Collected Critical Edition
The Hallische Händel-Ausgabe (HHA) is a Collected Critical Edition of Handel’s works based on a comprehensive study of the surviving sources. It is intended to serve both scholarly and practical needs. The editorial board includes renowned Handel scholars from Germany, Great Britain and the USA. The HHA has been published since 1955 and is planned to be completed in 2031 thanks to an extension of funding from the “Union der Deutschen Akademien der Wissenschaften”.
Even before the HHA, there were editions of Handel’s works, for example those by Handel’s contemporaries John Walsh and John Cluer, Samuel Arnold (1787-1797) and Johann O. H. Schaum (1822-1825), the English Handel Society (1843-1858), the edition of the German Handel Society by Friedrich Chrysander (1858-1894) and the editions of the ‘Novello’ publishers (1846ff.). All these editions are incomplete.
The HHA appears in five series and supplementary volumes:
Each volume contains a preface (which gives an account of the circumstances of composition and of the performance history of the music, together with a discussion of questions of performance practice) and a Critical Report. The editions of vocal works include a literal German translation of the text, and also, if necessary, an English one; the volumes in Series I and II also contain a facsimile of the libretto printed for the first performance. As a fundamentale principle, Handel’s intentions will be realized as faithfully as possible, using modern notation.
(Cited in excerpts from the Editorial Policy, which is placed at the beginning of each volume and contains detailed information on the principles of the edition).