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Concerto No 3 in A major
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No 3 seems to have undergone a revision. The orchestral passages are largely Baroque in style. Robin Langley points out that the main theme of the last movement is related to an aria in Handel’s Alexander Balus, which means that it may date from soon after 1754, when the oratorio was revived. But the keyboard-writing is often much more modern, with Alberti basses and thick left-hand chords that suggest the use of the piano rather than the harpsichord or organ. Pianos became common in London in the 1770s, and it may be that Arne revised the concerto for the new instrument in his last years. Arne certainly envisaged performances on the piano, for his preface to the lost autograph score, quoted in the 1793 edition, was addressed ‘To all Ladies and Gentlemen, performers on the Organ, Harpsichord, or Piano e Forte’.

from notes by Peter Holman © 1991

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