When publisher Friedrich Chrysander brought Handel’s music to the attention of the broader musical community with the issuing of Handel’s complete works between 1860 and 1890, organist-composers throughout Europe developed an interest in both the Baroque composer’s solo keyboard literature and his works for other performing forces. Alexandre Guilmant, Sigfrid Karg-Elert, William T. Best, and other notable organist-composers made arrangements and transcriptions of a wide variety of Handel’s works. Among Handel’s keyboard music, a particular favorite seems to have been the Air and variations from the Suite in E Minor, often referred to as “The Harmonious Blacksmith”: at least four composers created concert settings or transcriptions of this famous movement. Concert solos were also written based on Handelian themes from the oratorios; the Hallelujah Chorus was a favorite among arrangers. This paper will examine the styles of these compositions and discuss Handel’s influence on organ composition more than a century after his death.
Haendel après Haendel :
Construction, renommée, influence de Haendel et de la figure haendélienne
Bridgewater State University, Mass
Handel Redux: Late Romantic Organ Composers and the Handelian Legacy