Handel; 1912 (Miss H.M. Cruse)

Handel; 1912 (Miss H.M. Cruse)

By Miss H. M. Cruse
The Parents’ Review, 1912, pp. 554-555

Music Programme for the Autumn Term, 1912.

Last term we learnt something about John Sebastian Bach; with him we always associate the name of George Frederic Handel. Both these great musicians were born in 1685, both were Germans, both were gigantic masters of their art, and curiously enough both became blind. It is strange to think that they never met. Bach lived in retirement, but Handel was a traveller and came in contact with many people in Germany, Italy and England. To his studies in Italy we owe the delightful ease with which he wrote his vocal music; there and in Germany most of his operas were composed, but it remained for England to have the honour of giving the impetus to his oratorios and to be the chosen land of his adoption.

His greatest works, The Messiah and Israel in Egypt, have always been favourites; for the last fifty years a Handel Festival has been held triennially at the Crystal Palace when these two oratorios and selections from others have been and still are performed by 3,000 people.

Handel died in London in 1759, and was buried in Westminster Abbey.

We have selected the following list from his works for this term’s study:—

I.—Organ Concerto in G Minor, arranged as Pianoforte duet (Augener’s Ed., 1/-). A work written for Solo organ accompanied by the orchestra. It is in four movements:—Larghetto in three-four time, Allegro in four-four time in G Major, a short Adagio in E Minor and final Andante in three-eight time in G Major.

II.—Sonata for Violin and Piano in A Major (Augener, No. 7376, 1/-). In three movements, an Andante and two Allegros. The second very charming Allegro in twelve-eight time is preceded by four Adagio measures in the relative minor key.

III.—The Harmonious Blacksmith. Air with variations in E Major from Suite No. VII (Handel Album, Augener, No. 8152, 1/-). The smith’s regular strokes on the anvil are heard on every beat. Handel wrote this at Edgware where the Blacksmith is buried. The first notes of the air are to be seen on his tombstone.

IV.—Passacaille in G Minor from Suite VII (Album as above). A Passacaille was an early Italian dance for one or two performers; it was a very favourite form with Bach and Handel, and much resembles an air with variations.

V.—Fantasia in C Major (Album as above). A charming movement recalling semiquaver figures from the Violin Sonata and Organ Concerto.

VI.—Allegro from Suite II (Album as above). A lively rhythmical movement in F Major with the subject appearing in several keys.

VII.—Hornpipe from the Water Music (Augener, 6d.) This Water Music was written as a peace offering to King George I., whom Handel had offended when he was Elector of Hanover. The King’s resentment was softened and Handel was pardoned and rewarded. The Hornpipe is one of 25 movements, it is in three-two time in the key of F.


(1) “Angels ever bright and fair,” from Theodora (Augener, 1/-, in F).

(2) Two Part songs from Judas Maccabæus (Novello’s School Songs, 1 1/2d. each). “O lovely Peace,” duet, “See the Conquering Hero comes,” trio with duet.

(3) “Ombra mai fu,” from Xerxes, in E♭(Augener, 1/-). This can also be had with additional violin part.

Let two numbers of “The Messiah” be taken consecutively on Sundays and one week-day that the children may hear it straight through by the end of the term. An inexperienced pianist can play the melody of each number and read the words which are all from the Bible. The Pastoral Symphony and the Aria “He shall feed His flock,” are to be specially studied for the Programme. Copies of “The Messiah” can be obtained from 9d. upwards.

It is good to have a picture of Handel in the room.

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