Concerto No. 1 in F Minor (Viola Part) from 6 Concerti Grossi - From 6 Concertos in 7 Parts
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The elegiac musette in E flat major is the crowning glory of the concerto, praised by the contemporary commentator Charles Burney , who described how Handel would often perform it as a separate piece during oratorios. In this highly original larghetto , Handel conjures up a long dreamy pastoral of some bars. Handel creates a unique dark texture of lower register strings over a drone bass, the traditional accompaniment for this dance, derived from the drone of the bagpipes.
This sombre theme alternates with contrasting spirited episodes on the higher strings. The movement divides into four parts: The following allegro is an energetic Italianate movement in the style of Vivaldi, with ritornello passages alternating with the virtuoso violin solo. It departs from its model in freely intermingling the solo and tutti passages after a central orchestral episode in D minor.
The seventh concerto is the only one for full orchestra: The first movement is a largo , ten bars long, which like an overture leads into the allegro fugue on a single note, that only a composer of Handel's stature would have dared to attempt. The theme of the fugue consists of the same note for three bars two minims, four crotchets, eight quavers followed by a bar of quaver figures, which with slight variants are used as thematic material for the entire movement, a work relying primarily on rhythm.
The two final movements are a steady andante with recurring ritornellos and a lively hornpipe replete with unexpected syncopation. The eighth concerto in C minor draws heavily on Handel's earlier compositions. Its form, partly experimental. There are six movements of great diversity. The opening allemande for full orchestra is a reworking of the first movement of Handel's second harpsichord suite from his third set No.
The short grave in F minor, with unexpected modulations in the second section, is sombre and dramatic. It is a true concerto movement, with exchanges between soloists and orchestra. The third andante allegro is original and experimental, taking a short four-note figure from Handel's opera Agrippina as a central motif. This phrase and a repeated quaver figure are passed freely between soloists and ripieno in a movement that relies on musical texture. The siciliana is similar in style to those Handel wrote for his operas, always marking moments of tragic pathos; one celebrated example is the soprano-alto duet Son nata a lagrimar for Sesto and Cornelia at the end of Act I of Giulio Cesare.
Its theme was already used in the aria "Love from such a parent born" for Michal from his oratorio Saul eventually discarded by Handel and recurs in the aria Se d'amore amanti siete for soprano and two alto recorders from Imeneo , each time in the same key of C minor. Some parts of the later thematic material seem like precursors of what Handel later used in Messiah in the pastoral symphony and in "He shall feed his flock".
At the close, following a passage where the two solo violins play in elaborate counterpoint over a statement of the main theme in the full orchestra, Handel, in a stroke of inspiration, suddenly has a simple piano restatement of the theme in the concertino leading into two bars of bare and halting muted tutti chords, before a concluding reprise of the theme by the full orchestra. The final allegro is a sort of polonaise in binary form for full orchestra. Its transparency and crispness result partly from the amalgamation of the second violin and viola parts into a single independent voice.
The ninth concerto grosso is the only one that is undated in the original manuscript, probably because the last movement was discarded for one of the previously composed concertos. Apart from the first and last movements, it contains the least quantity of freshly composed material of all the concertos. The opening largo consists of 28 bars of bare chords for full orchestra, with the interest provided by the harmonic progression and changes in the dynamic markings.
Stanley Sadie has declared the movement an unsuccessful experiment, although others have pointed out that the music nevertheless holds the listener's attention, despite its starkness. Previous commentators have suggested that perhaps an extra improvised voice was intended by Handel, but such a demand on a soloist would have been beyond usual baroque performing practices. The second and third movements are reworkings of the first two movements Handel's organ concerto in F major, HWV , often referred to as "The cuckoo and the nightingale", because of the imitation of birdsong.
The allegro is skillfully transformed into a more disciplined and broader movement than the original, while retaining its innovative spirit. The solo and orchestral parts of the original are intermingled and redistributed in an imaginative and novel way between concertino and ripieno. The "cuckoo" effects are transformed into repeated notes, sometimes supplemented by extra phrases, exploiting the different sonorities of solo and tutti players.
The "nightingale" effects are replaced by reprises of the ritornello and the modified cuckoo. The final organ solo, partly ad libitum , is replaced by virtuoso semiquaver passages and an extra section of repeated notes precedes the final tutti. The larghetto , a gentle siciliana , is similarly transformed. The first forty bars use the same material, but Handel makes a stronger conclusion with a brief return to the opening theme.
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For the fourth and fifth movements, Handel used the second and third parts of the second version of the overture to his still unfinished opera Imeneo. Both movements were transposed from G to F: The final gigue in binary form was left over from Op. The tenth Grand Concerto in D minor has the form a baroque dance suite , introduced by a French overture: The first movement, marked ouverture - allegro - lentement , has the form a French overture.
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The dotted rhythms in the slow first part are similar to those Handel used in his operatic overtures. The fugue leads into a short concluding lentement passage, a variant of the material from the start. The Air, lentement is a sarabande -like dance movement of noble and monumental simplicity, its antique style enhanced by hints of modal harmonies. The following two allegros are loosely based on the allemande and the courante. The scoring in the first allegro , in binary form , is similar in style to that of allemandes in baroque keyboard suites. The second allegro is a longer, ingeniously composed movement in the Italian concerto style.
There is no ritornello; instead the rhythmic material in the opening bars and the first entry in the bass line is used in counterpoint throughout the piece to create a feeling of rhythmic direction, full of merriment and surprises. The final allegro moderato in D major had originally been intended for the twelfth concerto, when Handel had experimented with the keys of D major and B minor. A cheerful gavotte -like movement, it is in binary form , with a variation or double featuring repeated semiquavers and quavers in the upper and lower strings. Charles Burney , .
The eleventh concerto was probably the last to be completed according to the date in the autograph manuscript. Handel chose to make this concerto an adaptation of his recently composed but still unpublished organ concerto HWV in A major: The ad libitum sections for organ are replaced by accompanied passages for solo violin. The order of the third and fourth movements was reversed so that the long andante became the central movement in the concerto grosso. The first two movements together have the form of a French overture.
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In the andante larghetto, e staccato the orchestral ritornellos with their dotted rhythms alternate with the virtuoso passages for upper strings and solo first violin. The following allegro is a short four-part fugue which concludes with the fugal subject replaced by an elaborated semiquaver version of the first two bars of the original subject. In the autograph score of the first of his organ concertos Op. An introductory six bar largo precedes the fourth movement, a long andante in Italian concerto form which forms the centre of the concerto.
The ritornello theme, of deceptive simplicity and quintessentially Handelian, alternates with virtuosic gigue-like passages for solo strings, in each reprise the ritornello subtly transformed but still recognizable. The final allegro is an ingenious instrumental version of a da capo aria , with a middle section in the relative minor key, F sharp minor. It incorporates the features of a Venetian conerto: Basil Lam , writing of the third movement in the last Grand Concerto .
The arresting dotted rhythms of the opening largo recall the dramatic style of the French overture, although the movement also serves to contrast the full orchestra with the quieter ripieno strings. The following highly inventive movement is a brilliant and animated allegro , a moto perpetuo.
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The busy semiquaver figure in the theme, passed constantly between different parts of the orchestra and the soloists, only adds to the overall sense of rhythmic and harmonic direction. This clarified the on-again, off-again nature of collaboration between the groups. The concerto grosso was both more economical and more articulate. It was economical in extracting all the concertino parts from the ripieno parts. There was no musical independence between the groups.
In performance, however, the ripieno sounded fuller not only when it involved more instruments but also because a part for viola s was added to the two violins and string bass or cello. Alternation between soli and tutti became more purposeful, ripieno refrains ritornelli became the norm, and the overall structure of the work was architecturally clear rather than, as in earlier decades, somewhat meandering. They do not occur in any of his other published works, but they show him to be devoted to enabling the instrument to be a full musical participant.
Viola parts in other and later times could be entirely perfunctory. Beyond the considerations of resulting sonority, Corelli provides some highly elaborated movements in both sections of Op. The first eight works are modeled on the sonata da chiesa , the "church" sonata. They have numerous changes of tempo but few extensive slow movements. Adagio and Largo passages are inclined to be short and transitional. The last four works are modeled on the sonata da camera , the "chamber" sonata. Most employ suite movements such as allemandes, sarabandes, correntes, and gigues.
They do not employ the fussy tempo contrasts allegro, adagio, et al.
The long-time favorite of Op. Note the differences in designating bass and basso continuo in the printed collections in the following table instrument names in parentheses indicate the lack of an independent part. As Friedrich Chrysander pointed out more than a century ago, the figuration implies the likelihood that a keyboard or theorbo was available to both the concertino and the ripieno groups, even though neither is specifically mentioned in the partbooks.
In Corelli's time the choices for Op. Encoding and edition by Edmund Correia, Jr. Rendering and web development incorporating software developed by Walter B. Hewlett by Craig Stuart Sapp. Retrieved from " http: Navigation menu Personal tools Log in. Views Read View source View history. This page was last modified on 6 January , at This page has been accessed , times. Violin sonata in D major, Op.
Violin sonata in C major, Op. Violin sonata in F major, Op.
12 Concerti Grossi, Op.6 (Handel, George Frideric)
Violin sonata in G minor, Op. Violin sonata in A major, Op. It has been debated what instrument Bach had in mind for the "fiauti d'echo" parts. Nowadays these are usually played on alto recorders,  although traverse flutes are sometimes used instead: In some performances, such as those conducted by Nikolaus Harnoncourt, the two recorders are positioned offstage, thus giving an "echo" effect. Bach adapted the 4th Brandenburg concerto as a harpsichord concerto, BWV The harpsichord is both a concertino and a ripieno instrument.
In the concertino passages the part is obbligato ; in the ripieno passages it has a figured bass part and plays continuo. This concerto makes use of a popular chamber music ensemble of the time flute, violin, and harpsichord , which Bach used on its own for the middle movement. It is believed [ by whom? It is also thought that Bach wrote it for a competition at Dresden with the French composer and organist Louis Marchand ; in the central movement, Bach uses one of Marchand's themes. Marchand fled before the competition could take place, apparently scared off in the face of Bach's great reputation for virtuosity and improvisation.
The concerto is well suited throughout to showing off the qualities of a fine harpsichord and the virtuosity of its player, but especially in the lengthy solo cadenza to the first movement. It seems almost certain that Bach, considered a great organ and harpsichord virtuoso, was the harpsichord soloist at the premiere.
Scholars have seen in this work the origins of the solo keyboard concerto as it is the first example of a concerto with a solo keyboard part. An earlier version, BWV a, exists, and has many small differences from its later cousin, but no major difference in structure or instrumentation. It is dated ca. The absence of violins is unusual.
Viola da braccio means the normal viola, and is used here to distinguish it from the viola da gamba. When the work was written in , the viola da gamba was already an old-fashioned instrument: Other theories speculate that, since the viola da braccio was typically played by a lower socioeconomic class servants, for example , the work sought to upend the musical status quo by giving an important role to a "lesser" instrument.
This is supported by the knowledge that Bach wished to end his tenure under Prince Leopold. By upsetting the balance of the musical roles, he would be released from his servitude as Kapellmeister and allowed to seek employment elsewhere. The two violas start the first movement with a vigorous subject in close canon , and as the movement progresses, the other instruments are gradually drawn into the seemingly uninterrupted steady flow of melodic invention which shows the composer's mastery of polyphony.
The two violas da gamba are silent in the second movement, leaving the texture of a trio sonata for two violas and continuo, although the cello has a decorated version of the continuo bass line. In the last movement, the spirit of the gigue underlies everything, as it did in the finale of the fifth concerto. Because King Frederick William I of Prussia was not a significant patron of the arts, Christian Ludwig seems to have lacked the musicians in his Berlin ensemble to perform the concertos.
The autograph manuscript of the concertos was only rediscovered in the archives of Brandenburg by Siegfried Wilhelm Dehn in ; the concertos were first published in the following year. The manuscript was nearly lost in World War II, when being transported for safekeeping to Prussia by train in the care of a librarian. The train came under aerial bombardment, and the librarian escaped the train to the nearby forest, with the scores hidden under his coat. In the modern era these works have been performed by orchestras with the string parts each played by a number of players, under the batons of, for example, Karl Richter and Herbert von Karajan.
They have also been performed as chamber music , with one instrument per part, especially by but not limited to groups using baroque instruments and sometimes more, sometimes less historically informed techniques and practice.