Sorry if this has been discussed before.
On page 210 of his “Playing the Baroque Harpsichord”, our own Claudio Di Veroli writes:
“Handel - Water Music
The author has produced this score a few years ago, ignoring the very simplified harpsichord versione published in Handel’s time, and producing instead a harpsichord transcription from the full orchestral score.”
I have looked around but didn’t find this transcription for download/purchase anywhere. Any clue? Maybe Claudio himself is willing to tell me about?
Hi Domenico. Thanks for your enquiry. I have bad news:
- Other than the grossy simplified version by Geminiani, the alternative is Handel’s own version, that is the initial harpsichord version from which he produced the orchestral one. Unfortunately, this was never published and is not found online either.
- My version is a manuscript, and I have no intention of producing an edition for publication. Perhaps one day I will scan the whole of it and post it for free. In the meantime I have found in my PC my version of the Andante in d minor, for two-manual harpsichord (excellent on the organ as well). Will try and attach it here.
All the best!
Oh I forgot. The British Museum once offered a copy of the Air in Handel’s original version. Here i am playing it (or rather a very slight modification of mine adding one or two details from the orchestral version). Not a performance I am particularly proud of , I should say. Handel-Air from the Water Music
CDV Claudio Di Veroli
Not a performance I am particularly proud of , I should say. Handel-Air from the Water Music
As for the watermusic, I didn’t know the orchestral version derives from a harpsichord-solo version. It’s strange it has never been published. Neither in Chrysander’s nor in Hallische Handel Ausgabe?
It’s a pity that your transcription isn’t available.
Should you decide, please count on me for typesetting in Sibelius, a software I am fairly proficient at. Then you could revise it, correct mistakes etc. without too much work on your part.
Thanks a lot for the Andante in d minor.
Hi Domenico, thanks again. A few years ago I searched online for Handel’s original and found nothing at all. Not a bad idea to produce a typesetting of my version! I will email you privately about this. All the best!
Just googling again, I just found the transcription for TWO harpsichord by Pierre Gouin. Water Music for 2 harpsichords by Pierre Gouin In keyboard arrangements often one has inevitably to omit a few notes to make the music playable, but a basic tenet of HIP is to keep as much as possible the notes written by the composer, never adding additional ones! Yet this is precisely what Gouin does. For example, on p.30, bar 63, second half: here Handel’s original for orchestra is for the “trio” of 2 oboes and bassoons, as an “echo” of the preceding passage: two good reasons to keep the 3 voices of the original, yet Gouin finds it fit to “transcribe” it for … 5 voices. Awful.
Have tried to see which pieces from the original harpsichord version, other than the Air in the British Library I have a copy of, are extant. Googled in vain: no way to find this information online. However, I know these originals do exist, and it would be a problem to publish a harpsichord version based on the orchestral one, to be then reviewed negatively by somebody who has access to the originals in the British Library and would observe that these have not been checked.
I do a lot of professional engraving with the open source program LilyPond. It produces very fine output, as highly refined spacing and aesthetics are part of the core design centre. I would also be happy to engrave your transcription (without wanting to deny Domenico’s kind offer).
I urge you to let us do it! That would be great.
I have now sent a proposal of shared workload to both Domenico and Andrew. Will continue privately, and just post here once we have a final result.