Handel: Esther Overture



FE116                                       0100 strings (without violas)

Andante;   Larghetto;   Allegro

Esther was composed probably at Cannons, Middlesex, in 1718, the actual date of its first performance being unknown. From the 1730s. onwards it was revived extensively but much revised, often with Italian singers and with questionable results. An anonymous pamphlet of 1732 states ‘Senesino and Bertolli made rare work with the English Tongue you would have sworn it had been Welch.’ (Welsh.) Another source (Mrs. Thrale) reports one of the Italian singers ‘set to sing these English Words – ‘I come my Queen to Chaste Delights – he sang and pronounced them thus, ‘I comb my Queen to chase the Lice’

Chysander’s edition of the 1718 overture is flawed in the respect that it specifies two oboes in unison. It is clear that the piece is in typical ‘Chandos’ scoring, i.e. with a solo oboe, divided violins and no violas. The extensive oboe solos in the allegro (and indeed throughout the work) point to the presence of Jean Christian Kytch, the Dutch virtuoso who first appears in London in 1711 as a named Bassonist in the score of Rinaldo. It is known that Kytch was a regular visitor to Cannons at this time


Full score                                             £6

Set of parts: wind and strings (43021)  £18

Extra string parts                                 £4

Handel Overtures Series:

Multi-buy option: any 4 scores for £20; any 4 sets of parts £50

Additional information


Extra basso part, Extra vln 1 part, Extra vln 2 part, Parts, Score, Score and parts


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