UM1367 Sonata in G Major

Sonata in G Major after Op 4 no.6
for Mandolin and Harp
GF Handel Edited Anthony Robson

Cover imageThis Sonata for Mandolin (Mandolino) and Harp (or Harpsichord / Piano) is an unashamed arrangement of an already well known and loved Handel favourite, the Concerto Op. 4 no.6. The piece has a somewhat complicated history; it was first published in 1738 under the guise of an Organ Concerto, but the surviving autograph clearly states ‘Concerto per la Harpa’.

Moreover the concerto, or some version of it, was given its premiere in February 1736, in the Oratorio ‘Alexander’s Feast’, where it was intended to depict Timotheus playing his lyre. A surviving continuo part from the first performance of this work (which, somewhat astonishingly, is the only existing piece of genuine Handelian performance material to survive at all,) describes a ‘Concerto per il Liuto e l’ Harpa’. The work was furthermore described in the published ‘Word-Book’ for this performance as for ‘the Harp, Lute, Lyrichord and other Instruments’ all of which adds confusion to the instrumentation. Handel scholars have commented how superfluous the orchestral tuttis are, (suggesting a solo sonata origin) and how the slow movement seems almost to be lacking a second melody line at various points.

In preparing this arrangement I have transposed the original down a minor 3rd from the original key of Bb major into G major in order for the work to lie better under the hand of the mandolinist. I have also transcribed aspects of the orchestral parts into the harp part, added simple continuo realisations where necessary and added an extra voice in thirds and sixths in the slow movement to fill out the texture. At all times I have endeavoured to keep as close as possible to the spirit of the original whilst making this lovely work accessible to devotees of the Mandolin. Anthony Robson Jan. 2006


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Library Information

Title: Sonata in G Major after Op 4 no.6
Composer: GF Handel (Edited Anthony Robson)
Contents: 12 minute duet
Instrumentation: Mandolin & Harp
Level: Intermediate
Format: A4 stapled
ISBN: 979 0 57031 042 5
Publisher: Astute Music
Edition/Year: 2006
Origin: UK
Our Ref: UM1367