Editions of George Frederick Handel's Works
Terence Best, Ed. Radamisto
Arnold Edition Semele
Frederich Chrysander, Ed. Ariodante
Orchestral Music
Anthony Hicks, Ed. Clori, Tirsi e Fileno
Judas Maccabaeus
Ottone, Rè di Germania
British Museum Edition Opus 6

Handel, George Frideric (1685-1759)

Overview of repertory:
Handel composed in a great many genre and the quantity of music he left is enormous. He was best known for very large works, his operas and oratorios, but he also composed a great deal of instrumental, vocal, and choral music in shorter forms.

Method of identification of works:
Our encodings of Handel's works all refer to the inventory of works make by the late Bernd Baselt and published in three volumes under the title Thematisch-systematisches Verzeichnis (Kassel: Bäenreiter, 1978-86). Our abbreviation for this source is HWV (standing for a non-existent title, Handel Werkverzeichnis, which forms a parallel with the Bach Werkverzeichnis or BWV). This survey is linked to an edition still in progress, the Hallische Händel-Ausgabe (HHA).

Overview of sources used:
Our encodings of the shorter works (sonatas, concertos, marches, and so forth) are based on the 96-volume edition of F. W. Chrysander (G. F. Händels Werke: Ausgabe der Deutschen Händelgesellschaft, Leipzig, 1858-94).

Our encodings of larger works (operas, oratorios, and serenatas) are generally newly edited by leading specialists in the field. Many of these editions require the written consent of the editors for performance.

Reference catalogue:
See Method of Identification above.

Work titles/numbers:
See Method of Identification above.

Movement titles/numbers:
The concept of movement numbers is quite problemmatical in operas and oratorios. The customary practice of music publishers is to leave recitatives unnumbered. Where our encodings are closely tied to an edition, we have followed this practice, but with the differentiation of aria or chorus and recitative, for example, as 1a and 1b. Where our encodings are not tied to an edition, we have found it more convenient to number all sections consecutively, so that the total number of movements may be roughly double what an available score might suggest.

Where variants have been encoded, as for example in the case of Messiah, it has sometimes been necessary to add even more subscripts or, alternatively, even more movement numbers to accommodate varying numbers of movements from one version to another.

Neither numbering system deals with another variable in Handel's music--his frequent practice of changing vocal registration (for example from soprano to tenor or vice versa). For the user of score matierial, this can easily be accommodated by adding or substracting the numeral 8 under the treble clef sign.