The main text of this edition of Handel’s wedding serenata “Parnasso in festa per gli sponsali di Teti e Peleo“ (HWV 73) is based on the version used for the work’s first performances in March of 1734. Three appendices retrace the complex history of the work, significantly different versions of which were used for revival performances in 1737, 1740, and 1741. Included are abandoned and modified parts of the score as well as a documentation of changes made to the characters.
Handel composed “Parnasso in festa” for the wedding of Anne, Princess Royal and Prince William of Orange, which took place on March 14, 1734 in London. As Handel’s contribution to the public festivities, the serenata was performed the evening before the nuptials at King’s Theatre in the Haymarket. The bridal couple attended the performance.
While the Italian text of the serenata was newly set, most likely by Giacomo Rossi, most of the music was drawn from pieces of Handel’s earlier works, among them “Athalia” from “Radamisto” (HWV 12a), “Il trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno” (HWV 46a), and “Delirio amoroso” (HWV 99). Newly composed parts are limited to eight vocal pieces, the sinfonia at the beginning of part 3, and the beginning of the overture. The available source material reflects the history of the work: There is no autograph composition score, while the conducting score reflects a collaboration between Handel and his main copyist John Christopher Smith senior. However, composition scores of individual, newly composed pieces have been preserved.
- New edition based on the latest research after thorough examination of all relevant primary and secondary sources
- Extensive editorial Foreword about the work’s conception, mythological background, transmission, reception, and a survey of sources (Ger/Eng), with extensive critical report (Eng)
- Selected musical facsimiles as well as complete facsimile of the printed libretto of 1734