Page:Romain Rolland Handel.djvu/194

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Many people have seen in the three movements[1] of the Overture to Esther, 1720, a complete programme, which Chrysander gives thus in detail: firstly, the wickedness of Haman; secondly, the complaints of Israel; thirdly, the deliverance. I will content myself by saying that the ensemble of this symphony is thoroughly in the colour and spirit of the tragedy itself—but it is not possible to doubt that with the Overture of Deborah and with that of Belshazzar that Handel wished to work to a complete programme; for of the four movements of the Deborah Overture, the second is repeated later on as the Chorus of the Israelites, and the fourth as the Chorus of Baal's priests. Thus in his very first pages he places in

  1. Andante, larghetto, allegro (fugue).