A fugal theme by handel

Hi there, your “daily contributor” is back again! :slight_smile:

This morning I was going through an edition I hardly play upon, Handel’s Keyboard Works vol. III, Terence Best ed., Bärenreiter 1970, 1-Sechs Fugen …, some of which are really good.

When I reached Fuga III, I immediately realised that I had heard that subject before, most likely played on the violins in an orchestral score, and (not sure about this) possibily NOT at the beginning: it is obviously an Italian-style Allegro, not in triple metre. It may be in B flat major or else in D or F major.

It is certainly not in either the Water Music or the Fireworks Music, both scores I know by heart. It is certainly not in any of Handel’s Operas, which I hardly know. I have checked my full Handel keyboard works, including the 60 Ouvertures in keyboard transcriptions, and also (cursorily) the Dover full collection of Concerti Grossi, but found nothing there.

I am sure it is a well-known work, it’s just that my memory is not as good as I would like …

Thanks!

Claudio

Edit: just checked the “Dictionary of Musical Themes” by Barlow and Morgenstern: it is not there.

Just checked The Messiah, a score I sung in public at least twice as a bass in the Bray Choral Society.
There is a similarity to the subject in the 23.Alla Breve, but the tell-tale descending 4 quavers are not there … The final Chorus has a similar subject, but inverted and the rhythm of minim, 2 crotchets, 4 quavers is not there either.

When I was organist of Rathmichael Church, Co Dublin, in the 1960s I used to play that fugue from Six Fugues or Voluntaries published by Peters Edition. I subsequently heard it in an orchestral version, as the second part of an overture after the usual slow introduction. I cannot remember the work either but I think it might have been a less well known oratorio … - David

Claudio Di Veroli on 25/09/2022 13:53:49 wrote:
Subject [The Jackrail] [General] A fugal theme by handel

| CDV Claudio Di Veroli
September 25 |

  • | - |

…This morning I was going through an edition I hardly play upon, Handel’s Keyboard Works vol. III, Terence Best ed., Bärenreiter 1970, 1-Sechs Fugen …, some of which are really good.

When I reached Fuga III, I immediately realised that I had heard that subject before… … I am sure it is a well-known work, it’s just that my memory is not as good as I would like …

Thanks David B.! Just went through the 60 Ouverture keyboard arrrangements again: definitely it’s not there. Thanks anyway! :slight_smile:

Hi Claudio,

The same fugal theme is used in Handel’s Concerto Grosso Op 3, No 2, in B-flat major, third movement, Allegro.

Bruce Garetz

1 Like

Indeed Bruce thanks!
Just checked: the first bars are an exact transcription from the orchestra score. Then they diverge, but anyway the keyboard version is clearly an adaptation of the (much earlier) Concerto Grosso.