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Which edition of the Handel Concerto do you teach?

  • Unknown
    Unknown User

    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?



    Angerer

    Barenreiter

    Eulenburg

    Grandjany

    Hurst

    Lawrence

    LeDentu

    Lenzewski

    McDonald

    Pasveer

    Rees-Rohrbacher

    Salzedo

    Van Campen

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    replies to "Which edition of the Handel Concerto do you teach?"
    • Unknown
      Unknown User

      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. 

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    • Alexander
      Alexander Rider

      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.

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    • Samuel
      Samuel Milligan

      Alexander's way of going about it is certainly more in line with what they would have done in Handel's time.  It's clear from the original that only the bare bones are given.  If I were to teach it, I would share with the student the fun of choosing and placing ornaments, fleshing out chords, and so on. 

      Some of Handel's orchestra parts for harp are even more fun, consisting as they do of nothing more than a bass line, generally unfigured.  A great way to improve improvisational skills, too, although the beginner may want to stick to simple chords at first.  But if you take a look at, say, the most famous aria from Giulio Cesare, V'adoro, pupille, the chord structure to be built above the bass line is very obvious.    Try it.  You'll like it.  You may also find that you gain some skills there that will be helpful in working on the harp concerto.

      Sam Milligan 

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    • Samuel
      Samuel Milligan

      P.S.:  The score for Giulio Cesare is easily available from Dover for pennies.  It may have gone up a bit, but I paid $9.95 for mine only a few years ago.

      Sam Milligan

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    • Unknown
      Unknown User

      Actually ORIGINAL was written for the trippel harp, does somebody play this sort of instrumentit? If not let us play and teach a Grandjany redaction, its spectacular at least and very usefull for technique.

      Regards

       

      Olja

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    • Unknown
      Unknown User

      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.

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    • Elizabeth
      Elizabeth Volpé Bligh

      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.

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    • Evangeline
      Evangeline Williams

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

      I own about 4 different editions.  Grandjany, Salzedo, one for smaller harps I think, and one from ebay that came with some orchestra parts. 

      Is there a recording out there of it played the the triple harp? 

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    • Elizabeth
      Elizabeth Volpé Bligh

      Yes, there's one with Andrew Lawrence King and the Harp Consort, called "Italian Concerto".

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    • Alexander
      Alexander Rider

      The lawrence-king is good, but another excellent one is that of my teacher,  Frances Kelly, playing with the Brandenburg consort; it is called 'Handel organ concertos' and it's on the Hyperion label.

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    • Evangeline
      Evangeline Williams

      I found an interesting article online about performance practice for the concerto...
      http://members.soltec.net/~jaxon/Writing/Baroque.html

      My favorite of the editions I have is the Lenzewski. 

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    • Unknown
      Unknown User

      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.

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    • Evangeline
      Evangeline Williams

      Funny you mentioned singers....I remember being taught what was OK and not OK to do when singing arias from "Messiah". 
      For years many of the 17th and 18th century Italian arias and songs were performed and studied from the Schirmer edition, which was more romanticized.  At least 10 years ago Alfred published a new version, which went back to the original pieces (even showing photos of some of the works), with suggested ornamentations, period-appropriate dynamics, the right style of accomp., as well as literal and poetic translations, and phoentic pronunciation. 
      Some pieces in learned in the 'yellow book', some in the 'purple book', and some are very different between the two book and I don't like to mix which edition I perform from. 
      While there's nothing wrong with students learning from the 'yellow book' and performing it, if they plan on becoming music majors they'll take music history and (hopefully) find out what the style the piece was written in/performed in at the time.  So while for the average audience either version of the songs will do, for those studying music it is important to be able to identify the difference, etc.  Am I making any sense here at all? 
      Back to the choices of editions...every harpist is different and every harp is different, so it is wonderful to have a variety of editions for the concerto, allowing each person to find what works best for them and sounds the best on their harp. 

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    • Unknown
      Unknown User

      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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    • Unknown
      Unknown User

      Can the Lawrence be played as a solo or does it require an accompanist?

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    • Unknown
      Unknown User

      It can be played as a solo. It is ideal to have an accompanist on organ or harpsichord, or a string quartet. It is very effective as a solo, however.

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    • Unknown
      Unknown User

      I decided to order a copy of the Lawrence inspired by your
      recommendation, Saul. I am very glad to hear it can be played as a
      solo. Balancing appropriate voicings and ornamentation
      with the resonance of the modern pedal harp sounds like the best match
      for my aesthetic values. I learned the Salzedo version, but would
      prefer a more Baroque sound. He voices the chords for great resonance
      and I can see what could attract someone to the lush quality of it, but
      I prefer more focus on the performance practice of the time.

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    • Unknown
      Unknown User

      I just received my copy of the Lawrence edition and am extremely
      pleased with it. The solo-tutti contrasts are more clearly stated
      through dynamics and texture. The dense textures are reserved for
      important structural moments and cadences. This creates stronger
      forward momentum in the formal structure. The clarity of Baroque
      harmonies (without added sevenths, etc) and clean voicing of chords are
      a relief to my ear in being consistent with the style. I did enjoy some
      of the added inner voices in the Salzedo edition because he connected
      gestures with linear motion and added some antiphonal effects, but the
      absence of these also heightens the contrast between solo and tutti and
      gives the concerto an overall increased delicacy, in my opinion.



      With so few masterworks from this period available for students it is
      unfortunate to predominately use editions that do not teach correct
      performance practice in terms of ornamentation and chord voicing. The
      modern editions have aesthetic beauty, but at some point should
      probably become more of a specialty presentation of the works and the
      more stylistically accurate editions be the norm. Otherwise harpists
      will not be as well informed as other classical musicians in regard to
      early music.

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    • Evangeline
      Evangeline Williams

      When all these folks have put out new editions, what original or early copy of the piece are the working from?  I know surely the original is in the public domain, but most of these editions are probably copyrighted, and I guess to use them as a working source you would have to get permission and pay monies, etc.  If someone wanted to do an edition of their own, what can they use as their source material? 

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    • Tacye
      Tacye Phillipson

      I put in a reasonable amount of effort trying to track down a copy of
      Thurston Dart's version as a double concerto for harp and lute. 
      (The recording, with Ossian Ellis, is still available, and I vastly
      prefer it to any other I have heard.)  Unfortunately I got
      nowhere.  I do recomend the recording though.



      In the accompanying notes he makes the very good points that the canon
      passages work superbly as a duet, and with the heavily figured base
      adding a continuo instrument to the solo parts makes sense. 
      Besides, it was first described (though never printed) as 'Concerto per
      Liuto e l'Arpa' which does seem a good argument for this reading!

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