Handel: Saul, HWV 53

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  • Composer: George Frideric Handel
  • Format: Vocal Score
  • Instrumentation: SATB Choir, Orchestra
  • Work: Saul, HWV 53
  • Work Languages: English, German
  • ISMN: 9790007144555
  • Size: 7.5 x 10.6 inches
  • Pages: 216
  • Urtext / Critical Edition


Saul, published for the first time in the version conducted by Handel himself. Saul is one of the most dramatic of Handel's oratorios. To a greater extent than almost any other oratorio it reveals with its gripping dramatic power its proximity to opera of its time. The score demands what was at the time Handel's most varied orchestra. The normal opera orchestra of the day was augmented by trombones, harp, solo organ, carillon (Glockenspiel) and large kettledrums. The choir functions for the first time as a central participant in dramatic action, while also undertaking commentating functions as in a Greek tragedy. This new edition makes use for the first time of musical material revealed by the latest Handel research, based as its most important source on the conducting score from which Handel himself directed his performances. Only this research has shown which arias, choruses, recitatives and instrumental pieces, after he had made numerous corrections in his autograph, Handel chose for his performances, and in what order they were given. The result has produced, apart from many changes of details (e.g. autograph instructions concerning the use of the organ), uncommon ordering of individual pieces, and passages with altered notes.