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SACD Review

George Frideric Handel

Sonatas for Recorder and Harpsichord

  • Sonata in G minor, HWV 360 (Op. 1 #2)
  • Sonata in A minor, HWV 362 (Op. 1 #4)
  • Sonata in C Major, HWV 365 (Op. 1 #7)
  • Sonata in D minor, HWV 367
  • Sonata in F Major, HWV 369 (Op. 1 #11)
  • Sonata in B Flat Major, HWV 377
  • Andante in D minor, HWV 409
  • Menuet in D minor, HWV deest
Heikoter Schegget, recorder
Zvi Menicker, harpsichord
Dabringhaus & Grimm MDG9051564-6 64m Hybrid Multichannel SACD
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When Handel composed these exquisite pieces, he was still a sprightly young man in his mid-twenties and with a formidable reputation for opera success in Italy. He also occupied the lucrative conducting post in Hanover and it was around this time that he arrived in London and was about to discover the tasty side of English life with its enjoyment of port wine and rich music life. It is of now wonder that in this newly found environment he wrote some of his most unusually romantic works.

The recorder sonatas have always been the flautist's paradise and by the second half of the 18th century they were already published and frequently performed. Handel himself treasured them immensely, and is known to have utilized them for instructional purposes.

This disc should be valued for two reasons the first being the discovery of a particular work which sees the light of day for the first time whilst the second is the instrument being used which is a boxwood recorder made in London by Peter Bressan during Haydn's lifetime. The soloist is attuned to the pieces here and plays them with spanking virtuosity ably supported by the accompanist. As usual with detailed notes and beautiful presentation, this MD&G disc deserves a fulsome recommendation.

Copyright © 2009, Gerald Fenech