John Speller's Web Pages Handel, Music for Mr. Clay's Musical Clock

John Speller's Web Pages - Organ Music
G. F. Handel, Music for Mr. Clay's Musical Clock
In the eighteenth century there was a big market for music for keyboard music, and so it is not surprising that Handel's publisher sold three times as many copies of the organ reduction (probably the work of Handel himself) than the originals of Handel's organ concertos. Similarly there was a ready market for transcriptions of the overtures and other selections from Handels operas and oratorios. Again, many of these transcriptions may have been the work of Handel himself. Another of Handel's ventures was to write two sets of pieces for "Mr. Clay's Musical Clock." Some of these were transcriptions from Handel's operas, while others such as the Voluntary on a Flight of Angels were original compositions. I have included a selection here. Charles Clay was a Yorkshireman who came to London in around 1720 and constructed his clock in around 1730.

Set 2, No. 3, A Voluntary on a Flight of Angels

Set 1, No. 4, "Vola l'augello" from the Opera "Sosarme"

Set 1, No. 7, "Deh lascia un bel desio" from the Opera "Arianna"

Set 1, No. 6, "Alla fama dimmi il vero" from the Opera "Ottone"

Set 1, No.11, [Untitled]

Set 2, No. 9, "Dell' onda ai fieri moti" from the Opera "Ottone"

In imitation of the sound of a flute clock these pieces should be registered on a
4 ft. Flute alone.

"The Temple of Apollo," M. Rysbrack, J. Amigoni and C. Clay, London, c. 1730. Museum No. M.29-2009. Image courtesy of the Victoria & Albert Museum
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