Händel: Keyboard Suites

Händel: Keyboard Suites

by Ragna SchirmerRagna Schirmer

CD(Digi-Pak)

$39.99

Overview

This complete traversal of the keyboard suites of Handel (or, this being a German release, Händel) isn't for those who believe in harpsichord performance of Baroque keyboard works. German pianist Ragna Schirmer says in a booklet interview that "I try to sense what Handel wanted to express in the suites and to bring it out on a modern piano," and she uses a good deal of pedal, especially in the Preludes, more than in her recording of Bach's "Goldberg Variations." If you're down with such an approach, give Ragna Schirmer a try in Handel, where the competition isn't quite as thick as it is with Bach. Schirmer's is a pianistic conception, but that doesn't mean it wanders all over the map; it's consistently thought through. Schirmer generally makes one movement, often the one marked Allegro rather than one of the dance movements, into the energy center of the entire suite. You could start with the "Suite for keyboard in E minor, HWV 429" (disc 3, tracks 9-15) to get an idea. The opening Allegro is built up to a peak of intensity by means of dynamics and articulation: the notes are held longer and longer, running into each other by the movement's end with the effect of communicating a sort of ecstasy in the manner of Glenn Gould. The dances are more srhythmically traightforward. Schirmer applies a good deal of improvisation and ornamentation to the preludes and to repeats in many of the dances. The end result is that each suite takes on its own shape, and that Schirmer delivers performances that accord with her idea of Handel's keyboard music as quasi-improvisatory in nature. Nicely recorded and indicative of long engagement with the music, even if it's not for everybody.

Product Details

Release Date: 03/10/2009
Label: Berlin Classics
UPC: 0782124164522
catalogNumber: 16452

Tracks

Disc 1

  1. Suite for keyboard (Suite de piece), Vol.2, No.1 in B flat major, HWV 434: Prélude

    1. Prélude  (01:55)
  2. Suite for keyboard (Suite de piece), Vol.2, No.1 in B flat major, HWV 434: Sonata. Allegro

    1. Sonata. Allegro  (01:41)
  3. Suite for keyboard (Suite de piece), Vol.2, No.1 in B flat major, HWV 434: Aria con variazioni

    1. Aria con variazioni  (04:46)
  4. Suite for keyboard (Suite de piece), Vol.2, No.3 in D minor, HWV 436

    1. Allemande  (03:09)
    2. Allegro  (01:16)
    3. Air. Lentement  (03:03)
    4. Gigue  (01:40)
    5. Menuett  (04:27)
  5. Suite for keyboard (Suite de piece), Vol.2, No.8 in G major, HWV 441

    1. Allemande  (01:36)
    2. Allegro  (02:37)
    3. Courante  (02:14)
    4. Aria. Presto  (01:19)
    5. Menuett  (02:51)
    6. Gavotte - Double  (03:00)
    7. Gigue  (03:03)
  6. Suite for keyboard (Suite de piece), Vol.1, No.3 in D minor, HWV 428

    1. Prélude  (01:05)
    2. Allegro  (02:26)
    3. Allemande  (03:46)
    4. Courante  (01:57)
    5. Air  (04:06)
    6. Double  (05:22)
    7. Presto  (04:52)
  7. Chaconne for harpsichord in G major (Suite No 2 of the 2nd set of Harpsichord suites), HWV 435  (13:27)

Disc 2

  1. Suite for keyboard (Suite de piece), Vol.1, No.2 in F major, HWV 427: Adagio

    1. Adagio  (02:29)
  2. Suite for keyboard (Suite de piece), Vol.1, No.2 in F major, HWV 427: Allegro

    1. Allegro  (02:12)
  3. Suite for keyboard (Suite de piece), Vol.1, No.2 in F major, HWV 427: Adagio

    1. Adagio  (01:43)
  4. Suite for keyboard (Suite de piece), Vol.1, No.2 in F major, HWV 427: Allegro

    1. Allegro  (02:14)
  5. Suite for keyboard (Suite de piece), Vol.2, No.4 in D minor, HWV 437

    1. Prélude  (00:59)
    2. Allemande  (02:03)
    3. Courante  (01:35)
    4. Sarabande  (04:14)
    5. Gigue  (00:49)
  6. Suite for keyboard (Suite de piece), Vol.2, No.6 in G minor, HWV 439

    1. Allemande  (02:19)
    2. Courante  (01:53)
    3. Menuett (HWV 434/4)  (03:17)
    4. Gigue  (05:18)
  7. Suite for keyboard (Suite de piece), Vol.2, No.5 in E minor, HWV 438

    1. Allemande  (02:45)
    2. Sarabande  (02:33)
    3. Gigue  (01:47)
  8. Suite for keyboard (Suite de piece), Vol.1, No.5 in E major ("The Harmonious Blacksmith"), HWV 430

    1. Prélude  (01:33)
    2. Allemande  (04:32)
    3. Courante  (01:59)
    4. Air - Double (The Harmonious Blacksmith)  (04:17)
  9. Suite for keyboard (Suite de piece), Vol.1, No.8 in F minor, HWV 433

    1. Prélude. Adagio  (02:46)
    2. Allegro  (03:05)
    3. Allemande  (03:10)
    4. Courante  (01:55)
    5. Gigue  (02:15)

Disc 3

  1. Suite for keyboard (Suite de piece), Vol.1, No.1 in A major, HWV 426

    1. Prélude  (02:19)
    2. Allemande  (03:38)
    3. Courante  (02:30)
    4. Gigue  (02:53)
  2. Suite for keyboard (Suite de piece), Vol.1, No.6 in F sharp minor, HWV 431

    1. Prélude  (02:23)
    2. Largo  (02:53)
    3. Allegro  (02:44)
    4. Gigue. Presto  (03:03)
  3. Suite for keyboard (Suite de piece), Vol.1, No.4 in E minor, HWV 429

    1. Allegro  (04:40)
    2. Allemande  (02:13)
    3. Courante  (02:00)
    4. Sarabande  (04:52)
    5. Gigue  (02:05)
  4. Suite for keyboard (Suite de piece), Vol.2, No.7 in B flat major, HWV 440

    1. Allemande  (01:59)
    2. Courante  (01:44)
    3. Sarabande  (03:18)
    4. Gigue  (01:24)
  5. Suite for keyboard (Suite de piece), Vol.1, No.7 in G minor, HWV 432

    1. Ouverture. Largo  (06:31)
    2. Andante  (03:41)
    3. Allegro  (02:13)
    4. Sarabande  (03:52)
    5. Gigue  (01:25)
    6. Passacaille  (04:06)

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