Tamerlano HWV 18; Dramma per musica in 3 acts
Handel began the composition of Tamerlano, one of the supreme masterpieces of Baroque opera seria, on 3rd July 1724. The libretto was an adaptation by Nicola Haym of Agostino Piovene's Tamerlano, Tragedia per musica, which had been set to music by Francesco Gasparini, and performed in Venice in 1711. When Handel dated the last page of the autograph on 4rd July the work appeared to be complete; but during the three months which passed before the premiere at the King's Theatre in the Haymarket on 31 October, so many alterations and revisions were made that a fresh performing-score had to be writtern very late in the proceedings, to replace an earlier one which is now 1ost.
There were twelve performances between 31 October 1724 and 8 May 1725. Handel revived the opera only once, in 1731, for three performances. For this revival he marked in the performing score a number of cuts in the recitatives, which are reproduced in the present edition; there is more recitative in Tamerlano than in any other Handel opera.Urtext of the Halle Handel Edition.Full score (BA4052) and vocal score (BA4052-90) available for sale Performance material (BA4052-72) available for hire