Tune of the Day: Giga
Of the 15 or so sonatas for solo instrument and basso continuo composed by Handel that have at various times been lumped together under the title Opus 1, a full third were originally composed for the recorder. In fact, only the violin is more fully represented in the Opus 1 collection. However, each of the five recorder sonatas from Opus 1 is undoubtedly the product of Handel's pen, whereas a handful of the violin sonatas may well be spurious. They are all splendid examples of Handel's youthful craftsmanship, probably composed before the composer moved to England in 1710.
The fourth and final movement of the recorder sonata in F major, this Gigue is a joyous and infectious reworking of one of Handel's favorite instrumental themes. This kind of piece, also known under the Italian spelling Giga, is to be thought as the music to the lively baroque dance of the same name, which originates from the British jig.