Duo Sonata, By G.F. Handel (1685-1759)
arranged by Neal Corwell

Instrumentation: duo with, or optionally without, keyboard accompaniment
(the duo may consist of two euphoniums, bassoons, cellos, trombones, or any combination thereof)
Copyright: 2005
Duration: ca. 9:00 (if performing all 4 movements)
Range: BB-Flat to a-flat-1
Difficulty: III-IV
Publisher: Nicolai Music
Price: $15 (score and parts)
Other Info: Adapted from Handel’s Violin Sonata No. 1. Premiered by Neal Corwell (euphonium), David Brundage (bassoon) and Kathryn Sincell-Corwell (harpsichord) during a 2005 recital in Brucker Hall at Fort Myer in Arlington, Virginia.


This duo with flexible instrumentation is an adaptation of Handel’s Violin Sonata No. 3. One change from the original is the transposition into the key of E-flat Major, down a step from the original key of F. A bigger and more dynamic change is the transformation of this work, originally for a solo treble instrument, into a duo for two tenor-voiced instruments. The melodic instruments required for this work may consist of two euphoniums, two trombones, two bassoons, two cellos, or any combination thereof. The keyboard part may be performed on piano or harpsichord, or even omitted altogether, adding another element of flexibility to the arrangement.

To create this unique version of Handel’s work, a basso continuo line was created in support of the keyboard accompaniment, and then the melodic and bass lines were equally distributed between the two duo partners, with the transitions smoothly dovetailed. Brackets inserted in the parts make it clear to the performers when they are presenting the solo line, so that they may adjust their dynamic level and expressive nuance accordingly. This welcome addition to the repertoire is an excellent concert piece, and also useful as a tool for introducing students to a lesser-known work by this master of the Baroque Era.