Handel - To all lovers of Musick
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Label: Challenge Classics
Cat No: CC72663
Number of Discs: 1
Release Date: 20th April 2015
ArtistsAl Ayre Espanol
ConductorEduardo Lopez Banzo
A new account of Handelís Sonatas Op.5, perhaps his most important chamber music work, performed with their usual drive and intensity by the renowned and award-winning Al Ayre Espanol conducted by Eduardo Lopez Banzo.
During his stay in Rome, Handel participated in the musical evenings hosted by Cardinal Pietro Ottoboni and Prince Francesco Ruspoli, where he would have met Corelli, who had established the defining features of the sonata da chiesa. So itís not surprising that Handelís six early Trio Sonatas Op.2 follow strictly the four-movement structure of Corelliís sonatas (slow-quick-slow-quick). On the other hand, the Op.5 set (HWV 396-402) show a more mature and personal approach to this formal pattern, adding a fifth movement in all the sonatas and a sixth movement in two of them (Nos 3 and 5).
As a result, these sonatas are, in reality, suites in five or six movements, whose last section is always a dance-piece in the French style (gavotte, minuet or bourrťe). The sequence of contrasting movements that characterize Op.5 demonstrates a curious mix of styles and techniques, as well as the juxtaposition of distinctive dramatic characteristics, so that these seven sonatas appear to resemble seven scenes of a wordless opera, combining a variety of feelings.
Besides its innovative structure, the most remarkable characteristic of this set lies in that it barely contains original music at all. Most of it is composed from pre-existing material taken from Handelís own compositions, which makes it an example of a habit popular among opera composers, the pasticcio - an intelligent way of refreshing his musical thinking with subtle transformations.
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