Musical Borrowing
An Annotated Bibliography

Individual record

[+] Zimmerman, Franklin B. "Purcellian Passages in the Compositions of G.F. Handel." In Music in Eighteenth-Century England: Essays in Memory of Charles Cudworth, ed. Christopher Hogwood and Richard Luckett, 49-58. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1983.

Four types of borrowings in Handel's music can be identified: (1) overt plagiarisms; (2) re-workings of components of work other than the melody; (3) parodies; and (4) borrowings of scene, mood, atmosphere or affect re-used in a different context. When turning to Purcell for material to borrow and rework, Handel was much more subtle than with other composers, primarily utilizing the last technique. The conspicuous lack of the first three types of borrowings from English composers in Handel's output constitutes strong evidence that Handel was wary of being found out by the London public. He knew that any borrowings from English composers would likely be recognized, and especially those of Purcell.

Works: Handel: Susanna (50), L'Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato (51), O Sing Unto the Lord (52-53), Hercules (54), Judas Maccabeus (54-55), Theodora (55), Alexander Balus (56), Alexander's Feast.(57).

Index Classifications: 1700s

Contributed by: Randal Tucker

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