Handel’s Lascia ch’io pianga (Let me cry) from the opera Rinaldo in an improver level instrumental arrangement for string quartet comprising violin 1, violin 2, viola and cello Instrument parts are attached to the full score which is available from PlentyMusic as a pdf download. If circumstances arise then there the music could be performed by a string ensemble with each part played by more than one instrument. The aria or song is taken from the opera Rinaldo which first appeared in 1711 and was subsequently revised in 1733. It is in ABA form and based on the sarabande rhythm which has the stress on the second beat of the three beats in a bar. When sung the Da Capo section would be an opportunity for the soloist to improvise and ornament the melody and this is an option available for the top line players in this instrumental arrangement. The music editor suggests that it appropriate to keep to the style of the period in the first instance but it is also a piece in which the stylistic element can be explored. Those who enjoy improvising can always record their work can send it as an mp3 to the PlentyMusic office for feedback. The score has been notated in 3|2 time keeping to the conventions of the original notation but could quite readily be notated in 3|4 time. The trill in bar has been written out in the video score which is available to view on the PlentyMusic YouTube channel. This is music that is very appropriate music for a solemn processional in a social context context. It is usual to present baroque scores with minimal score detail although in this score there is some indication of appropriate dynamics. The arrangement is in the original key of F major although the tempo for the quartet is more Larghetto than Largo which was the tempo indication in the opera. The music in the video score plays back at a tempo of 66 half note or minim beats to the minute. The music editor observes that instrumental arrangements of a vocal piece are invariably played at a faster tempo. This is an opportunity for an improver level musician to be playing what is a great piece of music. It is what the music editor identifies as being a potential “stepping stone” for many instrument players. There is an interesting story as to the origins of the sarabande rhythm for those who enjoy researching the history of forms and rhythmic patterns particularly those associated with dances.