Sheet music

Pergolesi/Magatagan/BSG: Stabat Mater Dolorosa quartet

4 parts3 pages04:463 years ago2,137 views
Violin(2), Viola, Cello
Perhaps this is supremely arrogant. Starting from Mike Magatagan's beautiful string quartet arrangement (https://musescore.com/mike_magatagan/scores/814576), I crafted my own, which does not really pretend to be a "correction" of Mike's work, but of Pergolesi's. Going through Mike's arrangement, I found that the majority of details I found I could not abide were not Mike's, but Pergolesi's, in particular, vast passages of no-thought viola "writing" simply doubling the bass, which happens throughout the Stabat Mater ("col basso" often appears in a 1749 score on IMSLP), and occasionally the viola just flops submissively into the bass.

This betrays more than the usual quantum of arrogance, for not only am I "improving" one of the best-loved movements of the Baroque, then and now (Jean-Jacques Rousseau called it "the most perfect and touching duet by any composer" [Wikipedia]), but I am also dealing with a previous attempt to do so by a certain Herr Bach, the cantor of St. Thomas' in Leipzig, who rewrote this masterpiece on the basis of similar objections.

Oddly, this Herr Bach did very, very little to the first movement (BWV 1083), and left it pretty much as Pergolesi had it; in other movements, he slashed away and added all kinds of interest. But not in the iconic first movement. So I have taken the arrogant liberty of "finishing" his work by the wholesale rewrite of the viola part with new thematic and harmonic material.

It is humbling to think that even the greatest Baroque composers other than Bach were all rough approximations to Bach (even if they didn't know it).

In the work as I have left it today (7 May 2015), I have essentially added a third actor to the given screenplay, to the canonic duo of suspension ("dum pendebat"?) chains (first stated in the upper parts in mm. 1-5), and the walking bass, adding a viola dolorosa lamenting in poignant "sighing" figures (sospiri), adding suspended sevenths and fourths and appoggiature to complement Pergolesi's sparse rhythm and harmony. I have exploited (and added) figures in the upper parts, importing them into the viola at other times and intervals, all the tighter to bind the whole.

See what you think.

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"Tech notes"

Pergolesi’s original calls for two vocal parts (performances differ on whether they be soli or chori) in addition to the strings; his two violins double the vocal parts when the latter sing; the texture is basically a trio, and the viola is like a third wheel, which he occasionally commits to doubling the bass for measures at a stretch, and other times commits to half-note riffs strewn with questionable doublings and barely hidden fifths (the latter I have left alone). In Mike’s quartet texture, the viola is more exposed and cannot duck responsibility as in Pergolesi’s, and to this end I have written the present active part. Students of canon will realize that the famous chain of 3-2 suspensions and jumps of upward fourths which opens the movement is actually a canon at the second (cf., the “Recordare” from Mozart’s “Requiem”). I have generally left the two violins/soli alone, but for correcting some bad doubling in m. 21, reorganizing 31 and 42 for a better viola part (and eliminating spurious doublings), and, notably, supplying mm. 14-15 with an anticipation and “explaining” appoggiature to remedy what I considered an unacceptable tritone (Bb->E upward) in Pergolesi’s score, meanwhile promoting the canon with parallel dissonance resolutions for a very Bachian effect. I rewrote the double-counterpoint in 19-21 to be correct, restoring Pergolesi's theme and countermelody and adding some gratuitous rhythmic interest.

[5/5/2015 - I restored Pergolesi's bass rhythms, inserted strategic eighth-rests in the viola part to complement the former, borrowed Mike's superlative Bb-Ab trill for m.17, all'8va, and added a bit more. I added complexity to P's half-note viola riffs to mitigate the hidden fifths, and add more opportunities for motivic imitation).

JSB/Mike Magatagan/BSG: Schafe können sicher weiden (BWV 208.9)

4 parts5 pages06:243 years ago1,041 views
Violin(2), Viola, Cello
This is my rewrite of Mike Magatagan's string quartet arrangement of the famous aria of safely grazing sheep from the Hunting Cantata, BWV 208.

Mike has graciously allowed me to correct and enhance his work. My goals here are multiple: to help Mike learn Bachian counterpoint, to enjoy myself, and to post what is now my own work, too; perhaps others can learn.

I followed certain ground rules: I did not look at Bach's original--I fixed up Mike's work, not Bach's work. I kept the bass line and violin 1 as Mike had them; I more or less gutted the second violin and added my own, and rewrote the viola heavily. A few times I left entire measures intact (as it were).

The technical goals of the rewrite were primarily to fix various sorts of large and small contrapuntal errors; the largest ones were Mike simply duplicating Violin 1 or Viola in violin 2 for a half a measure at a time, and there were ubiquitous unison and octave duplicate gestures, which I remedied, often with simple long notes. There were many missed opportunities for vacant contrapuntal space (resulting in overcrowding!) which I exploited, particularly adding classic suspensions and classic resolutions of 6-4-2's, and enhanced awareness of JSB's beloved half-diminished sevenths (6 5 flat).

A second goal was to add interest to the composition over and above what both Bach and Mike had: spicing it with imitations of the recorder head motif, the vocal head motif, and new secondary motifs contributing to measure-by-measure sequences. At one point, mm 12-15, perhaps a bit too ostentatious, where Mike had silence, I was able to supply a canon at the seventh. I even disconnected parallel-sixth head-motif passages from Bach in order to construct a more interesting four-voice texture (Bach's original was basically three-voiced).

I strove to keep as much of Mike's architecture and detail as possible, unless I had something sufficiently better to say. There may still be "bugs" unfixed, or even new ones I introduced. Fortunately, this site facilitates score revisions without corrupting dates/stats, etc.

There is a huge echo of the texture of the eponymous opening aria of BWV 54, "Widerstehe doch der Sünde" hovering about.

Mike and others, enjoy/compare.

Mike's original is https://musescore.com/mike_magatagan/scores/821476 .
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This concerns one specific score by @Mike Magatagan namely the score https://musescore.com/mike_magatagan/scores/3004231If you click "Download" and choose "PDF including Parts"  the returned document is not a PDF but a "Not Found" error in XML format such as:  <Error><Code>NoSuchKey</Code><Message>The specified key does not exist.</Message><Key>3004231/8628087/18f138fc27/general-parts/score-parts.pdf</Key><RequestId>7C02B5365F83A247</RequestId><HostId>++UrE4WzPLQL6n4nqY64Q5aoi88wzvJjJqfSUqDiw2DSzJYIpfHzp0IE6RMQiDFkoGyv5AujhOA=</HostId></Error> All other export formats work fine.As a test I've downloaded that score in mscz format, opened it up with musescore 2.3.2 and used "Save online" to save it privately into my account (private url https://musescore.com/jeetee/scores/5304581 ). From there I can download the PDF with parts without issues.Mike already tried to "update" his score by resaving the score to his account; we were hoping this would force the musescore server to regenerate this PDF. Alas this seems to not work.Can someone on your end ( @Ximich or @abruhanov probably) debug this and/or force the server to generate that file?Thanks!

Bach/Magatagan (continuo by BSG): Ihr Kleingläubigen (BWV 81, #4)

3 parts2 pages01:263 years ago348 views
Viola, Other Woodwinds, Cello
Continuo realization added to Mike Magatigan's (unmodified) viola/cello arrangement of the bass arioso from BWV 81 "Ihr Kleinglåubigen, warum seid ihr so furchtsam?" (https://musescore.com/mike_magatagan/scores/908336) .

With Mike's kind permission and encouragement, I have added Bach's original figures (from the Bachgesellschaft Ausgabe, on IMSLP) and realized them for MS's Panflötenkammerorgel, shifting the mood ever so slightly back from "sonata di camera" to "sonata di chiesa". I have followed Bach's figuring, er, religiously, only occasionally introducing passing-tones. The little dactyl ("BAAMP-dada") figures in the continuo in contrary motion to those in the bass, effectively exchanging voices (e.g., C# and A#), are a standard technique to avoid parallel motions on both sides of their beat, and add a great deal of interest (so I added a couple other than in that context, to promote motivic integrity).

Note that while continuo realizations are required to operate in mutual "credible" counterpoint with their bass, they are not considered "three more voices to the composition increasing its voice-complexity by three", but are freely allowed to double (occasionally), even to highlight, obbligato voices gestures, as do JSB cantata instrumental parts (which can also double continuously). Although Mike's 81/4 works just fine as chamber music, the authentic sound of this type of movement requires a stylistically appropriate continuo as I provide here. Skilled continuo improvisers (e.g., the Man himself) were reputed to play continuo parts that sounded like composed concerti (not de facto ensemblewise appropriate, IMO).

While realizing this continuo, I felt Bach's guiding hand insofar as any "problem" I had ("where will this voice go? where will this voice come from?") was always answered by careful thought about the surrounding figures, evidence that Bach thought about the harmony and counterpoint as a whole, even in a two-voiced movement, further evidence of what all the books tell us, that we must imagine and explain the harmony in our head even when composing in two voices. It figures.

I have analyzed the abundant internal references by imitation at all pitches in this wonderful short composition here https://musescore.com/user/1831606/scores/911596.

"Point of No Return" for Flute & Harp

2 parts2 pages01:405 years ago26,292 views
Flute, Harp
"Point of No return" is a "Debussyesque" manifestation that has been floating around inside my head for some time now...

I created this piece for Flute and Concert (Pedal) Harp.

"Entry of the Gladiators" (Thunder & Blazes) for Piano

1 part6 pages03:086 years ago40,700 views
Julius Fučík (pronounced "Foo-chick") was a Czech composer who lived from 1872 – 1916 and was a conductor of military bands. Today his marches are still played as patriotic music in the Czech Republic. However, his worldwide reputation rests on this one work: the Opus 68 march, the Entrance of the Gladiators (Vjezd gladiátorů), which is universally recognized, often under the title "Thunder and Blazes", as one of the most popular theme tunes for circus clowns.

"Entrance of the Gladiators" or "Entry of the Gladiators" was originally titled it "Grande Marche Chromatique," reflecting the use of chromatic scales throughout the piece, but changed the title based on his personal interest in the Roman Empire.
The piece is a little longer than this but the rest is not so familiar to most people.

Although originally created for band, this arrangement is for the acoustic grand piano and It is best played using the "GeneralUser GS.sf2" Soundfont by S. Christian Collins Software (http://www.schristiancollins.com/generaluser.php).

Baroque Trill Styles Chart

1 part2 pages00:366 years ago30,198 views
Piano
The trill (or shake, as it was known from the 16th until the 19th century) is a musical ornament consisting of a rapid alternation between two adjacent notes, usually a semitone or tone apart, which can be identified with the context of the trill. It is sometimes referred to by the German triller, the Italian trillo, the French trille or the Spanish trino. A cadential trill is a trill associated with a cadence.

In the baroque period, a number of signs indicating specific patterns with which a trill should be begun or ended were used. In the Klavierbüchlein für Wilhelm Friedemann Bach, Johann Sebastian Bach lists a number of these signs together with the correct way to interpret them. Unless one of these specific signs is indicated, the details of how to play the trill are up to the performer. In general, however, trills in this period are executed beginning on the auxiliary note, before the written note, often producing the effect of a harmonic suspension which resolves to the principal note. But, if the note preceding the ornamented note is itself one scale degree above the principal note, then the dissonant note has already been stated, and the trill typically starts on the principal note.

Several trill symbols and techniques common in the Baroque and early Classical period have fallen entirely out of use, including for instance the brief Pralltriller, represented by a very brief wavy line, referred to by Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach in his Essay on the True Art of Playing Keyboard Instruments (Versuch) (1753–1762).

Beyond the baroque period, specific signs for ornamentation are very rare. Continuing through the time of Mozart, the default expectations for the interpretation of trills continued to be similar to those of the baroque. In music after the time of Mozart, the trill usually begins on the principal note.

All of these are only rules of thumb, and, together with the overall rate of the trill and whether that rate is constant or variable, can only be determined by considering the context in which the trill appears, and is usually to a large degree a matter of opinion with no single "right" way of executing the ornament.
"Echo Duet" for Flute & Oboe
Video

"Echo Duet" for Flute & Oboe

2 parts2 pages02:255 years ago9,868 views
Flute, Oboe
Jenne Van Antwerpen (http://musescore.com/user/53615) and I created this piece as a brisk duet for two woodwinds (flute & oboe). It is set in a canonistic style and meant to invoke images of a mountain echo because, in the mountains, there's always an echo. Before there was phone or internet or texting, people used yodeling or whistling to send messages from one top of the mountain to another and of course; with an echo! It is still used today as fail-safe warning for avalanches.

This piece was created for Flute & Oboe Duet and is intended to be performed fast!

"This is My Song" (Finlandia Hymn)

1 part2 pages04:196 years ago23,096 views
"This Is My Song" was penned in 1934 by Lloyd Stone to the tune of Jean Sibelius' Finlandia. The final verse was added in 1939 by Georgia Harkness and remains in the United Methodist Hymnal as Hymn # 437. It is sometimes called "A Song of Peace" which is taken from the second line of the song.

This arrangement was created for the Sierra Vista United Methodist Church (SVUMC) organ.

"Come, Sweet Death, Come Blessed Rest" (BWV 478) for Organ and Choir

5 parts5 pages08:226 years ago17,274 views
Voice(4), Organ
"Come, Sweet Death, Come Blessed Rest" (Komm, süßer Tod, komm selge Ruh) was originally written by Johann Sebastian Bach for solo voice and basso continuo from the 69 Sacred Songs and Arias that he contributed to Georg Christian Schemelli's Musicalisches Gesangbuch (Schemelli Gesangbuch No. 868 -- BWV 478) edited by Georg Christian Schemelli in 1736.

Source: Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Komm,_s%C3%BC%C3%9Fer_Tod,_komm_selge_Ruh).

For most of these sacred songs, Bach had only to devise bass lines and figured bass indications -- the melodies selected were old and famous Lutheran tunes. Komm, süßer Tod, however, is an exception. The song has five verses, written around 1724 by some unknown poet, each of which begins which the text "Komm, süßer (süsser) Tod, komm selige Ruh" (Come, sweet death; come, blessed rest), and each of which is set to the same eight short phrases of triple-meter music. Its melody is known in no other source than the Schmelli Gesang-Buch, and it is generally believed that Bach wrote the piece from scratch. (There are two or three other entries in the Gesang-Buch that seem also to have been newly composed) .

Those familiar with ordinary German chorales will find themselves on familiar ground with Komm, süsser Tod, but its solo vocal line seems especially to exemplify Bach's supremely confident devotional side. Bach, by means of melody and harmony, expresses the desire for death and heaven.A beautiful orchestral version of this piece was made by Leopold Stokowski in 1946 (see VideoScore); it opens with all the strings muted except for a solo cello that "sings" the melody.

In my own inexperienced interpretation, the lyrics read more like a suicide note or death wish than other pieces from this time. It really seems to express the misery with things in the world and longing to end the suffering. Perhaps it was the loss of his beloved wife Maria Barbara Bach or the loss of many of his children. This piece touches me; sad to think of the suffering of a great master like this. One listener offered, "This is not a death wish in the way we normally think of it but the deep longing of a devout man of God desiring to be with his Savior. The music pulls forward and back just as the Apostle Paul was torn between the desire to be useful here on earth yet more to be with his Lord. In this piece the tension ebbs and flows until the final resolution gives full release."

I created this arrangement for Pipe Organ and created English lyrics for Choir (SATB).
"Sicilienne" (Opus 78) for Flute and Piano
Video

"Sicilienne" (Opus 78) for Flute and Piano

2 parts5 pages02:526 years ago16,968 views
Flute, Piano
The "Sicilienne" is among Gabriel Fauré's most familiar pieces; it began life as an orchestral sketch in March 1893, intended as incidental music for a revival of Molière's Le Bourgeois gentilhomme at Paul Porel's Eden-Théâtre. Left incomplete as that establishment went bankrupt, Fauré rounded it off and arranged it for cello and piano only in 1898, even as he passed the score along to his pupil Charles Koechlin to orchestrate as an item in the incidental music for a London production of Maeterlinck's Pelléas et Mélisande, where it introduces the scene at the beginning of Act Two, in which Mélisande's wedding ring slips from her finger and disappears into a well as she plays gently with Pelléas -- a use for which it seems predestined. In this form it was first heard with the play's opening at the Prince of Wales' Theatre on June 21, 1898, with Fauré conducting. Given its effectiveness, it was inevitable that Fauré should have included it among the four numbers of his Pelléas et Mélisande Suite, heard for the first time on December 1, 1912, conducted by André Messager. The common practice of publishers in issuing multiple arrangements of works likely to catch on -- for piano, or piano and solo instrument -- ensured that the Sicilienne's lilting wistfulness would become known around the world in the version for cello and piano, published in London by Metzler and Hamelle in Paris in 1898. Like a zephyr, the Sicilienne, with its hypnotically fluid melody carried, as it were, on waves of soothing arpeggiation, evokes a mood of mildly delirious nostalgia. If all music, as Vladimir Jankélévitch has remarked, is nostalgic in a certain manner, the Sicilienne is nostalgic music par excellence, for it embodies a truly existential, or perhaps mysterious, yearning for some undefined, imagined place, a Sicily in the luxuriant realm of dreams.

Although originally written for Cello and Piano, I transcribed his work for Flute and Piano.

"Ave Maria" for Piano & Flute

2 parts3 pages046 years ago15,806 views
Flute, Piano
"Ave Maria" is a popular and much recorded aria composed by Vladimir Vavilov around 1970. It is a musical hoax generally misattributed to Baroque composer Giulio Caccini.

Vavilov himself published and recorded it on the Melodiya label with the ascription to "Anonymous" in 1970. It is believed that the work received its ascription to Giulio Caccini after Vavilov's death, by an organist Mark Shakhin (one of its performers on the mentioned "Melodiya" longplay), who gave the "newly discovered scores" to other musicians; then in an arrangement made by the organist Oleg Yanchenko for the recording by Irina Arkhipova in 1987, then the piece came to be famous worldwide.
Nocturne (Op. 9 No. 2) in E-Flat Major for Viola & Piano
Video

Nocturne (Op. 9 No. 2) in E-Flat Major for Viola & Piano

2 parts4 pages03:023 years ago15,400 views
Viola, Piano
The Nocturnes, Op. 9 are a set of three nocturnes written by Frédéric Chopin between 1830 and 1832 and dedicated to Madame Camille Pleyel. The work was published in 1833.

Chopin composed this popular Nocturne in E-flat major, Op. 9, No. 2 when he was about twenty and it is in rounded binary form (A, A, B, A, B, A) with coda, C. The A and B sections become increasingly ornamented with each recurrence. The penultimate bar utilizes considerable rhythmic freedom, indicated by the instruction, senza tempo (without tempo). Nocturne in E-flat major opens with a legato melody, mostly played piano, containing graceful upward leaps which becomes increasingly wide as the line unfolds. This melody is heard again three times during the piece. With each repetition, it is varied by ever more elaborate decorative tones and trills. The nocturne also includes a subordinate melody, which is played with rubato.

A sonorous foundation for the melodic line is provided by the widely spaced notes in the accompaniment, connected by the damper pedal. The waltz like accompaniment gently emphasizes the 12/8 meter, 12 beats to the measure subdivided into four groups of 3 beats each.

The nocturne is reflective in mood until it suddenly becomes passionate near the end. The new concluding melody begins softly but then ascends to a high register and is played forcefully in octaves, eventually reaching the loudest part of the piece, marked fortissimo. After a trill-like passage, the excitement subsides; the nocturne ends calmly.

Although originally composed for solo piano, I created this arrangement for Solo Viola & Acoustic Piano.

"Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring" (BWV 147 No. 10) for Piano, Organ & Choir

4 parts9 pages02:497 years ago15,246 views
Voice(2), Percussion(2)
Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben (Heart and mouth and deed and life), BWV 147, is a church cantata by Johann Sebastian Bach. It was written originally in Weimar in 1716 (BWV 147a) for Advent and expanded in 1723 for the feast of the Visitation in Leipzig, where it was first performed on 2 July 1723.

Bach composed the cantata in his first year as Thomaskantor in Leipzig for the Marian feast "Mariae Heimsuchung" (Visitation). The prescribed readings for the feast day were Isaiah 11:1–5, the prophecy of the Messiah, and from the Gospel of Luke, Luke 1:39–56, Mary's visit to Elizabeth, including her song of praise, the "Magnificat". He used as a base a cantata in six movements composed in Weimar for the fourth Sunday in Advent. As Leipzig observed tempus clausum (time of silence) from Advent II to Advent IV, Bach could not perform the cantata for that occasion and rewrote it for the feast of the Visitation. The original words were suitable for a feast celebrating Mary in general; more specific recitatives were added, the order of the arias changed, and the closing chorale was replaced and repeated on a different verse to expand the cantata to two parts. The words are verses 6 and 16 of the hymn "Jesu, meiner Seelen Wonne" (1661) by Martin Jahn (de).

The opening chorus renders the complete words in three section, the third one a reprise of the first one and even the middle section not different in character. An instrumental ritornello is heard in the beginning and in the end as well as, slightly changed, in all three sections with the choir woven into it. In great contrast all three sections conclude with a part accompanied only by basso continuo. Sections one and three begin with a fugue with colla parte instruments. The fugue subject stresses the word Leben (life) by a melisma extended over three measures. The soprano starts the theme, the alto enters just one measure later, tenor after two more measures, bass one measure later, the fast succession resulting in a lively music as a good image of life. In section three the pattern of entrances is the same, but building from the lowest voice to the highest.

The three recitatives are scored differently, the first accompanied by chords of the strings, the second by continuo, the third as an accompagnato of two oboes da caccia which add a continuous expressive motive, interrupted only when the child's leaping in the womb (in German: Hüpfen) is mentioned which they illustrate.

The three arias of the original cantata are scored for voice and solo instruments (3., 5.) or only continuo, whereas the last aria, speaking of the miracles of Jesus, is accompanied by the full orchestra.

The chorale movements 6 and 10, ending the two parts of the cantata, are the same music based on a melody by Johann Schop, "Werde munter, mein Gemüthe", a melody which Bach also used in his St Matthew Passion on the words "Bin ich gleich von dir gewichen" (movement 40). The simple four-part choral part is embedded in a setting of the full orchestra dominated by a motive in pastoral triplets derived from the first line of the chorale melody.

Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring is the most common English title of this movement of the cantata and is one of Bach's most enduring works.

Although the cantata was scored for four soloists and a four-part choir, a festive trumpet, two oboes (oboe d'amore, oboe da caccia), two violins, viola and basso continuo including bassoon, I created this arrangement for Piano, Organ and Choir (SATB).
"Imagination" for Viola & Harp
Custom audio

"Imagination" for Viola & Harp

2 parts6 pages02:414 years ago3,015 views
Viola, Harp
The mind is infinite. Its beginnings and its endings are intangible. Thanks to God, our powerful imagination (the "MIND" of mankind) came into being - a new, completely unique mental power that is continuously exploring, discovering, and unraveling the mysteries of nature.

This work is my attempt (albeit amateurish) to portray the mind's insatiable curiosity and its ability to continually adapt and refine itself. To this end, I created this work originally in 2012 for Flute but have re-"imagined" it here today for Viola and Concert (Pedal) Harp.

Partita in C Minor (HWV 444 No. 19) for Violin & Guitar

2 parts5 pages07:498 months ago14,285 views
Violin, Guitar
Georg Friedrich Händel (1685 – 1759) was a true European. He had a German work ethic, Italian passion and a Dutch head for business. And after training in Germany and Italy, from 1711 he went on to win the hearts of the British. He wooed them with his many operas and oratorios, and with instrumental works like his Water Music and Music for the Royal Fireworks.

Yet during his lifetime, he was renowned not only as an organist, but also as one of the greatest harpsichordists of his day. The public couldn’t get enough of him on the harpsichord, either as a composer or a musician. Evidently times change. However, if we take a closer look at the period during which Handel settled in London, we soon see that people were occupied with the same issues then as they are today.

The signing of the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713 finally brought peace after a long period of war, and with it a lasting balance of power in Europe. It was a historic moment, comparable to the foundation of the European Union. Historic, partly because it was the first time a treaty had been signed not on the battle field but at the negotiating table. For Handel it was a fortunate development as it allowed him to move much more freely around Europe. At the same time, England had not done badly out of the peace deal it had struck in Utrecht. Welfare in the country increased, certainly in London.

Handel brought together new and old material, but just what was old and what was new we do not know. Probably some of the work dated from his student days in Germany, some from his years in Italy, and the new material from his time in London. The German folksongs in the Air of the Suite in D Minor and the Passacaille from the Suite in G Major could well have been composed in his German years, as could some of the Fugues. Little is written about this Chaconne & 49 Variations in C Major although they were likely written for Organ or Harpsichord.

According to Grove Music, Handel's keyboard pieces were "all probably for harpsichord and written before 1720, unless otherwise stated"; specifically for HWV 485, Grove says "for 2-manual hpd".

Source: Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Frideric_Handel).

Although originally written for Keyboard, I created this Arrangement of the Partita in C Minor (HWV 444 No. 19) for Violin & Classical Guitar.

Sonata in G Minor (HWV 360 Op. 1 No. 2) for Viola & Piano

2 parts8 pages08:452 years ago14,220 views
Viola, Piano
Most music lovers have encountered George Frederick Handel through holiday-time renditions of the Messiah's "Hallelujah" chorus. And many of them know and love that oratorio on Christ's life, death, and resurrection, as well as a few other greatest hits like the orchestral Water Music and Royal Fireworks Music, and perhaps Judas Maccabeus or one of the other English oratorios. Yet his operas, for which he was widely known in his own time, are the province mainly of specialists in Baroque music, and the events of his life, even though they reflected some of the most important musical issues of the day, have never become as familiar as the careers of Bach or Mozart. Perhaps the single word that best describes his life and music is "cosmopolitan": he was a German composer, trained in Italy, who spent most of his life in England.

The Sonata in G minor (HWV 360) was composed by George Frideric Handel for recorder and harpsichord (the autograph manuscript, a fair copy made most likely in 1712, gives this instrumentation in Italian: "flauto e cembalo"). The work is also referred to as Opus 1 No. 2, and was first published in 1732 by Walsh. Other catalogues of Handel's music have referred to the work as HG xxvii,9; and HHA iv/3,16.

Both the Walsh edition and the Chrysander edition indicate that the work is for recorder ("flauto"), and published it as Sonata II.

I created this arrangement for Viola & Piano.
"Dance of the Blessed Spirits" for Flute and Piano
Video

"Dance of the Blessed Spirits" for Flute and Piano

2 parts4 pages06:026 years ago14,001 views
Flute, Piano
The "Orfeo ed Euridice" (Orpheus and Eurydice) is an opera composed by Christoph Willibald Gluck based on the myth of Orpheus and set to a libretto by Ranieri de' Calzabigi.

Gluck's "Orfeo and Euredice", one of the turning points in the history of opera, received its premiere in Vienna on 5th October 1762. "Beautiful simplicity" was the phrase used by Gluck and his librettist Ranieri de Calzabigi for what they had set out to achieve, and the work without doubt offered the clearest challenge yet seen or heard to the moribund conventions of Italian "opera seria". Musically it proved to be a work of unparalleled directness, concise in its effects, plain in its speech, overwhelming in its impact.

The subject of the opera is the Orpheus of Greek mythology, the famous poet and singer who could charm wild animals with his music. When his wife Euradice died he followed her to Hades and won her back by his art with the condition that he should not look at her until he reached the world again. (He did, with predictably disastrous consequences!)

The Dance of the Blessed Spirits occurs in Act 2 of the opera, and consists of a 'roundelay' for strings with two flutes floating above the melody, a tune which nobody who has once heard it is likely to forget. The calm contemplative beauty of the Elysian Fields is perfectly captured by this music which is both tranquil yet at the same time seems to be somehow threaded with melancholy.

Although originally written for opera, this arrangement highlights the haunting elegance of the flute.

Chaconne in F Major (HWV 485) For String Quartet

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Violin(2), Viola, Cello
Georg Friedrich Händel (1685 – 1759) was a true European. He had a German work ethic, Italian passion and a Dutch head for business. And after training in Germany and Italy, from 1711 he went on to win the hearts of the British. He wooed them with his many operas and oratorios, and with instrumental works like his Water Music and Music for the Royal Fireworks.

Yet during his lifetime, he was renowned not only as an organist, but also as one of the greatest harpsichordists of his day. The public couldn’t get enough of him on the harpsichord, either as a composer or a musician. Evidently times change. However, if we take a closer look at the period during which Handel settled in London, we soon see that people were occupied with the same issues then as they are today.

The signing of the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713 finally brought peace after a long period of war, and with it a lasting balance of power in Europe. It was a historic moment, comparable to the foundation of the European Union. Historic, partly because it was the first time a treaty had been signed not on the battle field but at the negotiating table. For Handel it was a fortunate development as it allowed him to move much more freely around Europe. At the same time, England had not done badly out of the peace deal it had struck in Utrecht. Welfare in the country increased, certainly in London.

Handel brought together new and old material, but just what was old and what was new we do not know. Probably some of the work dated from his student days in Germany, some from his years in Italy, and the new material from his time in London. The German folksongs in the Air of the Suite in D Minor and the Passacaille from the Suite in G Major could well have been composed in his German years, as could some of the Fugues. Little is written about this Chaconne & 49 Variations in C Major although they were likely written for Organ or Harpsichord.

According to Grove Music, Handel's keyboard pieces were "all probably for harpsichord and written before 1720, unless otherwise stated"; specifically for HWV 485, Grove says "for 2-manual hpd".

Source: Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Frideric_Handel).

Although originally written for Keyboard, I created this Interpretation of the Chaconne in F Major (HWV 485) for String Quartet (2 Violins, Viola & Cello).