How authentic is Handel’s G-major suite HWV 441?



Anyone concerned with Handel’s keyboard music knows that the collection of Suites de Pièces Second Volume published by John Walsh in three successive issues about 1732–17331 was a most unsatisfactory production. It was indeed “full of mistakes in the copying“, as Handel’s friend Bernard Granville apparently noted in the copy he once owned2, since its text was largely based on an equally faulty earlier publication of c. 1720 which Walsh had prepared piratically for the Amsterdam publisher Jeanne Roger, PIECES / à un & Deux Clavecins / COMPOSÉES /Par /Mr. HENDEL /A AMSTERDAM / Chez Jeanne Roger / No. 4903. It was probably the appearance of this volume which provoked Han-del’s denunciation of “Surrepticious and incorrect copies” in the Preface to his own edition of harpsichord pieces published by Cluer in November 1720, now known as the First Set of suites (HWV 426–433)4.


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  1. 1.
    A detailed account of the genesis and publication history of the Second Set is given in the Preface of Terence Best (ed.), Georg Friedrich Händel: Klavierwerke II (HHA IV/5, Neuausgabe), Kassel, Basel 1999Google Scholar
  2. and in Terence Best, Georg Friedrich Händel: Klavierwerke I–IV, Critical Report, Kassel, Basel 2000, pp. 43–46.Google Scholar
  3. 2.
    See Friedrich Chrysander, G. F. Händel, Bd. 3, 1867, R/1966, p. 195Google Scholar
  4. and Hugh McLean, Granville, Handel and Some Golden Rules, in: Musical Times cxxvi, no. 1713, November 1985, p. 663.Google Scholar
  5. 3.
    Terence Best, Handel’s harpsichord music: a checklist, in: Christopher Hogwood and Richard Luckett (eds.), Music in Eighteenth-Century England, Cambridge 1983, pp. 171–187.Google Scholar
  6. Terence Best, Die Chronologie von Händels Klaviermusik, in: Händel-Jahrbuch 27, 1981, pp. 79–87.Google Scholar
  7. Terence Best, Handel and the keyboard, in: Donald Burrows (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Handel, 1997, pp. 208–223.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Also François Lesure, Bibliographie des Éditions Musicales publiées par Étienne Roger et Michel Charles le Cène, Paris 1969, p. 13.Google Scholar
  9. 4.
    See Terence Best (ed.), Georg Friedrich Händel: Klavierwerke I (HHA IV/1, Neuausgabe), Kasssel, Basel 1993, Vorwort (Preface), pp. VIII, XV, and Critical Report, p. 41–43.Google Scholar
  10. 9.
    Bernd Baselt, Händel-Handbuch (HHB) III, Thematisch-systematisches Verzeichnis: Instrumentalmusik, Pasticci, Fragmente, Kassel, Leipzig 1986, p. 243–244.Google Scholar
  11. 12.
    See Graham Pont, An early eighteenth-century manuscript of harpsichord music: William Babeli and Handel’s “Vo’far guerra”, in: The British Library Journal, 21, no. 2, Autumn 1995, pp. 176–183.Google Scholar
  12. 14.
    See Winton Dean and J. Merrill Knapp, Handel’s Operas 1704–1726, Oxford 1987, rev. 1995, Chapter 9.Google Scholar

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© Springer-Verlag GmbH Deutschland 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.BrentwoodUSA

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