Händel: Organ Works

Compiled after the Urtext of the Halle Handel Edition  by Siegbert Rampe
Bärenreiter, BA 11226, 2016
ix+49pp, £20.50

I am suspicious of the title. The five items in the HWV 400s are primarily for harpsichord, though the fugues HWV 605-12 are for organ or harpsichord. No. 13, “O the pleasure of the plain”, is a reduced version of the first chorus from Acis & Galatea, but it needs two hands and two feet and goes down to the G below the normal pedals (which were very rare at the time), and why is it so short? Finally, Jesu meine Freude  is a straight three-part setting with the melody in the alto, with a two-bar link into a second verse with the melody in the treble. I’m sure the volume would sell better if a more flexible title had been used, offering the repertoire as suitable for harpsichord AND organ.

Clifford Bartlett