Saturday, June 3, 2017

ORGAN CONCERTO in F major, “The Cuckoo and the Nightingale”

A concerto is different from a concerto grosso in that it is written for one soloist, rather than a group of soloists, and orchestra.

One of Handel’s most popular concertos for organ and orchestra is known as “The Cuckoo and the Nightingale”, because the second movement imitates the sounds of these birds.

This work provides a good example of how Handel used previously composed music in his compositions.  It contains material from his Concerto Grosso Op. 6, No.9, and from his Trio Sonatas N . 5 and 6. Concerto Grosso in B flat major, Op.3, No.2

A concerto grosso is a musical composition written for a group of soloists (concertino) and orchestra (ripieno).  The concertino and the ripieno sometimes play in unison, but more often they play in contrast with each other.

In or about 1720, Handel produced a series of six concertos for string instruments.  One of them was the Concerto Grosso in B flat major,

Op.3, No.2. In this piece, the concertino is made up of two oboes and one bassoon, which introduce the melody or theme.  Throughout the piece, this melody is passed on to other instruments and transformed into different variations.

While Handel did not invent this style of music, he developed it to a new level of sophistication.

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