Which edition of the Handel Concerto do you teach?

Posted In: Teaching the Harp

  • Participant
    unknown-user on #88389

    With so many editions of the Handel Concerto in B-Flat it’s hard to
    know which one to teach. Which of the following editions of the Handel
    do you play and teach and why?













    Van Campen

    unknown-user on #88390

    I agree, it is difficult. I learned the Lawrence edition, and feel loyalty to it. I prefer the Salzedo in many ways, but would only teach with its original cadenza, and it is a wonderful 1945 version of Handel. I have begun work on my own edition, as I see other possibilities in the original. If I ever finish it, then perhaps that will be what I teach. I have not been able to see all the others. I have a recording of Zabaleta playing the original with little or no embellishment, but it is overly spare and lean. I have composed a very good cadenza for it, I think, in the style of the period of C.P.E. Bach. I am willing to make it available for performance.

    alexander-rider on #88391

    My teacher is something of an early music specialist, having reocrded this piece with the Brandenburg consort. So, we use the origingal (i.e, I use Barenreiter, she uses the ORIGINAL original) and we added our own ornamentation, filled in chords and figured bass. The 2nd movment was particularly fascinating to work on.

    Anonymous on #88392

    Alexander’s way of going about it is certainly more in line with what they would have done in Handel’s time.

    Anonymous on #88393


    unknown-user on #88394

    Actually ORIGINAL was written for the trippel harp, does somebody play this sort of instrumentit? If not let us play and teach

    unknown-user on #88395

    i studied Grandjany, and will teach it, Olja is right the Grandjany is very useful for tecnich especially the Cadenza, but i have it also with piano accompaniment, but dont know who did it , need to look.

    Elizabeth Volpé Bligh on #88396

    Alexander, has your teacher considered making her edition available for purchase? I occasionally tinker with my own version of the Handel from the original score, but I never seem to have time to finish it. I am not a specialist in Baroque music, though I have read parts of Neuman’s treatise on this subject. I would love to see an edition by someone with those qualifications.

    I learned the Salzedo, but I prefer more historically accurate editions. Others prefer the bigger, lusher, more modern editions.

    Evangeline Williams on #88397

    What’s the best place to get the original score from?

    Elizabeth Volpé Bligh on #88398

    Yes, there’s one with Andrew Lawrence King and the Harp Consort, called “Italian Concerto”.

    alexander-rider on #88399

    The lawrence-king is good, but another excellent

    Evangeline Williams on #88400

    I found an interesting article online about performance practice for the concerto…

    My favorite of the editions I have is the Lenzewski.

    unknown-user on #88401

    Lucile Lawrence made her edition with the intention of serving the needs of the full-size harp with a modern orchestra, or solo, and yet being stylistically appropriate to the period. She therefore retained chords and voicings when possible from the Salzedo edition, but overall thinned the texture, removed the added voices and revisions of melody and harmony from Salzedo and Grandjany, and used historically appropriate ornaments, with an appropriately brief cadenza by Dewey Owens. If you want a stylish edition to play on a big harp, then this is a good one to use. If you want to go urtext, it will be too thinly textured to sound well on a big harp, and you must consider the improvisatory approach of the time. It is a big project, but perhaps someone can embark on a comparison/contrast study of all the available editions. I’m sure that it would be published. I would do it if someone sent me the music. One has to consider the orchestra/conductor/audience and their expectations. It’s as though we need to know three versions: one rigidly “authentic”, one adapted, and one romantic or modern like Grandjany or Salzedo. Those are the only ones that would also serve as a showcase for the harp. In going through the Grandjany edition recently, I noticed that the opening of his cadenza recalls the opening of the harp’s cadenza in Monteverdi’s Orfeo. I wonder if that was deliberate. The Harvard Dictionary of Music has good articles on performing style in different periods, which is a different issue in part from ornamentation. As I mentioned before, I have begun the slow process of my own edition, which will probably not yield terribly major differences, only I find places in which I think richer harmony is possible based on the bass line and melody given. And then there’s the issue of variation on repeats. I’ve heard it done, a professor from B.U. helped create a version with added elements and variations on the repeats. I must say, I found it disturbing. We are used to a structural approach to Baroque music, and even though improvisation may have been done, particularly by singers, it doesn’t mean the composers liked it, and didn’t want to do away with it. It adds a layer that is trivial and self-serving of the performer, much like “pop” singers of today. I think we are right to want to look deeper into the music, and to not be distracted by superficial detailing.

    Evangeline Williams on #88402

    Funny you mentioned singers….I remember being taught what was OK and not OK to do when singing arias from “Messiah”.

    unknown-user on #88403

    The harp is a very particular instrument. There are somethings it just doesn’t like being done with it. Some things seem like a good idea at the time but just don’t work out well in performance. Not everything is a relative value with the harp. Excessive repetition is one thing not compatible with it. It must be played rhythmically. It helps to have a coach, all one’s life, like a singer, because we need that outside ear and perspective on what we’re doing. It’s not like a violin, where the sound is right in your face.

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