Page:Romain Rolland Handel.djvu/191
Then the broad subject of the Introduction recurs with its refrain of quiet joy, nature's own smile.
Such works are truly pictures in music. To understand them it does not suffice to have quick ears; it is necessary to have the eyes to see, and the heart to feel.
The Symphonies of the operas and oratorios of Handel are extremely varied. Still, the Lully form predominates. This form consists, as is well
- The two last allegri conclude the work a trifle brusquely. The order of the movements with Handel is often very surprising. It is as though he followed the caprice of the moment.
- We cannot continue here the analysis of the other volumes of Orchestral Concertos. I satisfy myself with merely enumerating them: The 6 Concerti grossi con due violini e violoncello di concertino obligati e due altri violini viola e basso di concerto grosso, op. 3, known under the name of Oboe Concertos (notwithstanding that the oboe does not play a very prominent rôle), were published in 1734, and seemed to have been performed at the Wedding of the Prince of Orange with the Princess Anne in 1733. But, as we are told, their composition was previous to this; for not only do we find in the third and the fifth the reproduction of fugues from the Clavier Pieces, but the fourth served in 1716 as the second overture to Amadigi, and the first movement of the fifth was played in 1722 in the opera Ottone. The form of these Concertos, even less set than with the preceding Concerti Grossi, varies from two to five movements, and their orchestration comprises, besides the strings, two oboes, to which are occasionally added two flutes, two bassoons, the organ and the clavecin. It is only exceptional that the oboe plays a solo part; more often it has to satisfy itself by reinforcing the violins.
To this volume we must add a number of other concertos, which appeared at different times, and are brought together in Volume XXI of the Complete Works; especially the celebrated Concerto of Alexander's Feast, written in January, 1736, of which the style has the same massive breadth as the oratorio itself. And four little concertos, two of which are interesting by being youthful works, from 1703 to 1710, according to Chrysander.
- Handel's Overtures were so much appreciated that the publisher Walsh issued a volume of them for the clavier (65 Overtures). A good specimen of these transcriptions is found in Volume XLVIII of the Complete Edition.