Fugue No 2
in G major forms a perfect foil to the piece in the minor. G major was traditionally a blissful key (of benediction, of sensuous innocence in Couperin, while Charpentier called it ‘doucement joyeux’). The subject of this Handel fugue, incorporating bouncy repeated quavers and a major triad, is radiant, the repeated notes tending even towards a perkiness to which intermittent tritonal sequences add piquancy. The fugue does not challenge the conventional Baroque hierarchy of keys, and the coda is built on a reassuring dominant pedal, over which the repeated quavers chatter into a unexpectedly grand (Adagio) peroration.
from notes by Wilfrid Mellers © 1995