Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Handel Dances

Using the order Christopher Hogwood comes up with in his Handel - Water Music & Music for the Royal Fireworks, these are the two minuets followed by the two country dances that come right before the concluding trumpet minuet of the Water Music (there's no autograph manuscript so the order is conjectural). There's a seamless join of the two minuets at the 48 second mark. The seamless join of the two country dances comes at 3:36.

I've been using these pieces for years, most recently as solo flute music preceding my nephew's outdoor wedding here on the farm a couple of Saturdays ago. People love them, even folks who don't normally listen to "classical" music. 

In terms of performance style, these players are sort of swinging the straight eighths as dotted notes, where I've always played them straight trying to make them soar. These players also really get the 6/4 feel that Hogwood says is the way to go on minuets. He also says the minuet was danced by all levels of the social order of the day, not just the Marie Antoinette types here.

Thanks to Elaine Fine of Musical Assumptions for finding this and putting it up.

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