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Handel Theme & Variations – join the dots

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  • #62303
    Alison
    Participant

    in my copy, Schott’s edition, variation 2 seems to have one or more notes within chords printed as optional, they are cue sized, not cute…….so as I find them really annoying to the eye, has anyone else just inked them in ?
    I don’t think they are a misprint or failed contact from the plates.. weird…

    #62304
    barbara-brundage
    Participant

    I was always told that they were just suggested optional fills. I don’t know if that’s true or not, and since the original is no more (if indeed it ever existed), I don’t suppose anyone can know now.

    EDIT I mean, suggestions by Zingel on fills for a fuller sound. Sorry, I see that wasn’t clear.

    #62305
    Gretchen Cover
    Participant

    The version I have is Pastorale and Theme and Variations published by Lyra Music Co. http://www.lyramusic.com. Here is what the foreword says:

    “This composition, attributed to George Frideric Handel, though not listed in catalogs of his works, was prepared from a reproduction of the work published in Vienna by Math. Artaria. The title page, curiously in French, reads “Pastorale et Theme aver Variations pour Harpe ou Pianoforte compose par G.F. Handel.” A recent German edition does not include the Patorale, which is one of the reasons it seemed appropriate to issue this edition.”

    The music is very straightforward with none of the notes within chords you described.

    #62306
    Gretchen Cover
    Participant

    I wondered why my music was so clean and discovered the version I used when I learned the piece was the Schott edition. If you want to email me off the list, I can give you all the fingerings, pedal markings and edits made by my harp instructor.

    #62307
    barbara-brundage
    Participant

    Gretchen, is that the same piece?

    EDIT I see that it is. FWIW, it’s considered spurious in most of the listings of Handel’s work (see Groves, for one). Supposedly the only copy was in the library at Leipzig where Zingel found it and then it was destroyed in the war.

    #62308
    Alison
    Participant

    Thanks to you both, so if they are Zingel’s edits, that makes sense. Anyway I inked them all in, easier to play & think I can sort out fingering, mostly done. How come the plates are missing, since I bought a new copy about 15 years ago or are you saying it must have been a reproduction. This is my second trip on this piece, my musicality has improved lately, but I doubt I could memorize it all, & find accuracy in ‘predictable’ classical period works more problematic than pieces without variations & cadences, because I get sucked in by the ‘simplicity’ of the development. How was this even playable in Handel’s time, before single actions, surely not a lever harp- it starts in G minor then to Bb major, with many accidentals ?
    I see now, the comments on the back page about the work’ s provenance, the original in the Prussian State library ie Berlin archives disappearing and the only known copy being reprinted so all credit to Zingel, I shall look him up. so Herausgegeben means published and Urtext means original…….!!

    #62309
    barbara-brundage
    Participant

    Sorry, I guess I wasn’t clear. Zingel claimed that the original Handel work was in the conservatory library in Leipzig and was then destroyed in one of the wars. Otherwise, there’s nothing anywhere to prove that Handel wrote it. Modern Handel scholars don’t think he did. At least they sure didn’t about fifteen years ago, the last time I really looked into it.

    The Schott/Zingel edition doesn’t pretend to be an urtext, so it may have been heavily edited by Zingel from whatever source he had. I wasn’t saying that the plates are missing; just the original source to prove that it was by Handel, if it ever did exist. At least that is what they were saying back when I was in music school several millennia ago.

    But it’s still a nice piece, whoever originally wrote it.

    Handel’s music was played on the triple harp during his lifetime.

    #62310
    Gretchen Cover
    Participant

    My copy is Edition Schott 4913, 1956. On measure 1, Var. 1, play the two G’s with the LH. Same with 1st measure after the repeat. Then go 4-3-2-2-1 with RH.

    #62311
    Alison
    Participant

    Mine too, I can see I bought it many years ago and coincidentally heard it played from memory after I’d just read thro’ it again recently so, whilst I listened all the more attentively I don’t think I could memorise it. It really is a lovely piece, worth having however I don’t know anything about the Pastorale, is that a prelude to the piece ?

    #62312
    Gretchen Cover
    Participant

    In the Lyra music edition, the Pastorale comes just the Theme and is two pages. I just sight read it, and I don’t think it adds to the Theme and Variations at all. Or even makes sense musically. To be blunt, the Pastorale is not worth the trouble to learn IMHO.

    #62313

    I think Handel may have written it. I can’t think of anyone else who could have. The Pastorale, on the other hand, is from a Sonata by J. P. Meyer/Mayer. The copy it was edited from may have bound the unrelated pieces together in one volume, as it was customary for a harpist to have all their music bound together into one book. It was edited by Dewey Owens, and I think its purpose was to create an alternate edition to the Zingel. I have prepared my own realization of it, which I will get around to publishing one of these days. It is possible that there is no original to the work, just as we have none for the sonata by CPE Bach. The “experts” are not so expert when it comes to the harp, so I take their views with a lot of salt. If someone else wrote it, if it was Mayer, it was certainly in the style of Handel, and most effectively so. But the figurations are comparable to those used by Handel in writing for harp, so there are definite musical grounds for its attribution. Further, it doesn’t do us any good to question its origin, we need it as a piece by Handel, so let it be that.

    #62314
    Loonatik
    Member

    Mine does not come with the Pastorale… are there several theme and variations by Handel out there?

    #62315
    Alison
    Participant

    There’s another known as the Blacksmith, but I have never seen or heard it.

    #62316
    Gretchen Cover
    Participant

    You are thinking of “The Harmonious Blacksmith.” There are clips on youtube.

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