About this work
In 1719, Handel's first volume of keyboard suites was published without his knowledge or permission in Amsterdam, more or less forcing Handel to publish them himself in London in 1720 in order to protect his royalties. Apparently, Handel learned little from this experience because the same thing happened in 1733 when another publisher in Amsterdam issued Handel's second volume of keyboard suites without his knowledge or permission. Once again, Handel was forced to publish the works in London the following year in order to protect his royalties. Like most of the suites in the first volume, the Suite No. 1 in G minor from the second volume is a set of stylized dance movements. Unlike them, the first suite is in three movements: a large-scale Allemande with a descending theme in flowing sixteenth notes, a Courante with gracefully arching melodies in undulating eighth notes, and a Presto Gigue with a decidedly Scottish rhythmic snap. The first suite is a Handel suite refined to its essence.