There are several arrangements of the Handel Concerto – Lucille Lawrence, Susann McDonald, Carlos Salzedo, Marcel Grandjany ….
I think the Salzedo edition is the most impressive, as it is quite elaborate and has a smashing cadenza, very showy and brilliant. Yolanda Kondonassis was on the Young People’s Concerts with Leonard Bernstein playing it.
I do not believe in mixing editions and cadenzas at all. The Grandjany edition is very warm and French 19th century sounding, which has its charm. I think you should consider which one your teacher can teach the best.
For example, I can teach the Lawrence or Salzedo best because I know them well, and I have not played the Grandjany edition very much, so I would have less to teach with it. I can coach it, but that’s not quite the same as having it in your fingers.
The Lawrence edition is the most historically apt and stylistic of these editions for pedal harp. It keeps some of the voicings and color and phrasing from the Salzedo, but has appropriate ornaments and touches. It does not have a big cadenza, though. It is not nearly as elaborate. I do not find it any easier to play because of that. It is hard music, however you do it. In a way, I think the Grandjany might be the easier, if you are comfortable with his fingerings and chords. He had big fingers. I don’t know the McDonald at all. You can also do an unedited edition from the original score. If you choose that option, I have an original, period-style cadenza you could use.
It also depends which competition you are entering.
Ah! I absolutely love the Handel harp concerto. It’s my favorite piece. I just performed the Salzedo edition with the Grandjany cadenza with my Youth Symphony. I like how the fingerings feel and the arrangement of the Salzedo concerto, but the Grandjany cadenza is showy and showcases pieces from both of the previous movements.
Miss Holland at Interlochen Center for the Arts loves the Grandjany and told my teacher I needed to play it – and I’m glad she did! I enjoyed it immensly.
The Salzedo cadenza is showy, I’m sure, but doesn’t have a Baroque taste to it. The Grandjany is more Romantic sounding, but has the feel for Baroque in a few spots.
Forgive me for saying, but in some parts of the Grandjany Edition Second movement, I feel like it is annoying and not at all the beautiful sound it should be, because of all the p.d.l.t./fingernail sections.
Hope this is of some help to you! Have fun ~
- The forum ‘Young Harpists’ is closed to new topics and replies.