

ii, 128

iv/6, 42

260

Allemande

261

Courante

262

Sarabande

263

Gigue

264

605

g

Fugue

1735, no.1

ii, 161

iv/6, 1

574

g

Prelude and Allegro:

17324; The Ladys Banquet, v (c1734)

ii, 148

iv/6, 32

265

Prelude

266

Sonata (Allegro)

267

466

g

Air

B ii, 13

for 2-manual hpd

iv/17, 122

268

467

g

Air

B i, 52

version of 57

iv/17, 109

269

494

g

Bourée (‘Impertinence’)

B ii, 46

iv/17, 126

270

483

g

Capriccio

Lessons by Handel (London, ?1787), 10

c1720

ii, 131

iv/6, 48

271

486

g

Chaconne

B ii, 36

iv/17, 90

272

573

g

Prelude

B i, 41

iv/17, 120

273

580

g

Sonata

B i, 58

iv/17, 113

274

583

g

Sonatina

B i, 54

iv/17, 112

275

533

g

[Sonatina/Menuet]

P i, 5

c1749–50; basis of In gentle murmurs (Jephtha)

iv/19, 167

276

586

g

Toccata

B i, 53

iv/17, 110

451

g

Suite (frag.):

copy: A-Wm XIV 743, f.34

iv/19, 100

277

Allemande

version of 101

278

Courante

279

480

g

Prelude on Jesu meine Freude

pr. in Mann, 1964–5

iv/19, 131

View large
Doubtful and spurious

probably spurious, unless otherwise stated; only published works listed

Title, key

Remarks

Suite, a

GB-Lfom Aylesford MS, without attrib.; minuet anon. in Minuets, Rigadons or French Dances For the Year 1722 (London, 1722), 19; attrib. Handel in Pièces de clavecin de Mr Handel (Paris, ?1739) and Recueil de pièces … accomodé pour les flûtes travers, i (Paris, c1738), and attrib. Loeillet, Lbl Add.31577, ff.18v–19R; minuet, transposed to g, pubd as theme of Pastorale et thème avec variations, harp/pf (Vienna, 1799), attrib. Handel; see ‘Harp music’

Ten Select Voluntaries for the Organ or Harpsichord … by Mr Handel, Dr Green etc., ii (London, ?1771)

not individually attrib.; almost certainly none by Handel

Twelve Voluntaries and Fugues for the Organ or Harpsichord with Rules for Tuning by … Mr Handel, iv (London, c1780)

not individually attrib.; incl. 6 ‘little’ fugues, ed. in HG xlviii, 183–90 no.2 of which is by J. Sheeles, Suites of Lessons … Second Work (London, c1730), 16–17

‘Microcosm’ Concerto, B♭

attrib. Handel in Musical Remains … selected … Edward Jones (London, 1796); adapted from tunes written by John James for Henry Bridges’s clock ‘The Microcosm’

Grand March, G

(London, 1848), arr. M.R. Lacy

Partita, A

?partly authentic; pubd as Partita … d’apres le manuscrit de J. Chr. Smith (Leipzig, 1864); MS, now lost, sold London, June 1860; see Chrysander (1858–67), iii, 200, and preface to HG xlviii; ed. in HG xlviii, 176, HHA, iv/6, 70; see AMZ, new ser., i (1863), no.38, col.652; no.39, cols.665–6

Sonatina, d; Allemande, g

attrib. Handel, D-HVs 146, ff.6r, 45v, with Allemande attached to Suite, g (see ‘Keyboard’, 250–55); ed. T.W. Werner, Deutsche Klaviermusik aus dem Beginne des 18. Jahrhunderts (Hanover, 1927)

‘Schicksalfuge’, f

ed. K. Anton (Halle, 1940); repr. in W. Serauky: ‘Karl Loewe als Händel-Verehrer’, Händel-Festspiele (Halle, 1958), 38

12 fantasias, 4 pieces

CH-Zz; ed. G. Walter, Zwölf Fantasien und vier Stücke für Cembalo (Leipzig and Zürich, 1942); incl. Sonata, C (see ‘Keyboard’, 59), other items probably spurious

2 preludes and fugues, C

kbd, 4 hands; ed. H. Schüngeler, Zwei Fugen (Magdeburg and Leipzig, 1944); by J. Marsh

Concerto, F; Preludes, Capriccios, Introduzione, Allemande, Badinage, Canzone

H-Bn, ed. F. Brodszky, Cembalodarabok (Budapest, 1964); incipit of Badinage, HG xlviii, p.VII

Air, c

GB-Lbl Add.31467, f.10v; ed. in HHA iv/17, 133

Harp music

For harp conc. see ‘Orchestral: organ, harp and harpsichord concertos’. The only authentic music for unacc. harp is a solo in Saul, based on the air ‘O Lord whose mercies numberless’. The Pastorale et Thême avec Variations pour harpe ou pianoforte (Vienna, 1799) consists of an adapted version of the Pastorella from Sonata V of P. Meyer’s Sei sonate a solo per l’harpa … opera terza (Paris, 1768) and variations on a transposed version of the minuet from the Suite in a, described above under ‘Keyboard: doubtful and spurious’.

Clock music

c1735–45, all single movements; edited in W.B. Squire (1919)

View large

HWV

Title, Key

Remarks

HHA

473

Allegro, C

dated 25 Aug 1738; incipit in Chrysander, C1858–67, iii, 200

iv/19, 139

578

Sonata, C

original version of Sonata, C (‘Keyboard’ 56–8) in 2-octave compass

iv/19, 150

587–597

Set I: F, C, C, C, F, C, C, G, C, C, C

‘Tunes for Clay’s Musical Clock; no.2 = variant of Set II no.3; no.4 = arr. of Vola l’augello (Sosarme); no.5 = arr. of Lungo pensar (Muzio Scevola); no.6 = arr. of Alla fama (Ottone); no.7 = arr. of Deh lascia un tal desio (Arianna); no.8 = arr. of last movt of Scipione ov.; no.9 = arr. of Del onda ai fieri moti (Ottone); no.10 = arr. of In mille dolci modi (Sosarme); no.11 = arr. of In mar tempestoso (Arianna)

iv/19, 140

598–604

Set II: Sonata, C; [untitled], C; A Voluntary or a Flight of Angels, C; [untitled], C; [untitled], a; Menuet, a; Air, a

no.3, see Set I; no.6 = version of Minuet in Almira, g, pubd in Pieces for the Harpsichord, ii (London, 1928), 59

iv/19, 135

View large

Didactic works

Short exx. illustrating fugal procedures and types of figured bass, GB-Cfm 260, 27–72; copies of the basses, GB-Lfom Rivers MS; see Mann, C1964–5; ed. (with other, doubtfully related material) in HHA, Supplement Band i (1978)

Bibliography

    A General. B Catalogues, descriptions of sources. C Biographies, biographical sources. D Works: general. E Operas: general. F Operas: individual. G Oratorios, other vocal works. H Instrumental works.

A: General
  • HJb (1928–33, 1955–)
  • K. Sasse : Händel-Bibliographie (Leipzig, 1963; suppl., 1967)
  • W.C. Smith : A Handelian’s Notebook (London, 1965)
  • Händel-Handbuch, 1–4 (Leipzig, 1978–85) [i: S. Flesch: Lebens- und Schaffensdaten and B. Baselt: Thematisch-systematisches Verzeichnis; ii–iii: Baselt: Verzeichnis; iv: Dokumente zu Leben und Schaffen, trans. and rev. from O.E. Deutsch, Handel: a Documentary Biography, London, 1955]
  • Göttinger Händel-Beiträge, ed. H.J. Marx (Kassel, 1984–) [incl. current bibliography]
  • Handel Tercentenary Collection: London 1985
  • M.A. Parker-Hale : G.F. Handel: a Guide to Research (New York, 1988)
  • Handel Collections and their History: London 1990
  • Mainly English-language and recent studies are listed; for more extensive bibliographies, see Sasse (1963 and suppl. 1967), and the entries for each work in Händel-Handbuch, i and iii. See Dean and Knapp, E1987 for detailed coverage of operas from Almira (1704) to Scipione (1726)
B: Catalogues, descriptions of sources
  • J.A. Fuller Maitland and A.H. Mann : Catalogue of the Music in the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge (London, 1893)
  • W.B. Squire : Catalogue of the King’s Music Library, i: The Handel Manuscripts (London, 1927)
  • J.M. Coopersmith : ‘The First Gesamtausgabe: Dr. Arnold’s Edition of Handel’s Works’, Notes, 4 (1946–7), 277–88, 439–49
  • P. Hirsch : ‘Dr. Arnold’s Handel Edition’, MR, 8 (1947), 106–16
  • G. Kinsky and M.A. Souchay, eds.: Manuskripte, Briefe, Dokumente von Scarlatti bis Stravinsky: Katalog der Musikautographen-Sammlung Louis Koch (Stuttgart, 1953)
  • W. Shaw : A First List of Word-Books of Handel’s ‘Messiah’, 1742–83 (Worcester, 1959)
  • W.C. Smith : Handel: a Descriptive Catalogue of the Early Editions (London, 1960, 2/1970)
  • A.H. King : Handel and his Autographs (London, 1967)
  • H.D. Clausen : Händels Direktionspartituren (‘Handexemplare’) (Hamburg, 1972)
  • A.D. Walker : George Frideric Handel: the Newman Flower Collection in the Henry Watson Music Library (Manchester, 1972)
  • W. Dean : ‘Handel’s Early London Copyists’, Bach, Handel, Scarlatti: Tercentenary Essays, ed. P. Williams (Cambridge, 1985), 75–97; repr. in Essays on Opera (Oxford, 1990), 8–21
  • J. Simon, ed.: Handel: a Celebration of his Life and Times (London, 1985) [exhibition catalogue]
  • B. Baselt : Verzeichnis der Werke Georg Friedrich Händels: Kleine Ausgabe (Leipzig, 1986)
  • T. Crawford : ‘Lord Danby’s Lute Book: a New Source of Handel’s Hamburg Music’, Göttinger Händel Beiträge, 2 (1986), 19–50
  • J.H. Roberts, ed.: Handel Sources: Materials for the Study of Handel’s Borrowing (New York, 1986)
  • G. Coke : ‘Music Manuscripts in Major Private Collections’, The Gerald Coke Handel Collection (Reading, 1988) [introduction by W. Dean]
  • K. Beisswenger : ‘Eine Messe Antonio Lottis in Händels Notenbibliothek: zur Identifizierung des Kyrie in g-moll (hwv 244) und des Gloria in G-dur (hwv 245)’, Mf, 42 (1989), 353–6
  • D. Burrows : ‘In Pursuit of “Lost” Handel Autographs’, Göttinger Händel-Beiträge, 3 (1989), 188–94
  • E.T. Harris, ed.: The Librettos of Handel’s Operas (New York, 1989)
  • Handel Collections and their History: London 1990 [incl. G. Beeks: ‘The Chandos Collection’, 137–57; D. Burrows: ‘The Barrett Lennard Collection’, 108–136; H.D. Clausen: ‘The Hamburg Collection’, 10–28; W. Dean: ‘The Malmesbury Collection’ 29–38; A. Hicks: ‘The Shaftesbury Collection’, 87–107; J.M. Knapp: ‘The Hall Collection’, 171–83; H.J. Marx: ‘The Santini Collection’, 184–97; J.H. Roberts: ‘The Aylesford Collection’, 39–85; K. Watanabe: ‘The Music-Paper used by Handel and his Copyists in Italy 1706–1710’, 198–226; P. Young: ‘The Shaw-Hellier Collection’, 153–70]
  • L. Bianconi and G. La Face Bianconi, eds.: I libretti italiani di Georg Friedrich Händel e le loro fonti (Florence, 1992–)
  • D. Burrows : ‘The “Granville” and “Smith” Collections of Handel Manuscripts’, Sundry Sorts of Music Books: Essays on the British Library Collections, ed. C. Banks, A. Searle and M. Turner (London, 1993), 231–47
  • D. Burrows and M.J. Ronish : A Catalogue of Handel’s Musical Autographs (Oxford, 1994)
  • D. Burrows and W. Shaw : ‘Handel’s “Messiah”: Supplementary Notes on Sources’, ML, 76 (1995), 356–68
  • R.G. King : ‘New Light on Handel’s Musical Library’, MQ, 81 (1997), 109–38
  • D. Burrows : ‘A “Lost” Handel Autograph Recovered’, Göttinger Händel-Beiträge, 7 (1998), 81–5
C: Biographies, biographical sources
  • J. Mainwaring : Memoirs of the Life of the Late George Frederic Handel (London, 1760)
  • J. Mattheson : Georg Friedrich Händels Lebensbeschreibung (Hamburg, 1761/R)
  • C. Burney : An Account of the Musical Performances […] in Commemoration of Handel (London, 1785/R)
  • [W. Coxe]: Anecdotes of George Frederick Handel and John Christopher Smith (London, 1799)
  • H. Townsend : An Account of the Visit of Handel to Dublin: with Incidental Notices of his Life and Character (Dublin, 1852)
  • V. Schoelcher : The Life of Handel (London, 1857/R)
  • F. Chrysander : Georg Friedrich Händel (Leipzig, 1858–67/R, 2/1919); index, S. Flesch (Leipzig, 1967)
  • J.O. Opel : Mitteilungen zur Geschichte der Familie des Tonkünstlers Händel (Halle, 1885)
  • R.A. Streatfeild : Handel (London, 1909, 2/1910/R)
  • R.A. Streatfeild : Handel, Canons and the Duke of Chandos (London, 1916)
  • O.E. Deutsch : Handel: a Documentary Biography (London, 1955/R); rev. Ger. trans., in Händel-Handbuch, iv (Leipzig, 1985)
  • H. Becker : ‘Die frühe hamburgische Tagespresse, als musikgeschichtliche Quelle’, Beiträge zur hamburgischen Musikgeschichte, ed. H. Husmann (Hamburg, 1956), 22–45
  • W. Braun : ‘Beiträge zu G.F. Händels Jugendzeit in Halle (1685–1703)’, Wissenschaftliche Zeitschrift der Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg: gesellschafts- und sprachwissenschaftliche Reihe, 8 (1958–9), 851–62
  • J.S. Hall : ‘Handel among the Carmelites’, Dublin Review, 233 (1959), 121
  • A. Mann : ‘Eine Kampositionslehre van Händel’, HJb 1964–5, 35–57
  • P.H. Lang : George Frideric Handel (New York, 1966/R)
  • U. Kirkendale : ‘The Ruspoli Documents on Handel’, JAMS, 20 (1967), 222–73, 517–8
  • W. Dean : ‘Charles Jennens’s Marginalia to Mainwaring’s Life of Handel’, ML, 53 (1972), 160–64
  • C. Timms : ‘Handel and Steffani: a New Handel Signature’, MT, 114 (1973), 374–7
  • W. Dean : ‘An Unrecognized Handel Singer: Carlo Arrigoni’, MT, 118 (1977), 556–8
  • J. Milhous and R.D. Hume : ‘Box Office Reports for Five Operas Mounted by Handel in London 1732–1734’, Harvard Library Bulletin, 26 (1978), 245–66
  • M. Keynes : ‘Handel’s Illnesses’, The Lancet (1980), 2, 1354–5
  • D. Burrows : Handel and the English Chapel Royal during the Reigns of Queen Anne and King George I (diss., Open U., 1981)
  • J. Milhous and R.D. Hume : ‘New Light on Handel and the Royal Academy of Music in 1720’, Theatre Journal, 35 (1983), 149–67
  • J. Milhous and R.D. Hume : ‘Handel’s Opera Finances in 1732–3’, MT, 125 (1984), 86–9
  • G. Beeks : ‘“A Club of Composers”: Handel, Pepusch and Arbuthnot at Cannons’, Handel Tercentenary Collection: London 1985, 209–21
  • G. Beeks : ‘Handel and Music for the Earl of Carnarvon’, Bach, Handel, Scarlatti: Tercentenary Essays, ed. P. Williams (Cambridge, 1985), 1–20
  • D.J. Burrows : ‘Handel and Hannover’, Bach, Handel, Scarlatti: Tercentenary Essays, ed. P. Williams (Cambridge, 1985), 35–59
  • J. Greenacombe : ‘Handel’s House: a History of Nr. 25 Brook Street, Mayfair’, London Topographical Record, 25 (1985), 111–30
  • C. Hogwood : Handel (London, 1985/R) [chronological table by A. Hicks]
  • J. Keates : Handel: the Man and his Music (London, 1985)
  • H. McLean : ‘Bernard Granville, Handel and the Rembrandts’, MT, 126 (1985), 593–601
  • H. McLean : ‘Granville, Handel and some Golden Rules’, MT, 126 (1985), 662–5
  • J. Simon, ed.: Handel: A Celebration of his Life and Times 1685–1759, National Portrait Gallery, 8 Nov 1985 – 23 Feb 1986 (London, 1985) [exhibition catalogue]
  • R. Strohm : Essays on Handel and Italian Opera (Cambridge, 1985)
  • C. Taylor : ‘Handel’s Disengagement from the Italian Opera’, Handel Tercentenary Collection: London 1985, 165–81
  • A. Furnari : ‘I rapporti tra Händel e i duchi d’Alvito’, Händel e gli Scarlatti a Roma (Florence, 1987), 73–8
  • W. Braun : ‘George Friedrich Händel und Gian Gastone von Toskana’, HJb 1988, 109–21
  • R. Smith : ‘The Achievements of Charles Jennens (1700–1773)’, ML, 70 (1989), 161–89
  • J.H. Roberts : ‘Keiser and Handel at the Hamburg Opera’, HJb 1990, 63–87
  • R.D. Hume and D. Burrows : ‘George I, the Haymarket Opera Company and Handel’s “Water Music”’, EMc, 19, (1991), 323–41
  • R.G. King : ‘Handel’s Travels in the Netherlands in 1750’, ML, 72 (1991), 372–86
  • C. Vitali and A. Furnari : ‘Händels Italienreise — neue Dokumente, Hypothesen und Interpretationen’, Göttingen Händel-Beiträge, 4 (1991), 41–66
  • J. Riepe and others: ‘“Il Pianto di Maria” (hwv234): Rezeption, Überlieferung und musikwissenschaftliche Fiktion’, Göttinger Händel-Beiträge, 5 (1992), 270–307
  • M. Cole : ‘A Handel Harpsichord’, EMc, 21 (1993), 99–109
  • D. Burrows : Handel (Oxford, 1994)
  • R. Dunhill : Handel and the Harris Circle (Hampshire, 1995)
  • J.H. Roberts : ‘A New Handel Aria, or Hamburg Revisited’, Georg Friedrich Händel: ein Lebensinhalt: Gedenkschrift für Bernd Baselt (1934–1993), ed. K. Hortschansky and K. Musketa (Kassel, 1995), 113–30
  • A.M. Hughes and M. Royalton-Kirsch : ‘Handel’s Art Collection’, Apollo, 146, no.427 (1997), 17–23
  • T. McGeary : ‘Handel, Prince Frederick and the Opera of the Nobility Reconsidered’, Göttinger Händel-Beiträge, 7 (1998), 156–79
D: Works: General
  • G.G. Gervinus : Händel und Shakespeare: zur Ästhetik der Tonkunst (Leipzig, 1868)
  • G.A. Macfarren : ‘The Accompaniment of Recitative’, MT, 15 (1871–3), 687–9
  • J.S. Shedlock : ‘Handel’s Borrowings’, MT, 42 (1901), 450–52, 526–8, 596–600, 756
  • J.S. Shedlock : ‘Handel and Habermann’, MT, 45 (1904), 805–6
  • S. Taylor : The Indebtedness of Handel to Works by other Composers (Cambridge, 1906/R)
  • M. Seiffert : ‘Händels Verhältnis zu Tonwerken älterer deutscher Meister’, JbMP 1907, 41–57
  • M. Seiffert : ‘G.Ph. Telemanns Musique de table als Quelle für Händel’, Bulletin de la Société ‘Union musicologique’, 4 (1924), 1–28
  • H.G. Farmer : Handel’s Kettledrums and Other Papers on Military Music (London, 1950/R, 2/1960)
  • G. Abraham, ed.: Handel: a Symposium (London, 1954/R)
  • W. Dean : ‘Handel and Keiser: Further Borrowings’, CMc, no.9 (1969), 73–80
  • S. Wollenberg : ‘Handel and Gottlieb Muffat: a Newly Discovered Borrowing’, MT, 113 (1972), 448–9
  • A. Hicks : ‘Handel’s Early Musical Development’, PRMA, 103 (1976–7), 80–89
  • D. Burrows : ‘Handel and the Foundling Hospital’, ML, 58 (1977), 269–84
  • W. Dean : ‘The Performance of Recitative in Late Baroque Opera’, ML, 58 (1977), 389–402; repr. in Essays on Opera (Oxford, 1990), 78–90
  • E.T. Harris : Handel and the Pastoral Tradition (Oxford, 1980)
  • W. Weber : ‘Intellectual Bases of the Handelian Tradition, 1759–1800’, PRMA, 108 (1981–2), 100–14
  • J.H. Roberts : ‘Handel’s Borrowings from Telemann: an Inventory’, Göttinger Händel-Beiträge, 1 (1984), 147–71
  • B. Baselt : ‘Handel and his Central German Background’, Handel Tercentenary Collection: London 1985, 42–60
  • P. Brainard : ‘Aria and Ritornello: New Aspects of the Comparison Handel/Bach’, Bach, Handel, Scarlatti: Tercentenary Essays, ed. P. Williams (Cambridge, 1985), 21–33
  • G.J. Buelow : ‘The Case for Handel’s Borrowings: the Judgement of Three Centuries’, Handel Tercentenary Collection: London 1985, 61–82
  • D. Burrows : ‘Handel’s London Theatre Orchestra’, EMc, 13 (1985), 349–57
  • J.H. Roberts : ‘Why did Handel Borrow?’, Handel Tercentenary Collection: London 1985, 83–92
  • J.H. Roberts : Handel Sources: Materials for the Study of Handel’s Borrowing (New York, 1985–7)
  • G. Buelow : ‘Handel’s Borrowing Techniques: some Fundamental Questions Derived from a Study of “Agrippina” (Venice, 1709)’, Göttinger Händel-Beiträge, 2 (1986), 105–28
  • J.H. Roberts : ‘Handel’s Borrowings from Keiser’, Göttinger Händel-Beiträge, 2 (1986), 51–76
  • J.H. Roberts : ‘Handel and Charles Jennens’ Italian Opera Manuscripts’, Music and Theatre: Essays in Honour of Winton Dean, ed. N. Fortune (Cambridge, 1987), 159–202
  • J.T. Johnson : ‘The Rules for “Through Bass” and for Tuning Attributed to Handel’, EMc, 17 (1989) 70–77
  • J.P. Rogers : Continuo Realization in Handel’s Vocal Music (Ann Arbor, 1989)
  • R. Emans : ‘Die Duette von Giovanni Carlo Maria Clari und ihre Transformationen im Werke Georg Friedrich Händels’, Relazioni musicali tra Italia e Germania nell’età barocca: Loveno di Menaggio 1995, 411–31
  • J.H. Roberts : ‘German Chorales in Handel’s English Works’, HJb 1996–7, 77–100
  • D. Burrows, ed.: The Cambridge Companion to Handel (Cambridge, 1997)
E: Operas: General
  • R.A. Streatfeild : ‘Handel, Rolli, and Italian Opera in London in the Eighteenth Century’, MQ, 3 (1917), 428–45
  • I. Leux : ‘Über die “verschollene”, Händel-Oper “Hermann von Balcke”’, AMw, 8 (1926), 441–51
  • R. Steglich : ‘Die neue Händel-Opern-Bewegung’, HJb 1928, 71–158
  • E.J. Dent : ‘Handel on the Stage’, ML, 16 (1935), 174–87
  • W. Schulze : Die Quellen der Hamburger Oper 1678–1738 (Hamburg, 1938)
  • J. Eisenschmidt : Die szenische Darstellung der Opern Händels auf der Londoner Bühne seiner Zeit (Wolfenbüttel, 1940–41)
  • H.C. Wolff : Die Händel-Oper auf der modernen Bühne (Leipzig, 1957)
  • B. Trowell : ‘Handel as a Man of the Theatre’, PRMA, 88 (1961–2), 17–30
  • R. Brockpähler : Handbuch zur Geschichte der Barockoper in Deutschland (Emsdetten, 1964)
  • E. Dahnk-Baroffio : ‘Die Völkerwanderungsopern und Händels “Olibrio”’, Festschrift der Händelfestspiele 1969, 29–43
  • W. Dean : Handel and the Opera Seria (Berkeley, 1969)
  • J.M. Knapp and E. Dahnk-Baroffio : ‘Titus l’Empereur’, Festschrift der Händelfestspiele 1970, 27–31
  • W. Dean : ‘A French Traveller’s View of Handel’s Operas’, ML, 55 (1974), 172–8; repr. in Essays on Opera (Oxford, 1990), 38–44
  • R. Strohm : ‘Händels Pasticci’, AnMc, no.14 (1974), 208–67; Eng. trans. in Essays on Handel and Italian Opera (Cambridge, 1985), 164–211
  • R. Strohm : ‘Händel und seine italienischen Operntexte’, HJb 1975–6, 101–59; Eng. trans. in Essays on Handel and Italian Opera (Cambridge, 1985), 34–79
  • R. Strohm : ‘Francesco Gasparini: le sue opere tarde e Georg Friedrich Händel’, Francesco Gasparini (1661–1727): Camaiore 1978, 71–83
  • B. Baselt : ‘Wiederentdeckung von Fragmenten aus Händels verschollenen Hamburger Opern’, HJb 1983, 7–24
  • T. Best : ‘Handel’s Overtures for Keyboard’, MT, 126 (1985), 88–90
  • G. Bimberg : Dramaturgie der Händel-Opern (Halle, 1985)
  • L. Lindgren : ‘The Staging of Handel’s Operas in London’, Handel Tercentenary Collection: London 1985, 93–119
  • C. Taylor : ‘Handel’s Disengagement from the Italian Opera’, Handel Tercentenary Collection: London 1985, 165–81
  • H. Meynell : The Art of Handel’s Operas (New York, 1986)
  • W. Dean and J.M. Knapp : Handel’s Operas 1704–1726 (Oxford, 1987, rev., 1995)
  • E. Gibson : The Royal Academy of Music 1719–1728 (New York, 1989)
  • E.T. Harris, ed.: The Librettos of Handel Operas: a Collection of 71 Librettos Documenting Handel’s Operatic Career (New York, 1989–)
  • C.S. LaRue : Handel and his Singers: the Creation of the Royal Academy Operas, 1720–1728 (Oxford, 1995)
  • S. McCleave : ‘Marie Sallé as Muse: Handel’s Mimic Dance Music’, The Consort, 51 (1995), 13–23
  • S. McCleave : ‘Handel’s Unpublished Dance Music: a Perspective on his Approach to Composition’, Göttinger Händel-Beiträge, 6 (1997), 127–42
F: Operas: Individual
    Admeto
    • G. Ellinger : ‘Handels Admet und seine Quelle’, VMw, 1 (1885), 201–24
    • B. Baselt : ‘Zur Gestaltung des Alceste-Stoffes in Händels Oper Admeto ’, Georg Friedrich Händel im Verständnis des 19. Jahrhunderts: Halle 1983, 74–92
    • H.D. Clausen : ‘Händels Admeto und Bononcinis Astianatte: Antike Tragödie an der Royal Academy of Music’, Göttinger Händel-Beiträge, 6 (1997), 143–70
    Agrippina
    • H.C. Wolff : ‘Agrippina’: eine italienische Jugendoper von Georg Friedrich Händel (Wolfenbüttel, 1943)
    • H.F. Redlich : ‘Handel’s Agrippina (1709): Problems of a Practical Edition’, MR, 12 (1951), 15–23
    • Teatro Malibran, Venice 1985 [programme book for Agrippina]
    • H.S. Saunders : ‘Handel’s Agrippina: the Venetian Perspective’, Göttinger Händel-Beiträge, 3 (1989), 87–98
    Alcina
    • L’avant-scène opéra, no.130 (1990) [Alcina issue]
    • W. Dean : ‘The Making of Alcina ’, ‘Con che soavità’: Studies in Italian Opera, Song and Dance, 1580–1740, ed. I. Fenlon and T. Carter (Oxford, 1995), 312–19
    Alessandro
    • W. Dean : ‘Zur Oper Alessandro von Georg Friedrich Händel’, Concerto, 2/3 (1985), 47–51
    • R. King : The Composition and Reception of Handel’s ‘Alessandro’ (1726) (diss., Stanford U., 1991)
    • W. Dean : ‘ Rossane: Pasticcio or Handel Opera’, Göttinger Händel Beiträge, 7 (1998), 142–55
    Almira
    • R.F.C. Fenton : ‘ Almira (Hamburg, 1705): the Birth of G.F. Handel’s Genius for Characterisation’, HJb 1987, 109–31
    • W. Braun : ‘Der “Almira”-Stoff in den Vertonungen von Ruggiero Fedeli, Reinhard Keiser und Georg Friedrich Händel’, HJb 1990, 139–46
    • J.H. Roberts : ‘Keiser and Handel at the Handel Opera’, HJb 1990, 63–88
    • D. Schröder : ‘Zur Entstehung und Aufführungsgeschichte von Händels Oper “Almira”’, HJb 1990, 147–54
    Amadigi di Gaula
    • D.R.B. Kimbell : ‘The “Amadis” Operas of Destouches and Handel’, ML, 49 (1968), 329–46
    • W. Dean : ‘Vocal Embellishment in a Handel Aria’, Studies in Eighteenth-Century Music: a Tribute to Karl Geiringer, ed. H.C.R. Landon and R.E. Chapman (London, 1970), 151–9; repr. in Essays on Opera (Oxford, 1990), 22–9
    • W. Dean : ‘The Musical Sources for Handel’s Teseo and Amadigi ’, Slavonic and Western Music: Essays for Gerald Abraham, ed. M.H. Brown and R.J. Wiley (Ann Arbor and Oxford, 1985), 63–80
    • W. Dean : ‘A New Source for Handel’s Amadigi ’, ML, 72 (1991), 27–37
    Arianna in Creta
    • E. Dahnk-Baroffio : ‘Das Libretto der Oper “Ariadne”’, Göttinger Händel-Opern Festspiele (Göttingen, 1946), 16
    • R. Kubik : ‘Die Fassungen von “Arianna in Creta” (hw32) Überlegungen zum Werkbegriff der Opera seria’, Gattungskonventionen der Händel-Oper: Karlsruhe 1990 and 1991, 159–70
    Ariodante
    • E. Dahnk-Baroffio : ‘Zur Stoffgeschichte des Ariodante ’, HJb 1960, 151–61
    Atalanta
    • W. Dean : ‘Handel’s “Atalanta”’, Sundry Sorts of Music Books: Essays on the British Library Collections (London, 1993), 215–30
    Ezio
    • G. Bimberg : ‘Dramaturgische Strukturmomente in den “Ezio”- Opern von Händel und Gluck’, Georg Friedrich Händel als Wegbereiter der Wiener Klassik: Halle 1977, 41–6
    • R. Strohm : ‘Handel, Metastasio, Racine: the Case of “Ezio”’, MT, 118 (1977), 901–3
    • R. Strohm : ‘Handel’s Ezio ’, Essays on Handel and Italian Opera (Cambridge, 1985), 225–31
    Flavio
    • E. Dahnk-Baroffio : ‘Zum Textbuch von Händels Flavio ’, Festschrift der Händelfestspiele 1967, 37–40
    • J.M. Knapp : ‘Händels Oper Flavio’, Festschrift der Händelfestspiele 1967, 25–33
    Floridante
    • H.D. Clausen : ‘Die Entstehung der Oper Floridante ’, Göttinger Händel-Beiträge, 4 (1991), 108–33
    Giove in Argo [Jupiter in Argos]
    • J.M. Coopersmith : ‘The Libretto of Handel’s Jupiter in Argos ’, ML, 17 (1936), 289–96
    • B. Baselt : ‘Georg Friedrich Händels Pasticcio Jupiter in Argos und seine quellenmässige Überlieferung’, Festschrift Martin Ruhnke zum 65. Geburtstag (Neuhausen-Stuttgart, 1986), 19–30
    Giulio Cesare in Egitto
    • J.M. Knapp : ‘Handel’s Giulio Cesare in Egitto ’, Studies in Music History: Essays for Oliver Strunk, ed. H. Powers (Princeton, NJ, 1968/R), 389–403
    • C. Monson : ‘ Giulio Cesare in Egitto from Sartorio (1677) to Handel (1724)’, ML, 66 (1985), 313–43
    • L’avant-scène opéra, no.97 (1987) [Giulio Cesare issue]
    Giustino
    • E. Prout : ‘Graun’s Passion Oratorio and Handel’s Knowledge of it’, MMR, 24 (1894), 97–9, 121–3
    • R. Strohm : ‘Vivaldi’s and Handel’s Settings of Giustino ’, Music and Theatre: Essays in Honour of Winton Dean, ed. N. Fortune (Cambridge, 1987), 131–58
    • R. Bossard : ‘Von San Luca nach Covent Garden: die Wege des Giustino zu Händel’, Göttinger Händel-Beiträge, 4 (1991), 146–73
    Imeneo
    • C. Hill : Handel’s ‘Imeneo’: a Pre-Edition Study (Armidale, NSW, 1988)
    Muzio Scevola
    • W. Siegmund-Schultze : ‘Händel’s “Muzio Scevola”’, Festschrift der Händelfestspiele 1965, 27–35
    Oreste
    • B. Baselt : ‘Dramaturgische und szenische Aspekte der Coventgarden Opern Händels, dargestellt an der Oper Oreste (1734)’, Händel auf dem Theater: Karlsruhe 1986 and 1987, 133–42
    • B. Baselt : ‘Zum Libretto von Händels Oper Oreste ’, HJb 1988, 7–55
    Orlando
    • S. Flesch : ‘Händels “Orlando”’, Festschrift der Händelfestspiele 1961, 42
    • E.T. Harris : ‘Eighteenth-Century Orlando: Hero, Satyr and Fool’, Opera & Vivaldi, ed. M. Collins and E.K. Kirk (Austin, TX, 1984), 105–28
    • Teatro La Fenice 1985 [programme book for Orlando]
    • R. Strohm : ‘Comic Traditions in Handel’s Orlando ’, Essays on Handel and Italian Opera (Cambridge, 1985), 249–69
    • W. Feinstein : ‘Dorinda as Ariostean Narrator in Handel’s Orlando ’, Italica, 64 (1987), 561–71
    Ottone
    • C. Spitz : ‘Die Opern “Ottone” von G.F. Händel und “Teofane” von A. Lotti’, Festschrift zum 50. Geburtstag Adolf Sandberger (Munich, 1918), 265–71
    • W. Dean : ‘The Genesis and Early History of Ottone ’, Göttinger Händel-Beiträge, 2 (1986), 129–40
    • F. McLauchlan : ‘Lotti’s “Teofane” (1719) and Handel’s “Ottone” (1723): a Textual and Musical Study’, ML, 78 (1997), 349–90
    Il pastor fido
    • D. Chisholm : ‘The English Origins of Händel’s Pastor Fido ’, MT, 115 (1974), 650–54
    Poro
    • G. Bimberg : ‘Die Figurenkonzeption in Händels Oper Poro, re dell’Indie ’, Probleme der Handelschen Oper: Halle 1981, 82–93
    • G. Cummings : ‘The London Performances of Handel’s Opera Poro ’, Probleme der Handelschen Oper: Halle 1981, 62–81
    • R. Strohm : ‘Metastasios Alessandro nell’Indie und seine frühesten Vertonungen’, Probleme der Handelschen Oper: Halle 1981, 40–61; Eng. trans. in Essays on Handel and Italian Opera (Cambridge, 1985), 232–48
    • G. Cummings : ‘Reminiscence and Recall in Three Early Settings of Metastasio’s Alessandro nell’Indie ’, PRMA, 109 (1982–3), 80–104
    Radamisto
    • W. Gwacharija : ‘Die historischen Grundlagen von G.F. Händels Oper Radamisto ’, G.F. Händel und seine italienischen Zeitgenossen: Halle 1979, 59–65
    • W. Dean : ‘Mattheson’s Arrangement of Handel’s Radamisto for the Hamburg Opera’, New Mattheson Studies, ed. G.J. Buelow and H.J. Marx (Cambridge, 1985), 169–78; repr. in Essays on Opera (Oxford, 1990), 30–37
    • J. Milhous and R.D. Hume : ‘A Prompt Copy of Handel’s Radamisto ’, MT, 127 (1986), 316–21
    • M. Bucciarelli : ‘ Radamisto’s Theatrical Sources and their Influence on Handel’s Creative Process’, Göttinger Händel Beiträge, 7 (1998), 119–42
    Riccardo primo
    • W. Dean : ‘Handel’s Riccardo primo ’, MT, 105 (1964), 498–500
    • E. Dahnk-Baroffio : ‘Händels “Riccardo primo” in Deutschland’, 50 Jahre Göttinger Händel-Festspiele: Festschrift, ed. W. Meyerhoff (Kassel, 1970), 150–66
    • R. Gerlach and E. Dahnk-Baroffio : ‘Über Georg Friedrich Händels Oper Riccardo I’, Festschrift der Händelfestspiele 1970, 75–88
    • J.M. Knapp : ‘The Autograph of Handel’s Riccardo primo ’, Studies in Renaissance and Baroque Music in Honor of Arthur Mendel, ed. R.L. Marshall (Kassel and Hackensack, NJ, 1974), 331–58
    • A. McCredie : ‘The Early Reception of Handel’s London Operas on the German Stage – the Case of Riccardo Primo ’, Göttinger Händel-Beiträge, 3 (1989), 124–38
    Rinaldo
    • R. Kubik : Händel’s Rinaldo: Geschichte, Werk, Wirkung (Stuttgart, 1982)
    • L’avant-scène opéra, no.72 (1985) [Rinaldo issue]
    • Teatro Municipale Valli Reggio Emilia 1985 [programme book for Rinaldo]
    • C. Price : ‘English Traditions in Handel’s Rinaldo ’, Handel Tercentenary Collection: London 1985, 120–37
    Rodelinda
    • E. Dahnk-Baroffio : ‘Nicola Hayms Anteil an Händels Rodelinde-Libretto’, Mf, 7 (1954), 295–300
    • U. Etscheit : Händels ‘Rodelinda’: Libretto, Komposition, Rezeption (New York, 1998)
    Rodrigo [Vincer se stesso è la maggior vittoria]
    • J.M. Knapp : ‘Handel’s First Italian Opera: “Vincer se stesso è la maggior vittoria”, or “Rodrigo”’, ML, 62 (1981), 12–29; see also 385–6
    • A. Hicks : ‘The Late Additions to Handel’s Oratorios and the Role of the Younger Smith’, Music in Eighteenth-Century England: Essays in Memory of Charles Cudworth, ed. C. Hogwood and R. Luckett (Cambridge, 1983), 147–69 [refers to lost Rodrigo arias]
    Scipione
    • W. Dean : ‘Handel’s Scipione ’, MT, 108 (1967), 902–4
    • P. Brainard : ‘“Wie ernst Händel das Wort nimmt”: Adaptations, “Outtakes” and Other Matters in “Scipione”’, De musica et cantu: Studien zur Geschichte der Kirchenmusik und der Oper: Helmut Hucke zum 60. Geburtstag, ed. P. Cahn and A.-K. Heimer (Hildesheim, 1993), 495–511
    Serse
    • H.S. Powers : ‘Il Serse trasformato’, MQ, 47 (1961), 481–92; xlviii (1962), 73–92
    • W. Dean : ‘Handel’s Serse ’, Opera and the Enlightenment, ed. T. Bauman and M.P. McClymonds (Cambridge, 1995), 135–67
    Silla
    • J.M. Knapp : ‘The Libretto of Handel’s “Silla”’, ML, 50 (1969), 68–75
    • D. Chisholm : ‘Handel’s Lucio Cornelio Silla: its Problems and Context’, EMc, 14 (1986), 64–70
    Siroe
    • S. Flesch : ‘Einige Bemerkungen zu Händels Oper Siroe ’, Festschrift der Halle Festspiele 1952–62 (1962), 35–44
    Sosarme
    • W. Dean : ‘Handel’s Sosarme, a Puzzle Opera’, Essays on Opera and English Music in Honour of Sir Jack Westrup, ed. F.W. Sternfeld, N. Fortune and E. Olleson (Oxford, 1975), 115–47; repr. in Essays on Opera (Oxford, 1990), 45–73
    Tamerlano
    • J.M. Knapp : ‘Handel’s Tamerlano: the Creation of an Opera’, MQ, 56 (1970), 405–30
    • T. Best : ‘New Light on the Manuscript Copies of Tamerlano ’, Göttinger Händel-Beiträge, 4 (1991), 134–45
    Teseo
    • D.R.B. Kimbell : ‘The Libretto of Handel’s Teseo ’, ML, 44 (1963), 371–9
    • W. Dean : ‘The Musical Sources for Handel’s Teseo and Amadigi ’, Slavonic and Western Music: Essays for Gerald Abraham, ed. M.H. Brown and R.J. Wiley (Ann Arbor and Oxford, 1985), 63–80
    Masques and musical dramas
    • W.B. Squire : ‘Handel’s Semele ’, MT, 66 (1925), 137–9
    • W. Dean : Handel’s Dramatic Oratorios and Masques (London, 1959/R)
    • E. Dahnk-Baroffio : ‘Zu Aci e Galatea’, Göttinger Händeltage 1966, 41
    • W. Dean : ‘Masque into Opera’, MT, 108 (1967), 605–6 [on Acis and Galatea]
    • W. Dean : ‘How Should Handel’s Oratorios be Staged?’, Musical Newsletter, 1/4 (1971), 11–15
    • A. Hicks : ‘Ravishing Semele’, MT, 114 (1973), 275–80, 696 only
    • P. Rogers : ‘Dating Acis and Galatea ’, MT, 114 (1973), 792 only
    • A. Lewis : ‘Some Notes on Editing Handel’s “Semele”’, Essays on Opera and English Music in Honour of Sir Jack Westrup, ed. F.W. Sternfeld, N. Fortune and E. Olleson (Oxford, 1975), 79–83
    • W. Windzus : Georg Friedrich Händel – Aci, Galatea e Polifemo, Cantata von 1708; Acis and Galatea, Masque von 1718 … Serenata von 1732: Kritischer Bericht im Rahmen der Hallischen Händel-Ausgabe (Hamburg, 1977)
    • B. Trowell : ‘ Acis, Galatea and Polyphemus: a “serenata a tre voci”?’, Music and Theatre: Essays in Honour of Winton Dean, ed. N. Fortune (Cambridge, 1987), 31–93
G: Oratorios, other vocal works
  • F. Chrysander : ‘Händels Orgelbegleitung zu Saul’, Jb für musikalische Wissenschaft, 1 (1863), 408–28
  • F. Chrysander : ‘Der Bestand der königlichen Privatmusik und Kirchenkapelle in London von 1710 bis 1755’, VMw, 8 (1892), 514–34
  • F. Chrysander : Händels Biblische Oratorien in geschichtlicher Betrachtung (Hamburg, 1897)
  • E. Bernoulli : Quellen zum Studium Händelscher Chorwerke (Leipzig, 1906)
  • A. Beyschlag : ‘Über Chrysanders Bearbeitung des Händel’schen Messias und über die Musikpraxis zur Zeit Händels’, Die Musik, 10/3 (1910–11), 143–58
  • E. Bredenförder : Die Texte der Händel-Oratorien (Leipzig, 1934)
  • J. Herbage : Messiah (London 1948/R)
  • R.M. Myers : Handel’s Messiah: a Touchstone of Taste (New York, 1948)
  • P.M. Young : The Oratorios of Handel (London, 1949)
  • W. Braun : ‘B.H. Brockes’ “Irdisches Vergnügen in Gott” in den Vertonungen G.Ph. Telemanns und G.Fr. Händels’, HJb 1955, 42–71
  • R.M. Myers : Handel, Dryden and Milton (London, 1956)
  • J.P. Larsen : Handel’s Messiah: Origins, Composition, Sources (London, 1957, 2/1972/R)
  • H.C. Wolff : ‘Die Lucretia-Kantaten von Benedetto Marcello und Georg Friedrich Händel’, HJb 1957, 74–88
  • W. Braun : ‘Echtheits- und Datierungsfragen im vokalen Frühwerk Georg Friedrich Händels’, Händel-Ehrung der Deutschen Demokratischen Republik: Halle 1959, 61–71
  • W. Braun : ‘Zur Choralkantate “Ach Herr, mich armen Sünder”’, HJb 1959, 100–06
  • W. Dean : Handel’s Dramatic Oratorios and Masques (London, 1959/R)
  • L. Finscher : ‘Händels “Belsazar”’, Göttinger Händelfestspiele 1959, 16
  • J.S. Hall : ‘The Problem of Handel’s Latin Church Music’, MT, 100 (1959), 197–200
  • F. Raugel : ‘Händels französische Lieder’, Händel-Ehrung der Deutschen Demokratischen Republik: Halle 1959, 115–25
  • E. Zanetti : ‘A proposito di tre sconosciute cantate inglesi’, RaM, 29 (1959), 129–42
  • R. Ewerhart : ‘New Sources for Handel’s La Resurrezione’, ML, 41 (1960), 127–35
  • J. Tobin : Handel at Work (London, 1964)
  • W. Shaw : A Textual and Historical Companion to Handel’s ‘Messiah’ (London, 1965)
  • M. Boyd : ‘La solitudine: a Handel Discovery’, MT, 109 (1968), 1111–14
  • J. Tobin : Handel’s Messiah (London, 1969)
  • J. Müller-Blattau : ‘Händels Festkantate zur 500-Jahr Feier der Stadt Elbing 1737’, 50 Jahre Göttinger Händel-Festspiele, ed. W. Meyerhoff (Kassel, 1970), 120–32
  • B. Trowell : ‘Congreve and the 1744 Semele Libretto’, MT, 111 (1970), 993–4; see also A. Hicks: ‘Letter’, MT, 111 (1970), 1219 only
  • D. Burrows : ‘Handel’s Peace Anthem’, MT, 114 (1973), 1230–32
  • E. Dahnk-Baroffio : ‘Jephtha und seine Tochter’, Festschrift der Händelfestspiele 1974, 54 only
  • H. Frederichs : Das Verhältnis von Text und Musik in den Brockespassionen Keisers, Händels, Telemanns und Matthesons (Munich, 1975)
  • H.J. Marx : ‘Ein Beitrag Händels zur Accademia Ottoboniana in Rom’, HJbMw, 1 (1975), 69–86
  • C.A. Price : ‘Handel and the Alchemist’, MT, 116 (1975), 787–8
  • M.R. Brownell : ‘Ears of an Untoward Make: Pope and Handel’, MQ, 62 (1976), 554–70
  • A. Hicks : ‘Handel’s Music for Comus’, MT, 117 (1976), 28–9
  • H.D. Johnstone : ‘The Chandos Anthems: the Authorship of no.12’, MT, 117 (1976), 601–3; see also 129 (1988), 459
  • G. Beeks : The Chandos Anthems and Te Deum of George Frideric Handel (diss., U. of California, Berkeley, 1977)
  • D. Burrows : ‘Handel and the 1727 Coronation’, MT, 118 (1977), 469–73
  • J.S.M. Mayo : Handel’s Italian Cantatas (diss., U. of Toronto, 1977)
  • G. Beeks : ‘Handel’s Chandos Anthems: the “Extra” Movements’, MT, 119 (1978), 621–3
  • W. Windszus : Georg Friedrich Händel: Aci, Galatea e Polifemo, Cantata von 1708 – Acis und Galatea, Masque von 1718 – Acis und Galatea, italienisch-englische Serenata von 1732: Kritischer Bericht im Rahmen der Hallischen Händel-Ausgabe (Hamburg, 1979)
  • D. Burrows : Handel and the English Chapel Royal during the Reigns of Queen Anne and King George I (diss., Open U., 1981)
  • A. Hicks : ‘The Late Additions to Handel’s Oratorios and the Role of the Younger Smith’, Music in Eighteenth-Century England: Essays in Memory of Charles Cudworth, ed. C. Hogwood and R. Luckett (Cambridge, 1983), 147–69
  • E. Derr : ‘Handel’s Procedures for Composing with Materials from Telemann’s Harmonischer Gottes-Dienst in Solomon ’, Göttinger Händel-Beiträge, 1 (1984), 116–46
  • M.A. Parker-Hale : ‘Die frühe Fassung von Händels “Laudate pueri”: Fragen der stilistischen und chronolgischen Einordnung’, HJb 1984, 11–19
  • D. Chisholm : ‘New Sources for the Libretto of Handel’s “Joseph”’, Handel Tercentenary Collection: London 1985, 182–208
  • G. Dixon : ‘Handel’s Vesper Music: Towards a Liturgical Reconstruction’, MT, 126 (1985), 393–7
  • G. Hendrie : ‘Handel’s “Chandos” and Associated Anthems: an Introductory Survey’, Bach, Handel, Scarlatti: Tercentenary Essays, ed. P. Williams (Cambridge, 1985), 149–59
  • W. Shaw : ‘Handel’s Vesper Music: some MS Sources Rediscovered’, MT, 126 (1985), 392–3
  • W. Shaw : ‘Some Original Performing Material for Handel’s Latin Church Music’, Göttinger Händel-Beiträge, 2 (1986), 226–33
  • G. Dixon : ‘Handel’s Music for the Carmelites: a Study in Liturgy and some Observations on Performance’, EMc, 15 (1987), 16–29
  • A. Hicks : ‘Handel, Jennens and “Saul”: Aspects of a Collaboration’, Music and Theatre: Essays in Honour of Winton Dean, ed. N. Fortune (Cambridge, 1987), 203–27
  • C. Hill : Handel’s ‘Imeneo’, a Pre-Edition Study (Armidale, University of New England, New South Wales, 1987)
  • B. Trowell : ‘ Acis, Galatea and Polyphemus: a “serenata a tre voci”?’, Music and Theatre: Essays in Honour of Winton Dean, ed. N. Fortune (Cambridge, 1987), 31–93
  • H.J. Kreutzer : ‘Das Libretto zu Händels “Messias” und seine deutschen Übersetzungen’, Festschrift Wolfgang Rehm, ed. Von Dietrich Berke and H. Heckmann (1989), 62–9
  • D. Burrows : Handel: Messiah (Cambridge, 1991)
  • R. Luckett : Handel’s Messiah: a Celebration (London, 1992)
  • C. Gianturco : ‘“Il trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno”: Four Case-Studies in Determining Italian Poetic-Musical Genres’, JRMA, 119 (1994), 43–59
  • D. Burrows : ‘Handel’s 1738 “Oratorio”: a Benefit für Pasticcio’, Georg Friedrich Händel: ein Lefensinhalt Gedenkshrift Bernd Baselt, ed. K. Hortschansky and K. Musketa (Halle, 1995), 11–38
  • E.T. Harris : ‘Paper, Performing Practice, and Patronage: G. F. Handel’s Alto Cantatas in the Bodleian Library’, Festa musicologica: Essays in Honor of George J. Buelow, ed. T.J. Mathiesen and B.V. Rivera (Stuyvesant, NY, 1995), 53–78
  • E. Rosand : ‘Handel Paints the Resurrection’, Festa musicologica: Essays in Honor of George J. Buelow, ed. T.J. Mathiesen and B.V. Rivera (Stuyvesant, NY, 1995), 7–52
  • R. Smith : Handel’s Oratorios and Eighteenth-Century Thought (Cambridge, 1995)
  • R. Smith : ‘The Meaning of Morell’s Libretto of “Judas Maccabaeus”’, ML, 79 (1998), 27–49
H: Instrumental works
  • W.B. Squire : ‘Handel’s Clock Music’, MQ, 5 (1919), 538–52
  • F. Ehrlinger : G.F. Händels Orgelkonzerte (Würzburg, 1940)
  • G.A. Walter : ‘Unbekannte Klaviercompositionen von G.F. Händel’, SMz, 82 (1942), 141–4
  • N.K. Nielsen : ‘Handel’s Organ Concertos Reconsidered’, DAM, 3 (1963), 3–26
  • G. Pestelli : ‘Haendel e Alessandro Scarlatti’, RIM, 7 (1972), 103–14
  • S. Sadie : Handel Concertos (London, 1972)
  • B. Baselt : ‘Muffat and Handel: a Two-Way Exchange’, MT, 120 (1979), 904–7
  • D. Losacki and T. Best : ‘A New Flute Sonata by Handel’, EMc, 9 (1981), 307–11
  • A. Silbiger : ‘Scarlatti Borrowings in Handel’s Grand Concertos’, MT, 125 (1984), 93–5
  • T. Best : ‘Handel’s Chamber Music: Sources, Chronology and Authenticity’, EMc, 13 (1985), 476–99
  • T. Best : ‘Handel’s Overtures for Keyboard’, MT, 126, (1985), 88–90
  • H.J. Marx : ‘The Origins of Handel’s Opus 3: a Historical Review’, Handel Tercentenary Collection: London 1985, 254–70
  • P. Williams : ‘Interpreting One of Handel’s Free Preludes for Harpsichord’, EMc, 13 (1985), 506–13
  • D. Ellwood : ‘Handel’s Use of Scarlatti’s Essercizi per Gravicembalo in his Opus 6’, Göttinger Händel-Beiträge, 3 (1989), 170–87
  • D. Burrows : ‘Handel, the Dead March and a Newly Identified Trombone Movement’, EMc, 18 (1990), 408–16
  • G. Poppe : ‘Eine bisher unbekannte Quelle zum Oboenkonzert g-Moll hwv287’, HJb 1993, 225–35
Dresden, Sächsische Staatsoper, Notenbibliothek [in D-Dl]
Brussels, Conservatoire Royal, Bibliothèque, Koninklijk Conservatorium, Bibliotheek
Schweizerische Musikzeitung/Revue musicale suisse
Rheda, Fürst zu Bentheim-Tecklenburgische Musikbibliothek [on loan to D-MÜu]
Rivista italiana di musicologia
London, Royal College of Music, Library
Hamburger Jahrbuch für Musikwissenschaft
Manchester, Central Library, Henry Watson Music Library
London, British Library
Monthly Musical Record
Analecta musicologica
Journal of the American Musicological Society
Dresden, Sächsische Landesbibliothek - Staats- und Universitäts-Bibliothek, Musikabteilung
Archiv für Musikwissenschaft
J. Hawkins: A General History of the Science and Practice of Music (London, 1776)
Musical Times
Budapest, Országos Széchényi Könyvtár
Hanover, Stadtbibliothek, Musikbibliothek
Rostock, Universität, Universitätsbibliothek
Rassegna musicale
Wiesentheid, Musiksammlung des Grafen von Schönborn-Wiesentheid
Journal of the Royal Musical Association
Music & Letters
Early Music
Reading, University, Music Library
Proceedings of the Royal Musical Association
Leipzig, Leipziger Städtische Bibliotheken, Musikbibliothek
Music Review
Händel-Jahrbuch
Vierteljahrsschrift für Musikwissenschaft
Die Musikforschung
H. Smither: A History of the Oratorio (Chapel Hill, NC, 1977-)
Oxford, Bodleian Library
Münster, Santini-Bibliothek [in D-MÜp]
Current Musicology
Washington, DC, Library of Congress, Music Division
Venice, Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana
Musical Quarterly
C. Burney: A General History of Music from the Earliest Ages to the Present Period (London, 1776-89); ed. F. Mercer (London, 1935/R) [p. nos. refer to this edn]
Vienna, Minoritenkonvent
London, Foundling Museum: Gerald Coke, private collection
Cambridge, Fitzwilliam Museum, Dept of Manuscripts and Printed Books
San Marino (CA), Huntington Library
Copenhagen, Kongelige Bibliotek
Jahrbuch der Musikbibliothek Peters
Uppsala, Universitetsbiblioteket
Dansk aarbog for musikforskning
London, Royal College of Organists
Agen, Archives Départementales de Lot-et-Garonne
Zürich, Zentralbibliothek
J. Mattheson: Grundlage einer Ehren-Pforte (Hamburg, 1740); ed. Max Schneider (Berlin, 1910/R)
Paderborn, Erzbischöfliche Akademische Bibliothek [in D-HRD]
Rome, Conservatorio di Musica S Cecilia