Handel wrote the famous “Dixit Dominus” with the text of Psalm 109 during his time in Italy in c. 1707. Although he was only 22 years old, the work already demonstrates his wide spectrum of compositional abilities which are later fully realized in his operas and oratorios. Central to this work are the six choral movements, which – with their polyphonic structure – are closely related to German choral music of the 17th century.
The first Urtext edition BA 4002 based on the “Halle Handel Edition” was published in 1960. At that time no critical commentary was published so that in cases of doubt, the basis on which editorial decisions were made was not officially recorded. A new complete edition volume (BA 10704/01), due to be published in 2013 will include a detailed foreword providing information on the genesis and the first performance of this work as well as information on the psalm on which this work is based and on performance practice. In addition several facsimiles pages will be included, giving a view into the source material. The critical commentary will provide a detailed insight into all the available sources and how they have been passed down.
This newly revised Urtext performing edition offers a thorough revision of this frequently-performed work and meets all the requisites of a scholarly-critical edition. Former readings in the old edition regarding a small number of pitches, but mostly basso continuo figures and the underlying text have now been able to be amended on the basis of the new findings. In the new edition the work appears in nine movements – no longer eight – which reflects the composer's intentions. The new performance material is not compatible with the old one.