Handel’s Concerto Movement in D minor is better known as the first movement of the Concerto in D minor, Op 7 No 4
. He wrote it in the late 1730s, possibly as the introduction to an oratorio. Indeed, it would make an excellent prelude to L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato
, first performed in February 1740, which has no overture. It matches the oratorio’s opening recitative in key (D minor), scoring (two bassoons and strings), and sombre mood. As originally conceived, the movement has two written-out organ parts, one solo and one ripieno. When Handel incorporated it into Op 7 No 4 he dispensed with the second organ part and shortened it by nine bars, removing the fine conclusion and somewhat weakening its effect.
from notes by Peter Holman © 1994