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Haendel, Georg Friedrich Georg Friedrich Haendel
Germany Germany
(1685 - 1759)
1774 sheet music
2266 MP3
453 MIDI



Arrangers : › Haendel, Georg Friedrich (1)
› Alkan, Charles-Valentin (1)
› Best, William Thomas (1)
› Czerny, Carl (1)
› Heidtmann, Klaus (2)
› MACHELLA, MAURIZIO (2)
› Magatagan, Mike (4)

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Haendel, Georg Friedrich: "To Man God's Universal Law" from "Samson" for String Quartet

"To Man God's Universal Law" from "Samson" for String Quartet
HWV 57
Georg Friedrich Haendel




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Composer :Georg Friedrich HaendelHaendel, Georg Friedrich (1685 - 1759)
Instrumentation :

String Quartet

Style :

Baroque

Arranger :
Publisher :
Georg Friedrich HaendelMagatagan, Mike (1960 - )
Date :1741
Copyright :Public Domain
Samson was begun immediately after Handel had finished writing Messiah in 1741. Although almost all of the work was done by October of that year, he put the oratorio aside so that it could be premiered in London. It premiered at the Covent Garden Theatre in February 1743, where it had an extremely successful run of eight performances. Samson was staged in direct competition to the opera season at the King's Theatre, and was by far the more successful.

Handel's approach was new, having written and hired all English singers and performers. Up until this time, Handel had always had a lead castrato sing the heroic role, but he no longer had the resources in personnel that he once had. He decided to write the part for a singer who was not in the least virtuosic, but was known for his musicianship and dramatic skill: a tenor by the name of John Beard. His choice for Dalila was an actress capable of acting the part of a great seductress, Catherine Clive.

The score borrows a good deal from the music of others: Legrenzi, Telemann, Muffat, and Porta. It was hailed by the public as one of Handel's great works, and became a favorite of Londoners. The aria "Total eclipse!" in which Samson bewails his loss of sight, was known in later years to move both Handel and the London audience to tears, as Handel, spending the last ten years of his life blind, sat unseeing at his harpsichord during oratorio performances.

The libretto is taken from the Milton poem Samson Agonistes, as well as the biblical story from the Book of Judges. The librettist, Newburgh Hamilton, revised the poem to be a dramatic masterpiece for an oratorio. It opens with Samson in chains, having lost his strength and been blinded by the Philistines. The drama of Hamilton's libretto surrounds the transformation that takes place within Samson, as he changes from a despairing, defeated Israelite hero, into a resolved, committed, and believing instrument of retribution against the worshippers of Dagon. Each act is divided into sections in the libretto which are reflected in the score. The first act contrasts the celebrating Philistines with Samson's bleak circumstances. Trumpets and drums at the opening contrast with the soulful minor singing of the despondent Samson. Towards the end of the act Samson's transformation begins. In "Why does the God of Israel sleep?" Samson calls on Jehovah for aid. The entire closing sequence, which continues with a grand contrapuntal chorus and a solo for Samson's father, is in major, symbolizing Samson's growing inner strength. In Act II, Samson must confront first Dalila, his profligate wife, and then an emissary of the Philistines. In "Traitor to love," Dalila and Samson voice their conflicting views, and angrily spurn one another. In this oratorio Handel makes effective use of "crowd" choruses. When Harapha the champion of the Philistines arrives, crowds of Philistines and Israelites sing against one another in contrasting keys and types of thematic material. In the third act, Samson's final transformation takes place. The triumphal key of D major prevails in its exultant choruses, as the Israelites rejoice in their victory.

Although originally written for Chorus (SATB) and Keyboard, I created this arrangement for String Quartet (2 Violins, Viola & Cello).
Source / Web :MuseScore
Sheet central :Samson (15 sheet music)
Added by magataganm the 2015-01-13


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This sheet music is part of the collection of magataganm :
Viola Arrangements

Viola Arrangements
Sheet music list :
› "Joy to the World" for String Quartet
› 'Élégie' for Viola & Harp - Viola and Harp
› "3 Chants Sacrés" for Viola & Piano
› "Ach bleib bei uns, Herr Jesu Christ" for Viola
› "Albinoni's Adagio" for Viola & Harp - Viola and Harp
› "All They That See Him Laugh Him to Scorn" for Horn & Strings
› "All Through the Night" for Violin, Viola & Harp
› "Allemanda" from the Partita for Violin No. 2 for Viola - Viola
› "Alma Redemptoris Mater" for String Quartet
› "Am Tage Aller Seelen" for Viola & Harp