Handel solo sonatas (Walsh)

Cover of Walsh's 1732 publication.
Cover of "Roger's" 1730 publication.

Solos for a German Flute a Hoboy or Violin with a Thorough Bass for the Harpsichord or Bass Violin Compos'd by Mr. Handel was published by John Walsh in 1732. It contains a set of twelve sonatas, for various instruments, composed by George Frideric Handel. The 63 page publication includes the sonatas that are generally known as Handel's Opus 1 (three extra "Opus 1" sonatas were added in a later edition by Chrysander).[1]

The 1732 edition (which displays at the bottom of the title page the legend "Note: This is more Corect [sic] than the former Edition") was mostly reprinted from the plates of an earlier 1730 publication, titled Sonates pour un Traversiere un Violon ou Hautbois Con Basso Continuo Composées par G. F. Handel—purportedly printed in Amsterdam by Jeanne Roger, but now shown to have been a forgery by Walsh (dated well after Jeanne Roger's death in 1722). There was also a third edition of a later, uncertain date, which bears the plate no. 407.[2]

Each sonata displays the melody and bass lines—with the expectation that a competent keyboard player would supply the omitted inner parts based on the figured bass markings. By modern-day standards, the music in the publication has a primitive appearance—with squashed notes and irregular spacings, stems and bar widths—as can be seen in the image of page 1 (reproduced below in this article).

Despite the titles in both editions, four of the sonatas in each are for a fourth instrument: the flauto (recorder).


The following table lists each of the sonatas included by Walsh in his publication of 1732, as well as information about the instrument, the key, and the original sonata by Handel.

Sonata Instrument Key signature Handel's sonata
01Sonata I Flute E minor Flute sonata in E minor (HWV 359b). This is the same sonata as Chrysander's Sonata Ib.
02Sonata II Recorder G minor Recorder sonata in G minor (HWV 360).
03Sonata III Violin A major Violin sonata in A major (HWV 361).
04Sonata IV Recorder A minor Recorder sonata in A minor (HWV 362).
05Sonata V Flute G major Flute sonata in G major (HWV 363b).
06Sonata VI Oboe G minor Violin sonata in G minor (HWV 364a).
07Sonata VII Recorder C major Recorder sonata in C major (HWV 365).
08Sonata VIII Oboe C minor Oboe sonata in C minor (HWV 366).
09Sonata IX Flute B minor Flute sonata in B minor (HWV 367b). Walsh published what is now considered to be Handel's Opus 1 No. 9b.
(Handel's Opus 1 No. 9a is the Recorder sonata in D minor (HWV 367a).)
10Sonata X Violin G minor Violin sonata in G minor (HWV 368). Probably spurious.
11Sonata XI Recorder F major Recorder sonata in F major (HWV 369).
12Sonata XII Violin F major Violin sonata in F major (HWV 370). Probably spurious.

The following table lists the sonatas included by Walsh in his publication of 1730. Sonatas I – IX and XI were as per the 1732 publication (defined above).

Sonata Instrument Key signature Handel's sonata
10Sonata X Violin A major Violin sonata in A major (HWV 372). Probably spurious. Designated Opus 1, No. 14 by the later Chrysander edition.
12Sonata XII Violin E major Violin sonata in E major (HWV 373). Probably spurious. Designated Opus 1, No. 15 by the later Chrysander edition.
Page 1 of Walsh's 1732 publication.

See also


  1. Hicks 2001
  2. Best 1985, 481–82.


External links

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