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.
Handel's Viola Concerto is a quite popular work among
viola players, some like it, others hate it.
Unfortunately, it is also often considered only as
"study material" and therefore ill-treated and not made
really enjoyable. Indeed, in some of his operas he gave
the violas an important role and composed some arias
with solo viola accompaniment.
Handel was born in 1685, the same year as Bach and four
years after Telemann.It was revealed that this piece
was not actually written by Handel. It was written by
french violist/ violist d'amore Henri Casadesus
(1879-1947) in the style of Handel. He forged the piece
under Handel's name and then later admitted to having
written it in a court dispute. Casadesus was a French
composer, viola and viola d'amore player and publisher.
With his family he had formed a Society of Ancient
Instruments and, in addition to rediscovering music by
old masters, he composed some new ones. He did what
also Fritz Kreisler did with the violin, composing a
lot of works and passing them off as little-known works
by Baroque composers. However, for some reason,
Casadesus' works, unlike Kreisler's, are usually less
known and belittled, instead of being considered as
some original, clever compositions. Nonetheless, the
piece is a brilliant invention; a nice compostition "in
Source: Viola In Music
Although originally written for Baroque Orchestra, I
created this Interpretation of the Concerto Grosso in D
Major (HWV 316 Opus 3 No. 5) for Clarinet & Strings (2
Violins, Viola & Cello).