The keyboard works of George Frideric Handel are nowadays only little more than parerga, to which little attention is paid, when compared to the mighty operas, oratorios and orchestral works. For his contemporaries, however, Handel was above all an admired virtuoso and improviser who fascinated the audience with his playing on the harpsichord and organ.
All modern editions of Handel´s authentic keyboard works are based on the collections printed during his lifetime, as they were collected in the first complete edition (1787-1797) by Samuel Arnold. But these 18th-century editions greatly differ in their degrees of authenticity. [...]
Though, in the course of the 20th and 21st centuries, many unknown keyboard works surfaced in English, German, Swedish and Swiss libraries, which are explicitly attributed to Handel, only a small number have been published. These numerous incerta, despite their attribution, were not included in the catalogue of Handel’s compositions, the Händel-Werke-Verzeichnis (HWV), published between 1978 and 1986, due to stylistic anomalies (in comparison to the works of the London period). Many are mentioned only cursorily by researchers, other references are buried in remote publications, others only exist in the digital version of the RISM. [...]
Consequently, a comprehensive edition of these keyboard works, specifically ascribed to Handel, but virtually unknown to a larger public, represents an urgent desideratum for both researchers and musicians. The present edition follows neither the alphabetical catalogue HWV Anhang B nor formal criteria such as key or genre, but only the arrangement in the respective manuscripts, since any discussion of authenticity primarily has to take into account the individual source, its provenance and concordances.
By the preface of Carsten Wollin