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Handel: Largo from Xerxes for Violin & Piano

Digital Sheet Music

By George Frideric Handel

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Violin & Piano - Intermediate - Digital Download
Composed by George Frideric Handel (1685-1759). Arranged by James M. Guthrie, ASCAP. Baroque Period, General Worship, Repertoire, Wedding, Recital. Score, Set of Parts. 9 pages. Published by jmsgu3 (S0.343223).

Item Number: S0.343223

Duration: 4:55, Score: 6 pages, Solo part: 1 page, piano part: 2 pages. A very famous aria (Ombra mai fu) from "Xerxes"
Suitable for any venue requiring meditative music. Excellent choice for a recital encore.


Xerxes is, in fact, an opera seria in three acts by Handel. Moreover, Handel conducted the premiere performance in London in 1738. Handel casts the opera in Persia in 470 BC. The part of Xerxes was indeed originally sung by a soprano castrato. Nowadays, the part is generally sung by a mezzo-soprano or conversely a counter-tenor. In the first place, Xerxes sings an opening aria, Ombra mai fu to a plane tree. Handel sets this aria to one of his most truly famous melodies. Although many refer to it traditionally as Handel’s “Largo,” Handel has, on the contrary, clearly marked "Larghetto" in the score.

Handel Background

George Frideric Handel (1685 - 1759) was born in Germany, but eventually became a British citizen. Nonetheless, he was a famous Baroque composer. In fact, he became famous for his operas, oratorios, anthems, and organ concertos. Handel studied music and, by and large, worked as a composer in Germany and Italy before moving to London. On the whole, Handel was very familiar with the contemporary music of Italy and Germany.

Career in England

It is important to realize that Italian opera was all the rage in England at the time. Moreover, Handel was really good at writing them. Therefore, he started not one but three opera companies in England. Alexander's Feast was a huge success in 1736, but Handel nevertheless began composing English choral works. After success with the Messiah in 1742) he certainly never again wrote an Italian opera. Consequently, he died in 1759, a treasured genius. Accordingly, the English government gave him full state honors at his funeral. Hence, he is buried in Westminster Abbey in London.


Music historians agree that Handel was in general one of the greatest composers of the Baroque era.  To demonstrate, his works such as the Messiah, Water Music, and Music for the Royal Fireworks remain consistently popular up to the present time. He especially composed the coronation anthem, Zadok the Priest for the coronation of George II. Nevertheless, it has specifically been performed at every succeeding British coronation since. His oratorio Solomon has by all means also continued to be prevalent. As a matter of fact, the Sinfonia from act 3 was featured the 2012 London Olympics opening ceremony. Handel was particularly prolific. To enumerate, he wrote over forty operas.  Since the late 1960s, we have expressly experienced a revival of baroque music. Similarly, we have especially seen a pique of interest in historically informed musical performance. Since his death in 1779, interest in Handel's music has, all in all, expanded.


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