Suite No.3

George Frideric Handel

Suite No.3 in D minor

HWV436

About this work

Handel's second set of keyboard suites were published in Amsterdam in 1733 without his permission or royalties and in London in 1734 with his permission and royalties. However, many -- if not most -- of the works in both volumes were probably written long before publication. Suite No. 3 from the second volume has a briefness, a simplicity, and a emotional directness that might place it among Handel's earliest works. Set in D minor, the Third is also one of the most deeply affecting of all the suites, with its brooding Andantino Allemande, its relentless Allegro moderato Courante, its twisted Allegro Gigue, and especially in its remorseless Lento non troppo Sarabande which, with its quiet intensity and overwhelming sorrow, reminds the listener of the Dead March From Saul. Arranged for orchestra, Stanley Kubrick used the Sarabande from the Third for the dueling sequence in his movie Barry Lyndon.

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