Robert P. Forbes <[log in to unmask]> writes:
>On the other hand, Handel absolutely insisted that
>his singers "sing what I do write, or I will drop you out the window," so
>he seems to be one of the earliest composers to demand (or be able to
>command) fidelity to the text from his performers.
>Any thoughts on all of this?
My reference books aren't here, but off the top of my head I can't remember
that Handel quote. It may be accurate, but one would have to qualify the
context, the music, and the performers he was talking about.
He could not have said that to the imported Italians who sang his operas,
(1) because they would have laughed at him (he hired them, after all,
because THEY knew how to sing his music!), and (2) because it's clear from
his scores that he never wrote down any more than he had to, and the opera
scores are pretty plain looking.
His English oratorio singers might have been a different matter. They
worked cheaper and spoke the language, but couldn't have been expected to
have the same kind of training and experience as the Italians. As I think
of, for instance, "Every Valley," it seems that he did write in more the of
ornamentation and may very well have made such a statement to those people,
regarding that music.
John & Susie Howell ([log in to unmask])
Virginia Tech Department of Music
Blacksburg, Virginia U.S.A. 24061-0240
(703) 231-8411 - FAX (703) 231- 5034