Grainger first met Cyril Scott (1879–1970) during his student years at Dr Hoch’s Conservatorium in Frankfurt, being introduced to him by a member of the Klimsch family. Their initial meeting was cool, but they soon warmed to each other and were to remain friends for nearly seven decades. Grainger was the younger of the two by three years, and welcomed Scott’s attention to his new compositions, often performing them in Scott’s rooms at the conservatory. The Handelian Rhapsody
stems from an early one-movement Piano Sonata in D major, Op 17, that Scott had written for Grainger around 1901. The work appealed to Grainger owing to its clanging, bell-like sounds, but Scott felt it to be immature and had more or less discarded it when Grainger urged the composer to allow him to ‘take the knife to it’. He produced a new recension under Grainger’s editorship, which he later described as being not unlike a Brahms rhapsody. The title came about through Grainger’s contention that Handel had at times exercised a certain influence on Scott’s music.
from notes by Barry Peter Ould © 2002