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Home » Composers » German Composers » GF Handel

George Frideric Handel (Georg Friedrich Händel)


Handel Operas - Recommended & Forthcoming Recordings plus References & Related Operas

Recommended Recordings of Handel Oratorios, Serenatas, Anthems & Masques in Chronological Order

Mozart's Arrangements of Handel Oratorios

Handel's Pasticcio Operas & Oratorios

Handel Cantatas, Arias & Other Vocal Recordings

Books on Handel (below)

Handel Music Editions (below)


See, a superb website, for comprehensive information about Handel. New and recommended: David Vickers interviews Alan Curtis | Philippe Gelinaud interviews Christophe Rousset.

La Fantastique Histoire de G.F. Haendel.

Handel-l [Latest messages]

Handel Reference Database

American Handel Society [Newsletter Archive]

Georg Friedrich Händel Catalogue HWV

Handel House Museum - London

Händel-Haus Halle

34 early editions of Handel operas, oratorios & arrangements

Upcoming Handel Concerts Throughout the World - Portland Handel Society

Complete Facsimile of Volume IV of A General History of Music by Charles Burney.

List of Major Vocal Works - Opera Glass

Haendel y La Ópera (español) -  Includes original cast lists and a table of films containing music by Handel.

Other Handel Recordings

Handel. Concerti grossi Op. 6. Decca 4780319 (3 CDs, January 2009). Giovanni Antonini, Il Giardino Armonico. UK | FR | DE | JP
Handel. Organ Concertos Op. 4. Decca (1 CD, April 2009). Ottavio Dantone, Accademia Bizantina. DE
Handel. Complete Harpsichord Music. Brilliant Classics 93713 (4 CDs, May 2008). Michael Borgstede, harpsichord. US | UK | FR | DE | CA | JP
Handel. Complete Sonatas & Works for Violin & Continuo. Somm 068 (1 CD, December 2007). Details. Adrian Butterfield, violin; Katherine Sharman, cello; Laurence Cummings, harpsichord. US | UK | FR | DE | CA | JP
Handel. Concerti Grossi Op. 3. Harmonia Mundi (1 CD, February 2007). Richard Egarr, Academy of Ancient Music. US | UK | FR | DE | CA | JP || SACD: US | UK | FR | DE | CA | JP
The Secret Handel: Works for Clavichord. Metronome METCD 1060 (2 CDs, December 2005). Christopher Hogwood, clavichord; Derek Adlam, clavichord, in the Suite for 2 keyboards HWV 446. Clavichords by Hass, Bodechtal and Grähner. US | UK | DE | FR | CA | JP
Handel. Water Music and Fireworks. Glossa GCD 921606. (1 CD 2002). CD booklet (pdf). Hervé Niquet, Le Concert Spirituel. The first historically-informed recording, performed on nine holeless natural trumpets and nine holeless horns. This is quite a rarity, when nearly all "baroque" trumpet players use non-historical instruments with finger holes and most horn players use either finger holes or non-historical hand-stopping. See Mike Diprose, "Return to the Natural Trumpet." Early Music Review, 110:6-7 (December 2005). US | UK | DE | FR | CA | JP
Handel. Concerti Grossi Op. 6. Harmonia Mundi HMU 907228 (2 CDs 1998). Andrew Manze, Academy of Ancient Music. Outstanding performance and recording! US | UK | DE | FR | CA | JP
Handel. The Eight Harpsichord Suites (1720), Six Fugues or Voluntarys, Fugue in E, Fugue in F. Hyperion CDA 66931/2 (2 CDs 1995). Paul Nicholson, harpsichord & organ. US | UK | DE | FR | CA | JP

Reissued on CDD 11045 (2002). US | UK | DE | FR | CA | JP

Handel. Organ Concertos. Hyperion CDA 67291/2 (2 CDs 1997). Paul Nicholson, organ, Frances Kelly, harp. Roy Goodman, The Brandenburg Consort. Performed on the restored organ from the chapel at Canons. Includes the harp concerto from the first part of Alexander's Feast. US | UK | DE | FR | CA | JP

Reissued on CDD 22052 (2005). US | UK | DE | FR | CA | JP

Handel. Concerti Grossi Op. 6 Nos. 1-4 & Concerto "Alexander's Feast". Virgin Veritas 7243 5 45348 2 9 (1 CD 1999). Nicholas McGegan, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. A recommended re-creation of a performance of Alexander's Feast can be accomplished with a recording of Alexander's Feast (e.g., Christophers), the Goodman recording of the organ and harp concertos, and this recording of the concerto in C played between acts. US | UK | DE | FR | CA | JP


Colin Timms & Bruce Wood (eds.) Music in London Theatre from Purcell to Handel. Cambridge University Press (February 2017). Details. Contributors: Roger Savage, Martin Adams, Wolfgang Hirschmann, Jeffrey Barnouw, Andrew Pinnock, Bruce Wood, Peter Brown, Reinhard Strohm, Graham Cummings, Sarah McCleave, Matthew Gardner, Ruth Smith, Matthew Badham, Liam Gorry, John H. Roberts. US | UK | FR | DE | CA | JP

David Vickers (ed.) New Perspectives on Handel's Music: Essays in Honour of Donald Burrows. Boydell Press (June 2017). US | UK | FR | DE | CA | JP

Patricia Howard. The Modern Castrato: Gaetano Guadagni and the Coming of a New Operatic Age. Details. Oxford University Press, July 2014. 256 pages. US | UK | FR | DE | CA | JP
Donald Burrows, Helen Coffey, John Greenacombe & Anthony Hicks (eds). G.F. Handel: The Collected Documents. 5 volumes. Details.
Volume 1: 1609-1725
. Details. Cambridge University Press (April 2014). 750 pages. Much better than I had anticipated and highly recommended! Includes transcriptions of the documents with English translations, instead of image scans. US | UK | FR | DE | CA | JP
Volume 2: 1725-1734. Details. Cambridge University Press (December 2014). 750 pages. US | UK | FR | DE | CA | JP
Volume 3: 1734-1742. Details. Cambridge University Press (November 2016). US | UK | FR | DE | CA | JP
Thomas McGeary. The Politics of Opera in Handel's England. Details. Cambridge University Press, April 2013. 418 pages. US | UK | FR | DE | CA | JP
Sarah McCleave. Dance in Handel's London Operas. Details. University of Rochester Press, February 2013. 280 pages. US | UK | FR | DE | CA | JP
Suzanne Aspden. The Rival Sirens: Performance and Identity on Handel's Operatic Stage. Details. Cambridge University Press, April 2013. 304 pages. US | UK | FR | DE | CA | JP
Annette Landgraf & David Vickers (eds). The Cambridge Handel Encyclopedia. Details. Cambridge University Press (December 2009). 860 pages. US | UK | FR | DE | CA | JP
Paperback reprint (September 2013). Details. US | UK | FR | DE | CA | JP
Richard King (ed.) Handel Studies - A Gedenkshrift for Howard Serwer. Details. Pendragon Press 2008. Includes an article by Winton Dean about Handel's Giove in Argo. US | UK | FR | DE | CA | JP
Christopher Hogwood. Handel. Thames & Hudson. Revised edition, June 2007. 312 pages. US | UK | DE | FR | CA | JP
Winton Dean. Handel's Operas, 1726-1741. Details. 608 pages. The Boydell Press, November 2006. The long-awaited companion to Dean & Knapp (1987). Covers Handel's operas from Alessandro to Deidamia. US | UK | DE | FR | CA | JP
Winton Dean & John Merrill Knapp. Handel's Operas, 1704-1726. Oxford University Press 1987. 771 pages. Essential reference. There were a few minor additions to the paperback reprint, but the hardcover is easier to use. Covers Handel's operas from Almira to Scipione. US | UK | DE | FR | CA | JP

Paperback reprint, 1995. US | UK | DE | FR | CA | JP

Christopher Hogwood. Handel: Water Music and Music for the Royal Fireworks. Details. 176 pages. Cambridge University Press 2005. US | UK | DE | FR | CA | JP
Mary Ann Parker. G.F. Handel: A Guide to Research. 320 pages. Routledge, 2d edition 2005. US | UK | DE | FR | CA | JP
Donald Burrows. Handel and the English Chapel Royal. Reviewed by Clifford Bartlett in Early Music Review 107:28 (June 2005). Reviewed by David Vickers. 651 pages. Oxford University Press 2005. US | UK | FR | DE | CA | JP
Donald Burrows & Rosemary Dunhill. Music and Theatre in Handel's World: The Papers of James Harris 1732-1780. 1256 pages. Oxford University Press 2002. US | UK | FR | DE | CA | JP
Donald Burrows. Handel. Master Musician Series. Oxford University Press 1996. The best of the recent crop of Handel biographies. An excellent starting point for coming to grips with Handel. US | UK | FR | DE | CA | JP
Thomas Bauman & Marita Petzoldt McClymonds (eds.) Opera and the Enlightenment. Cambridge University Press 1995. Details. Includes Winton Dean, "Handel's Serse"; John Roberts ("The Sweet Song in Demofoonte: a Gluck borrowing from Handel"). US | UK | DE | FR | CA | JP
Reinhard Strohm. Dramma per Musica: Italian Opera Seria of the Eighteenth Century. Details. Yale University Press, 1997. 326 pages. The author's second collection of his articles about 18th Century serious opera. Contents include: Tolomeo: Handel's opera and the rules of tragedy; Arianna in Creta: musical dramaturgy; Handel's Ariodante: Scotland and Arcadia. US | UK | FR | DE | CA | JP
Reinhard Strohm. Essays on Handel and Italian Opera. Collection of Strohm's essays, some published in English for the first time. A book to which I return repeatedly. Cambridge University Press, 1985. Contents include: Handel's Italian journey as a European experience; Handel and his Italian opera texts; Francesco Gasparini's later operas and Handel; Towards an understanding of the opera seria; Handel's pasticci; Handel's Ezio; Metastasio's Alessandro nell'Indie and its earliest settings; Comic traditions in Handel's Orlando. US | UK | FR | CA
Paperback reprint 2009: US | UK | FR | DE | CA | JP
Nigel Fortune (ed.) Music and Theatre: Essays in honour of Winton Dean. Cambridge University Press, 1987. 389 pages. Contents include: Acis, Galatea and Polyphemus: a 'serenata a tre voci'? by Brian Trowell; George I's Venetian palace and theatre boxes in the 1720s, by Colin Timms; Vivaldi and Handel's settings of Giustino, by Reinhard Strohm; Handel and Charles Jennens's Italian opera manuscripts, by John H. Roberts; Handel, Jennens and Saul: aspects of collaboration, by Anthony Hicks. US | UK | DE | FR | CA | JP
Stanley Sadie & Anthony Hicks (eds.) Handel Tercentenary Collection. 308 pages. Macmillan and UMI Research Press 1987. Contents include: The Case for Handel's Borrowings: the Judgement of Three Centuries, by George J. Buelow; Why did Handel Borrow? by John Roberts; The Staging of Handel's Operas in London, by Lowell Lindgren. US | UK | DE | FR | CA | JP
Peter Williams (ed.) Bach Handel Scarlatti - Tercentenary Essays. 363 pages. Cambridge University Press 1985. Contents include: Handel and Music for the Earl of Carnarvon by Graydon Beeks; Aria and Ritornello: New Aspects of the Comparison Handel/Bach by Paul Brainard; Handel and Hanover by Donald Burrows; Handel's Early London Copyists by Winton Dean; The 'Dotted Style' in Bach, Handel, and Scarlatti by David Fuller; Handel's 'Chandos' and Associated Anthems by Gerald Hendrie; Reconstructing the Lost Keyboard Notebooks of the Young Bach and Handel by Robert Hill; Keyboard Technique and Articulation: Evidence for the Performance Practices of Bach, Handel and Scarlatti by Mark Lindley; Bach and Handel as Teachers of Thorough Bass by Alfred Mann; Bach, Handel, D. Scarlatti and the Toccata of the Late Baroque by Giorgio Pestelli; and Figurae in the Keyboard Works of Scarlatti, Handel and Bach: An Introduction, by Peter Williams. US | DE | FR | CA | JP
Curtis Price, Judith Milhous & Robert D. Hume. Italian Opera in Late Eighteenth-Century London, Volume 1: The King's Theatre, Haymarket 1778-1791. 698 pages. Oxford University Press 1995. Interesting analysis of the operations of the King's Theatre that would not be possible for the period of Handel's tenure due to the absence of records. Includes details of Samuel Arnold's pasticcio version of Giulio Cesare in Egitto with truncated arias from up to 13 different Handel operas. Quoting Mount Edgcumbe: "The king came two or three times to hear it, and it was pretty generally liked by the public: at least it filled the house by attracting the exclusive lovers of the old style, who held cheap all other operatical performances." (p. 374). US | UK | FR | DE | CA | JP
Winton Dean. Handel's Dramatic Oratorios and Masques. Oxford University Press 1959. 694 pages. Surpassed in many respects by subsequent scholarship, but still the most complete volume on Handel's oratorios. There have been no changes since the second printing of the hardcover edition (1966), when some mistakes were corrected. US | UK | FR | DE | CA | JP

Paperback reprint (1990). US | UK | FR | DE | CA | JP

Ruth Smith. Handel's Oratorios and Eighteenth-Century Thought. Cambridge University Press 1995. 484 pages. US | UK | FR | DE | CA | JP

Paperback reprint (2005). US | UK | FR | DE | CA | JP

David Ross Hurley. Handel's Muse: Patterns of creation in his oratorios and musical dramas, 1743-1751. Oxford University Press 2001. 310 pages. US | UK | FR | DE | CA | JP
Ellen Harris. Handel as Orpheus: Voice and desire in the chamber cantatas. Harvard University Press 2001. 430 pages. I found most interesting the author's dissection of Groupy's "Harmonious Boar" caricature of Handel with a pig's face and later anonymous prints, which omitted emblems such as the owl that would connect the subject with homosexuality. US | UK | FR | DE | CA | JP
Melania Bucciarelli. Italian Opera and European Theatre, 1680-1720: Plots, Performers, Dramaturgies. (Speculum Musicae No. 7.) 227 pages, 33 b/w plates. Brepols Publishers NV, 2000. Chapter 7: "From Georges de Scudéry to Handel: Radamisto or L'Amour Tyrannique." Includes an appendix listing opera libretti modeled on French and Italian dramas, including several set by Handel. US | UK | FR | DE | CA | JP
Richard Luckett. Handel's Messiah, A Celebration. Gollancz and Harcourt Brace 1992. 256 pages. Authoritative history of Messiah. US | UK
John Tobin. Handel's Messiah: A critical account of the manuscript sources and printed editions. Cassell and St. Martin's Press 1969. 279 pages. Valuable reference by a pioneer in performance revisionism. Someone should produce a new edition correcting mistakes. Vocal performers probably should disregard his proposed ornaments and cadenzas, which appear to reflect later and purely instrumental influences. US | UK | FR | DE | CA | JP
Jens Peter Larsen. Handel's Messiah: Origins, Composition, Sources. Norton 1957, reprinted by Greenwood Press 1990. 336 pages. More authoritative than Tobin, but not as easy to use. US | UK

Music Editions lists the most recent Handel editions, mainly by King's Music, HHA, Novello and Oxford. See Early Music Review for unbiased, critical reviews. Until quite recently, inexpensive reprints of Chrysander's entire, 19th Century Händelgesellschaft (HG) edition were available, first from Gregg Press (1965) and subsequently from Edwin F. Kalmus. The only substantive difference between the two series was that the Kalmus edition included less white space in the outer margin, making the volumes a bit slimmer and consequently cheaper. However, in the late 1980s, Belwin Mills, owner of the Kalmus catalogue and a responsible publisher that kept the entire edition in print, was acquired by a conglomerate -- Sony, I believe. The new, profit-oriented owners moved Belwin from New York to Florida, then promptly allowed most of the Kalmus Handel edition to go out of print. In or about 1990, Coca Cola acquired Belwin, continuing the same profit-at-any-cost management. In 1994, Belwin was acquired by Warner Brothers, a Hollywood filth merchant, which is now part of the financially troubled AOL Time Warner conglomerate. That is the equivalent of a traditional seed company being acquired by Toyota, then sold to Halliburton, and finally to Monsanto. Prices of HG scores have shot up on the used market, and there now may be little advantage in buying them, unless you happen to find cheap copies. While some are excellent, many are convoluted and seriously incomplete. Perhaps when AOL Time Warner goes, as seems increasingly likely, the Kalmus catalogue may be acquired out of bankruptcy by someone who cares about music.
Terence Best (ed.) George Frideric Handel: Twenty Overtures in Authentic Keyboard Arrangements. 3 volumes. Novello 1985-86. Catalog numbers 10 0269, 10 0270, & 10 0271. Now out of print, but apparently will be printed to order by Novello. Details: I | II | III. Recommended. My favorites include the sinfonia and Act II overture with chromatic fugue from Admeto, the suite from the first version of Il Pastor Fido, and the overtures to Radamisto, Semele, Riccardo Primo, and Orlando. There are only a few places where two manuals are needed to play the notes as written. Contents: I: Il Pastor Fido I & II, Teseo, Amadigi, Esther. II: Radamisto, Muzio Scevola, Ottone, Flavio, Giulio Cesare, Tamerlano, Rodelinda, Scipione, Alessandro. III: Admeto I & II, Riccardo Primo, Lotario, Partenope, Orlando, Semele.
Terence Best (ed.) George Frideric Handel: A New Harpsichord Folio: A collection of unfamiliar keyboard pieces. Novello 1988, catalog number 10 0285. Details. The best of this collection is an arrangement of "Sventurato, godi, o core abbandonato" from Floridante. Another superior Handel keyboard transcription -- of "Cara sposa" from Radamisto -- was edited by Patrick J. Rogers and published at pages 89-90 of the February 1990 issue of Early Music. A transcription (by Handel?) of "Ombra cara" from Radamisto is printed in the 1988 volume of HHA scores.

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