Musical Borrowing
An Annotated Bibliography

Individual record

[+] Zimmerman, Franklin B. "Handel's Purcellian Borrowings in His Later Operas and Oratorios." In Festschrift for Otto Erich Deutsch, ed. Walter Greenberg, Jan LaRue, and Wolfgang Rehm, 20-30. Kassel: Bärenreiter, 1963.

Evidence suggests that Handel came into contact with Purcell's King Arthur during the period of his greatest struggles as a composer, and thus when he may have been particularly susceptible to borrowing. The period of Handel's heaviest borrowings from Purcell occurs during the 5 years after his return from Aix-la-Chapelle in 1737. Handel may have turned to Purcell's music for assistance in coping with two main problems: the unfamiliar English language, and an unfamiliar and intractable English public. Although there is a lack of solid evidence linking Handel's works directly to Purcell's, there are numerous similarities in melodic and motivic construction as well as in general style that cannot be ignored. An appendix of muiscal examples can be found on 28-30.

Works: Handel: Susanna (22-23), Saul (23), L'Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato (24), Messiah (26), Alexander Balus (27), Belshazzar (26), Joshua.(27).

Index Classifications: 1700s

Contributed by: Randal Tucker

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