Suite No.7

George Frideric Handel

Suite No.7 in Bb major

HWV440

About this work

Handel's second volume of keyboard suites was published in 1733, but some of them may have been written years before that date. It is difficult, however, to determine when any of the suites may have been written. Some are more contrapuntal than others, some are more virtuostic than others, and some are more didactic than others. But all of these elements could come from any period in Handel's compositional career and assigning specific works dependent on their compositional style is difficult. In the case of the Seventh from the second volume, its counterpoint is relatively minimal and much of the music is simply a melody supported by chords connected by voice leading. But whether this means that the music was from early on in Handel's career or if it was intended to be an educational piece for one of Handel's students is impossible to tell. The third suite from this set in D minor, the Seventh is more melancholy and less dramatic or tragic than the other two D minor suites. The opening Allemande, marked Moderato, is a quiet, inward piece with a poignant melody above arpeggiated chords and short contrapuntal lines. The Allegretto Courante that follows is a more extroverted but no less sorrowful piece with more imitative counterpoint between the upper and lower voices. The Andantino Sarabande is a pensive, slightly embellished melody above a wayward bass line. The closing Allegro Gigue is the most lively and the most contrapuntal piece of the set.

Done