Handel Pastorale et Theme avec Variations (Owens) - Digital Download

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Handel Pastorale et Theme avec Variations (Owens) - Digital Download

This composition, attributed to George Frideric Handel, though not listed. in catalogs of his works, was prepared from a reproduction of the work published in Vienna by Math. Artaria. The title page, curiously in French, reads Pastorate et Theme avec Variations pour Harpe ou Pianoforte compose par G. F. Haendel. A recent German edition does not include the Pastorate, which is one of the reasons it seemed appropriate to issue this edition.

The Pastorale begins in B-flat major, and if the final repeat is not observed, ends in g-minor, the key of the Theme and Variations. It is strangely angular in construction, not a smooth bucolic expression usually expected from Handel. Composers, even the old masters, of this period, indeed other periods as well, frequently equated the pianoforte with the harp. In as much as they were keyboard composers, often their works have awkward passages for the harp, and this is the case with the Pastorale. With judicious fingerings and some enharmonics, hopefully some of these difficulties have been relieved.

The Theme and the two Variations are two-part writing, a melody and what can be considered a figured bass. In this edition, harmonies have been realized and made more adaptable for the harp than for the keyboard. The Pastorale dynamics (f and p) are indicated sparingly in the Vienna copy and these are retained here. There are no indications at all for the Theme and Variations. These indications as well as suggested tempos have been provided by this editor.

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