G.F. Händel

Aufbruch nach Italien. In viaggio verso l’Italia

Hrsg. von / a cura di Helen Geyer, Birgit J. Wertenson
Collana: Venetiana, 11
Pubblicazione: Gennaio 2013
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pp. 312, ill., es. musicali, 15x21 cm, bross.
ISBN: 9788883349294
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Händels Erfahrungen mit dem italienischen Kulturraum stehen im Mittelpunkt der hier diskutierten Beiträge. Besonderes Augenmerk liegt auf dem venezianischen Gebiet, das bisher noch wenig untersucht worden ist. Hervorgegangen sind die in diesem Buch versammelten Beiträge aus dem Internationalen Symposion Georg Friedrich Händel - Aufbruch nach Italien / In viaggio verso l’Italia, welches 2009 am Deutschen Studienzentrum in Venedig anlässlich des 250. Todestages von Händel stattfand.

Oggetto dei saggi qui presentati sono le esperienze del giovane Händel in ambito culturale italiano, con particolare riferimento al territorio veneziano, oggetto finora di scarse ricerche. I contributi sono tratti dal convegno internazionale Georg Friedrich Händel - Aufbruch nach Italien / In viaggio verso l’Italia, tenutosi nel 2009 presso il Centro Tedesco di Studi Veneziani, in occasione del 250° anniversario della morte di Händel.

Il passaggio del giovane Händel a Venezia. La vita musicale veneziana nei primi anni del Settecento
David Bryant, Elena Quaranta

Il passaggio del giovane Händel a Venezia. La vita musicale veneziana nei primi anni del Settecento
Musical organization and practice in early eighteenth-century Venice is permeated by a combination of daily routine, based on the recurrence of similar types of occasions with similar musical repertoires, and tradition – in particular (though by no means exclusively) in the field of church music, which responds to the repetitive and rigidly hierarchical nature of the liturgical calendar. Continuity and inertia in daily musical life and tradition which together give rise to economic stability (guaranteed regular earnings for everyone) but which, at the same time, lead to “unionization” as a means of ensuring equity among participants. This may partially explain the almost complete absence of “outsiders” – among them Handel and Scarlatti – from Venetian documents: these musicians do not have access to the local corporate system but are admitted only to the sphere of private patronage (not well represented in Venetian archives). The dynamics of daily routine and tradition, here examined with particular reference to music at St Mark’s and the many other Venetian churches, are equally applicable to local operatic life and the provision of music for prose theatre


Zur Überlieferung von Händels Acis and Galathea in Italien
Bernhard Janz

Janz, Zur Überlieferung von Händels Acis and Galathea in Italien
The discussion is focused on Aci, Galatea e Polifemo (HWV 72), performed at Naples on 19 July 1707 for the wedding festivities of the Duke d’Alvito (libretto by Nicola Giuvo, after Ovid’s Metamorphoses). Ten years later, in summer 1718, Handel composed a masque at Cannons, Acis and Galathea (HWV 49a), to a libretto by John Gay; this was expanded in 1732 as a three-act opera with English and Italian texts (HWV 49b). The versions differ considerably. The parodies and parody techniques are here briefly sketched. Of particular interest is the discovery of two volumes of duets in the Fondo San Vitale at the Parma Conservatoire library. These volumes, dated 1770 and 1790, belonged to the Quilici family of musicians in Lucca. The 1790 collection contains a version of the opening chorus of the Cannons masque, «O the Pleasure of the Plains». This raises some questions. Was there a properly independent Handelian tradition in Italy, or was the music re-imported? And how, for example, should the indication «coro e ballo» be considered?


Venedig, Händel, Grimani: weitere Überlegungen zum Kontext von Agrippina
Reinhard Strohm

Venedig, Händel, Grimani: weitere Überlegungen zum Kontext von Agrippina
Handel’s opera Agrippina deserves to be viewed in the light of the Italian, specifically the Venetian opera business. The essay, partly indebted to research of Harris S. Saunders and Juliane Riepe, anticipates a larger enquiry of the author in the collective volume Il dramma per musica a Venezia nell’epoca di Vivaldi (forthcoming in Quaderni Vivaldiani, Istituto Italiano Antonio Vivaldi). It addresses three topics: 1. The role of Agrippina in the series of productions of the Grimani family and their rivals. Agrippina fulfils particular patterns that had recently evolved at the S. Giovanni Grisostomo theatre, for example in respect to the topic and style of the drama. 2. The attribution of the libretto to Vincenzo Grimani has unreasonably been doubted, given its anchorage in Venetian chronologies involving the collaboration of Apostolo Zeno. Comparison with Grimani’s libretto Orazio (Venice 1688) further confirms his authorship. 3. The chronology of Handel’s operas written in Italy, as recently revisited by Ursula Kirkendale. If, as she proposes, there was a performance of Agrippina in Venice before the one of carnival 1709-1710, it could at best have been in 1708-1709; Mainwaring’s mention of an ad hoc performance in an otherwise closed theatre might be explained by Don Giller’s suggestion of the Teatro SS. Giovanni e Paolo. Yet Mainwaring’s other assertions are unlikely, as is Kirkendale’s proposal to back-date the Florentine Rodrigo to earlier seasons.


Überlegungen zum frühen italienischen Kantatenschaffen
Helen Geyer

Überlegungen zum frühen italienischen Kantatenschaffen
This paper is focused less on the chronology of the cantatas produced by Handel during his first Italian sojourn (particularly in Rome and Naples) than on stylistic questions and formal devices, with the aim of offering new insights into the formation of the cantatas. The following works are considered: Figlio d’alte speranze (HWV 113), the Sonata a 5 HWV 288 and, in particular, Tu fedel, tu costante? (HWV 171). The astonishing and complex structure of the Sonata in G Minor which opens HWV 171 follows the brand new formal principle of the concerto as developed by Antonio Vivaldi, and even shows the influence of Arcangelo Corelli. On the basis of these purely stylistic aspects, a Venetian influence on these compositions cannot be excluded. The subsequent development of HWV 171 is by no means less breathtaking: Handel offers an overwhelming spectrum of experimental formal structures in response to the poetic context. The third tempo of Figlio d’alte speranze (HWV 113) presents a new, non-Vivaldian use of concerto technique. The Sonata of Delirio amoroso (HWV 99) demonstrates a familiarity with the principles of the concerto grosso and refers to the structural conception of the Sonata HWV 288. If the Sonata of HWV 78 (Ah! Crudel del pianto) is taken into account, the variety of aesthetic discourses becomes quite astonishing. A parallel structure to HWV 113 seems to characterize HWV 288; the structure of HWV 78 seems to point to HWV 150 (Ero e Leandro) and HWV 99 (Delirio amoroso). Quite different are the openings of Handel’s later Venetian cantatas, for example Alpestre monte (HWV 81). One might be tempted to acknowledge a certain influence of the Sublime in Handel’s subordination of the concerto principle and structure to the creation of a free musical “scena”.


La cantata a Roma negli anni del soggiorno italiano di Händel
Teresa M. Gialdroni

La cantata a Roma negli anni del soggiorno italiano di Händel
The aim of this paper is to offer some remarks concerning the Roman musical milieu – with particular reference to the cantata between 1706 and 1709 – and how it may have influenced the young Handel at the time of his legendary Italian journey. Specific aspects of the repertory are examined, mainly focusing on the cantatas produced under the patronage of the Ruspoli, Ottoboni and Pamphilj families which, in this period, were at the forefront of Roman cultural life. Some specific characteristics of the Roman cantata tradition – for example, the formal peculiarities, or the use of cello concertante – might have particularly impressed Handel. The cantata output of such relatively unstudied composers as Bernardo Pasquini, Bernardo Gaffi and Filippo Amadei are also taken into account. The freedom and unpredictability of Pasquini’s cantatas left traces in Handel’s work. The use of cello concertante in Gaffi’s cantatas is compared with Handel’s application of this instrument in his own cantatas.


Frühe Instrumentalwerke Händels in Abschriften Johann Georg Pisendels: Hypothesen zu Entstehung und Überlieferungsgeschichte
Steffen Voss

Frühe Instrumentalwerke Händels in Abschriften Johann Georg Pisendels: Hypothesen zu Entstehung und Überlieferungsgeschichte
The manuscripts of instrumental music in the collection of the Dresden concert master and violin virtuoso Johann Georg Pisendel, preserved in the Saxon State and University Library, Dresden, contain several compositions by Handel. Of special interest are two copies in Pisendel’s own hand: the score of the Sinfonia in Bb major HWV 339 and a complete set of parts of the Concerto grosso in Bb major HWV 312, later published by Walsh as op. 3 no. 1. The sinfonia is written on Roman paper, further proof that Handel had composed the piece in Italy; Pisendel might have copied it during his stay in Rome in early 1717. The concerto grosso parts represent an earlier version of the well-known piece which differs from the op. 3 version in many aspects. The most striking characteristics are an unknown slow movement in the rhythm of a sarabande and the additional meas ures for the last movement. Written by Pisendel on typical Venetian «3 crescents» paper, the parts might also date back to Pisendel’s Italian sojourn of 1716-1717 or some years later


Händels Laudate pueri-Vertonungen: Beispiel zweier musikalischer Traditionen?
Alan Dergal Rautenberg

Händels Laudate pueri-Vertonungen: Beispiel zweier musikalischer Traditionen?
Between 1704 and 1707, Handel composed two settings of Laudate pueri (ps. 112). One was presumably performed in Hamburg, the other in Rome. The presence of two settings may seem strange, though the two works are partially based on the same thematic material and offer many similarities. Why could the Hamburg setting not have been adjusted to Roman circumstances and possibilities? Close analysis of the two pieces reveals substantially different approaches to text and formal design. The Hamburg Laudate pueri is similar to other north- and central-German settings in disposition and scoring. Its free internal structures and ‘excessive’ thematic development are reminiscent of the composer’s early Hamburg works. Obviously, the Roman Laudate pueri is characterised by the use of regular and symmetrical forms. Its musical design, which reflects the expanded possibilities available to the composer, offers a new understanding and rendering of the text. Scoring, compositional devices and virtuoso writing are now effectively harnessed to a reinterpretation of the psalm through decoding and dramatization of the text. This approach is surely rooted in Handel’s education as a composer, but it is also a result of his vivid experience in Italy and perhaps even Venice. The Laudate pueri settings thus reflect two entirely different situations and contexts.


Psalmvertonungen als dramatische Konzeption. Händels Dixit Dominus im venezianischen Umfeld
Birgit Johanna Wertenson

Psalmvertonungen als dramatische Konzeption. Händels Dixit Dominus im venezianischen Umfeld
Handel’s setting of the psalm Dixit Dominus stands out by virtue of two characteristics: its impressive length (30-40 minutes) and its varied dramatic content. These features give the piece a unique compositional structure. Nothing is known regarding the occasion for which this work was composed, its performance or its patron. It is certain only that it was finished in Rome during April 1707. The Venetian influences in the music – for example, the solo concertare of the violins – cannot be denied. This essay sets out to define Handel’s conception on the basis of a detailed analysis and comparison with two other settings of the Dixit Dominus by two of the principal figures in Venice: Johann Rosenmuller and Antonio Vivaldi. The analysis focuses on four topics: 1. the formal arrangement of the psalm-verses; 2. the various compositional techniques used to create the dramatic scenario, above all in vv. 4, 5 and 6; 3. the use of what, for the Dixit Dominus, was the very uncommon key of G Minor; 4. the use of double choir. Not only did Handel bear in mind the Venetian tradition of psalm-settings, but he also regarded the Old Testament text as a dramatic libretto offering astonishingly elaborate richness for formal and stylistic devices. The composition points directly to his later oratorios.


Intret in conspectu tuo. Intorno a un mottetto di Giovanni Legrenzi in una fonte autografa di Händel
Luigi Collarile

Intret in conspectu tuo. Intorno a un mottetto di Giovanni Legrenzi in una fonte autografa di Händel
Giovanni Legrenzi’s motet Intret in conspectu tuo is transmitted only in a manuscript copied by George Frideric Handel. An important documentary source (the Venetian journal «Pallade veneta») suggests that the motet was composed for the celebrations of military victories against the Ottomans, promoted by the Venetian Doge in January 1687. Palaeographical evidence, however, suggests that Handel copied the motet in London around 1749. The use of a section of this motet in a chorus of Samson suggests that the composer knew it before 1741, when the oratorio was performed for the first time. This fact raises interesting questions about Handel’s re-utilization of Italian musical sources.


I mottetti su testo metrico neolatino di Händel: tracce di un repertorio romano scomparso?
Claudio Bacciagaluppi

I mottetti su testo metrico neolatino di Händel: tracce di un repertorio romano scomparso?
The aim of this study is to place the four solo motets composed by Handel during his Roman sojourn of 1707 (O qualis de caelo sonus HWV 239, Caelestis dum spirat aura HWV 231, Saeviat tellus inter rigores HWV 240, and Silete venti, frondes HWV 242) in their original functional and compositional context. These works, none of whose dates of composition can be ascertained precisely, have a common characteristic: their texts are a compilation of freely invented Latin poetry, recitatives and arias with only vague hints of the liturgy or scripture. This particular kind of motet, which is most common in Venice and some other Italian cities, is little known in Rome since, in the late 17th century, newly “invented” texts were officially banned in the Papal States. It seems logical to suppose that exceptions may have been granted for privately sponsored musiche straordinarie (music for extraordinary feast-days) and private chapels (including the “extraterritorial” chiese nazionali). However, the “private” nature of these compositions effectively determined their exclusion from the music archives of normal Roman churches. A few comparable motets survive in the archive of a chiesa nazionale (S. Giacomo degli Spagnoli) or were produced by composers only temporarily active in Rome (for example, Caldara and Vivaldi).


Händel e Steffani: la virtuosa alleanza di musica e politica
Mario Valente

Händel e Steffani: la virtuosa alleanza di musica e politica
Why did marquis Francesco Maria Ruspoli, later Prince of Cerveteri, and Pope Clement XI (Albani) ask the young Handel to compose the music for the oratorio La Resurrezione (Rome, Easter 1708), rather than a successful composer such as Domenico Scarlatti, who belonged to cardinal Pietro Ottoboni’s circle? Why was La Resurrezione performed with five rehearsals, and why did Ruspoli spend a fortune to build two new theatres in the Bonelli palace while the Habsburg troops were menacing the Pope and the Catholic Church in Rome and southern Italy? Why did Ruspoli immortalize the political-historical and artistic events surrounding the performance of La Resurrezione with Alessandro Piazza’s uncommonly large painting? The paper gives an answer to these and other basic questions regarding Handel’s journey to Italy. It shows that Agostino Steffani, former musician and the Pope’s plenipotentiary bishop in Germany, organized Handel’s call to Rome, and that Handel’s music, which transformed the oratorio from a religious work to a theological-political opera, profoundly benefitted Steffani’s peace negotiations between the Holy Sea and Habsburg Empire during the War of the Spanish Succession.


Di Trionfo in Trionfo: indizi sull’immaginario iconografico del primo oratorio händeliano
Carlida Steffan

Di Trionfo in Trionfo: indizi sull’immaginario iconografico del primo oratorio händeliano
Handel’s oratorio La Bellezza raveduta [sic] nel trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno, composed in 1707 during the composer’s stay in Rome, chooses the Allegory of Time as its visual core. Representations of Time, covering a rich variety of iconographical models, had an important place in baroque imagery. This kind of topos, while belonging to pagan and mythological heritage, was firmly established in the milieu of Roman-Catholic high culture, and found an important support in the literary tradition of preaching. The literary, linguistic, and iconographical richness of what was allegedly Cardinal Pamphili’s libretto has already prompted a number of hermeneutical approaches (Mary Ann Parker, Ursula Kirkendale, Huub van der Linden, Ellen T. Harris). This article aims to detect the most important themes and ideological patterns of the text, establishing a connection with the visual arts, which were at the heart of Pamphili’s cultural interests. In Handel’s Trionfo, the relationship between Time, Beauty and Pleasure acquires a new meaning, thanks to the new dramatic role of music as represented by the organ sonata (a composition performed by Handel himself in Rome) in the fictional plan of the plot. This experience left a long-lasting mark on the composer, who kept the task of playing organ entractes between the parts of his later English oratorios for himself. Il trionfo was notably performed in London (1737-1739) in a revised version including further instrumental pieces: Handel defined this version as «Entertainment of Musick».

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