Page:Romain Rolland Handel.djvu/168

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form of ballet-opera. The Musette and the Allegro of the Second Sonata come from Ariodante. Some of the other slow and pompous movements are borrowed from his oratorios. The two Allegri which open the Fourth Sonata are taken from the Overture of Athaliah. On the other hand, Handel inserts in the final movement of Belshazzar the beautiful Andante which opens his First Sonata.

Whoever wishes to judge these works historically or from the intellectual point of view, will find, like Chrysander, that Handel has not invented here any new forms, and, as he advanced, he returned to the form of the Suite, which already belonged to the past, instead of continuing on his way towards the future Sonata. But those who will judge them artistically, for their own personal charm, will find in them some of the purest creations of Handel, and those which best retain their freshness. Their beautiful Italian lines, their delicate expression, their aristocratic simplicity, are refreshing alike to the mind and to the heart. Our own epoch, tired of the post-Beethoven and post-Wagnerian art, can find here, as in the chamber music of Mozart, a safe haven, where it can escape the sterile agitation of the present and find again quiet peace and sanity.

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The orchestral music of Handel comprises twelve Concerti Grossi (1740), the six Oboe Concertos (1734), the Symphonies from his operas, oratorios, and his open-air music—Water-Music (1715 or 1717),