Complete Critical Edition
The Halle Handel Edition (HHE) is a scholarly critical complete edition of the works of George Frideric Handel, based on all available sources and designed to meet the needs of scholars and practical performance. Renowned Handel scholars from Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States are part of the Editorial Board.
Prior to the HHE, other editions of Handel’s work were published, including the edition by Handel’s contemporaries John Walsh and John Cluer; an edition by Samuel Arnold (1787–1797) and Johann O.H. Schaum (1822–1825); the edition of the English Handel Society (1843–1858); that of the German Handel Society by Friedrich Chrysander (1858–1894); and the editions by the publisher Novello (1846 et.seq.). All of these editions are incomplete.
The HHE was started in 1955 and is scheduled for completion in 2023. The edition is divided into five series, comprising a total of 116 volumes and around 10 supplements:
Series I – Oratorios
Series II – Operas
Series III – Church music
Series IV – Instrumental music
Series V – Shorter vocal music
Each volume contains a forward which introduces the origin, development and tradition of the works, discusses issues related to performance practice, and includes critical commentaries. The vocal works editions contain choir texts in German; where necessary, an English translation of the is included as well. The volumes in Series I and II contain a facsimile of the librettos printed for the first performance (since 1991).
Overall, Handel’s intentions are reflected as accurately as possible in modern notation. Any additions made to Handel’s written texts and scores are marked. (In sections, cited according to the introduction „about this edition“ at the beginning of each volume, with detailed notes on the editing principles.