Georg Friedrich Händel (1685 1759) was a German,
later British, baroque composer who spent the bulk of
his career in London, becoming well known for his
operas, oratorios, anthems, and organ concertos. Handel
received important training in Halle and worked as a
composer in Hamburg and Italy before settling in London
in 1712; he became a naturalised British subject in
1727. He was strongly influenced both by the great
composers of the Italian Baroque and by the
middle-German polyphonic choral tradition.
First performed during a presentation of Handel's
Samson in February 1743, this concerto launches with a
brief French overture with a powerful dotted rhythm.
The "ouverture's" traditional fugal section appears
here as a separate movement, marked A tempo ordinario.
It's based on a theme by Gottfried Muffat, "La
Coquette," from a suite published in
Componimeni Musicali. The orchestra introduces the
subject and toys with it at length before the organ
reappears to provide its own treatment of the theme.
The third movement, which should be slow, was
improvised by Handel at the first performance, and the
published version of the concerto merely instructs the
soloist to play ad libitum. Today's organists generally
borrow a movement from some other Handel work. The
final movement is an Allegro built from little
arpeggiated melodic figures strung together into a
seamless tune. A recurring subsidiary section includes
an orchestral drone that gives the music a rustic
character; it also suggests an organ pedal point --
something Handel's organs couldn't produce because the
instruments in London at that time lacked pedals.
Although originally written for Oboe & Baroque
Orchestra, I created this Interpretation of the
Concerto in A Major (HWV 307 Op. 7 No. 2) for Woodwinds
(Flute & Bassoon) & Strings (2 Violins, Viola & Cello).