Händel, Georg Friedrich
Il pastor fido HWV 8a
Opera in three acts
- First modern edition of the complete overture
- Includes complete stage directions from the libretto
- Alternative ending of Mirtillo‘s and Amarilli‘s duet in the third act
Edition no.
BA 10714-01
Volume / Series
Halle Handel Edition (HHA) II/5
Ograjenšek, Suzana
Instrumentation of the work
Soloists, Orchestra
Orchestral scoring
3S-solo,2A-solo,B-solo / 2,2,0,2–0,2 (Corno da caccia),0,0 – Str – Bc
Language(s) of work
Language(s) of text
German, English
Product format
Complete edition, Score, Urtext edition
Pages / Format
LVIII, 208 S. - 33,0 x 26,0 cm
Handel’s “Il pastor fido”, HWV 8a, is the most modest of his Italian operas: With over half of its numbers drawing from musical material of earlier Italian cantatas, the work deliberately reflects the pastoral style of the Italian serenata. In order to capture the simplicity of this approach to form, Handel made use of several different techniques, such as a consistent use of high vocal registers, an abundance of monothematic da capo arias, and an overall prevalence of held-back arias.

“Il pastor fido” did not lend itself particularly well for an opera adaptation: Reducing the original text to the scale of an opera libretto posed an immense challenge. With drastic cuts, Handel’s librettist Rossi condensed five acts with eighteen characters into three acts with only six roles. The libretto – a paltry sketch of the complex original drama – was not well received. But Rossi had actually done his best to add a sense of coherence to the story while preserving at least some of Guarini’s poetic language.

This “Halle Handel Edition“ volume compares several sources that were not available for earlier editions. Amongst other things it presents the first modern edition of the complete overture, the complete stage instructions from the libretto, and an alternative ending for the duet of Mirtillo and Amarilli in the third act.
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321.00 €
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