George Frideric Handel
Concerto in B-Flat Major for Organ (or Harp) & Strings
Op. 4,  No. 6

Transcribed for Organ Solo
Available as a Complimentary Download in June 2022



        Handel’s Concerto in B-flat Major (Opus 4, Number 6) is equally well suited for performance featuring a harp soloist. His organ concerti evolved as entr’actes to be performed during the intermissions of his oratorios and staged works, intended as secular entertainment and diversion for the audiences

        The pipe organ of Handel’s practice and acquaintance in the first half of 18th Century London would typically have been a one-manual keyboard instrument of limited tonal resources, range, and scope. Thus, the interplay with the modest chamber orchestra of the era becomes one of the vital elements of the success and appeal of his concerti. The delicate textural dialogues between soloist and ensemble are structural equivalents of the relationship between the concertino and ripieno of his concerti grossi.

        The Concerto in B-flat Major is a fine example of Handel's charming and congenial compositional skills. In the present edition, numerous ornamentations have been added to the second movement to enhance contrasts between alternating solo and accompanimental passages. In the first and second movements, a pedal part underlies the ripieno sections. In the third movement, the inclusion of a manual 16' pitch is recommended for the ripieno passages to accentuate the contrast between performing bodies, freeing the pedals to provide a brief treble accompaniment.