As a frequent guest at the country estate of Lord
Aylesford, Handel evidently composed new stuff and
re-worked old stuff. The manuscripts were left behind
in the Aylesford manor and not discovered until an
auction in 1918. Research has shown that some of the
material dates from Handel's early years in Hamburg,
while other of the pieces were new.
The first adjective that comes to mind is
"unpretentious." While Bach was storming the very gates
of heaven in Leipzig, here was Handel, relaxed,
enjoying holidays in the country, diddling about on his
host's harpsichord. But what diddling! Mostly short,
often playful, sometimes somber, but always with an air
of creative freedom, of unpressured delight in the act
of composition. Music, one is tempted to say, for the
sake of music.
Although originally written for Keyboard, I created
this arrangement for Concert (Pedal) Harp.