About this work
Handel published his first volume of Suites for keyboard in London in 1720. The works had already been published without his permission in Amsterdam the previous year and Handel published them himself in London to protect his royalties. Also called Suites de pieces pour le Clavecin, the suites most often are sets of stylized dances. The Suite in F major, however, is not a set of dances, but rather a stylized church sonata in four movements: Adagio, Allegro, Adagio, and Fuga. The opening Adagio is a thoughtful and expansive movement with an exquisitely embellished melody above wide-ranging modulations starting in F major, but ending in A minor. The following Allegro is a rapid, racing movement in F major with few modulations. The following Adagio is a dramatic movement in D minor with a highly expressive melody above widely spaced chords. The closing Fuga Allegro is in four independent voices with an aggressive subject.