George Frideric Handel’s powerful musical personality reveals itself not only in the large forms of opera, oratorio, and orchestral suite, but also in his compositions for keyboard. The focus here is on the eight Suites of his first printed collection from 1720, which by no means comprise standardised sequences of dance movements. On the contrary – free-form movements of great artistic weight predominate, inserting themselves between lighter dance pieces. Handel’s suites always display a distinctive individuality, and deserve a larger presence in our concert halls. We were able to engage Handel specialist Anthony Hicks as the editor of this Urtext edition.
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About the composer
Georg Friedrich Händel
He numbers among the most important composers of Italian operas and is a major proponent of the oratorio; his immense oeuvre also comprises concerti grossi and solo concertos, liturgical music, chamber music, and music for keyboard instruments. He worked in London.
|1685||Born in Halle (Saale) on February 23.|
|1702||Organist at the Palace Cathedral in Halle.|
|1703||Employed as a violinist, later as a harpsichordist, at the Oper am Gänsemarkt in Hamburg; premiere in 1705 of the opera “Der in Krohnen erlangte Glücks-Wechsel, oder: Almira, Königin von Castilien” (“The Change of Fortune Won in Crowns, or: Almira, Queen of Castile”).|
|1706–10||Stay in Italy, with opera performances.|
|1710||Employed as music director by the Elector of Hanover. The 1711 London premiere of “Rinaldo” is a great success. In 1712, he will travel once more to London, where he will remain for the rest of his life.|
|from 1720||Important position at the Royal Academy of Music, which he founded in 1717.|
|from 1724||Successful premieres of “Giulio Cesare in Egitto,” “Tamerlano,” “Rodelinda” in 1725, and “Alessandro” in 1726.|
|1728||After the dissolution of the Royal Academy of Music, Handel continues to lead his own company.|
|1733||Competition from the Nobility Opera, which is supported by the aristocracy. Premiere of “Orlando.”|
|1734||Engagement of a French ballet troupe to outdo the Nobility Opera. Integration of French elements into his own operas.|
|from 1735||Premiere of “Alcina,” “Giustino” in 1737, “Serse” in 1738 (containing the famous largo “Ombra mai fù”).|
|1736||Three “Water Music Suites,” HWV 348–350.|
|1739||Twelve “Concerti grossi,” Op. 6, after Corelli’s example.|
|1741||Unsuccessful premiere of the melodrama “Deidamia”. From then on, composition of oratorios, including “Messiah” (1741), “Judas Maccabaeus” (1746), and “Jephtha” (1751).|
|1749||“Music for the Royal Fireworks,” HWV 351.|
|1759||Death in London on April 14.|
About the authors
- Références aux sources très clairement présentées suite par suite.
- Beau papier et belle gravure
Edition Urtext de grande qualité, fidèle à l'édition originale et accessoirement à diverses sources manuscrites actuellement connues, très clairement présentée et accompagnée de quelques suggestions d'interprétation conformes aux coutumes de l'époque. L'une des meilleures éditions critiques aujourd'hui disponibles, qui s'adressera aux clavecinistes aussi bien qu'aux pianistes.