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Hyperion Records

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Statue of Lord Macaulay (1868, detail) by Thomas Woolner (1825-1892)
Chapel of Trinity College, Cambridge
Track(s) taken from CDA68041/2
Recording details: April 2013
Potton Hall, Dunwich, Suffolk, United Kingdom
Produced by Andrew Keener
Engineered by David Hinitt
Release date: May 2014
Total duration: 11 minutes 11 seconds

'The scalic flourishes of the First Suite’s Prelude instantly reveal Driver’s nimble fingerwork, meticulous control over dynamic accentuation on key harmonic features and judicious use of the sustain pedal. The rippling D minor arpeggios of the Prelude to Suite No 3 transfer to the piano thrillingly … most of Handel’s French-style intricate dance movements are played with dignified tenderness: the consecutive allemandes and courantes always have a delicate balance between cantabile warmth in the elegant upper melody, softly precise inner details and a lightly flowing bass-line. The quick Fugue that launches Suite No 4 in E minor has a sparkling clarity that any eminent Baroque specialist keyboardist would be pleased with … an engagingly post-historical approach' (Gramophone) » More

'Handel the organist and improviser features just as strongly in these suites as Handel the exquisite miniaturist and inspired master of counterpoint. Driver brings to it all a winning sense of style, crisply ornamented, sensitively drawing on the piano’s tonal potential for shadings of colour and alert to the rhythmic energy that Handel can generate.To hear in succession the tiny contemplative adagio of the Second Suite followed by its bright fugal allegro and then the quasi-improvisatory organ-like prelude of the Third Suite is to appreciate just how compellingly Driver intuits the music’s rich diversity' (The Daily Telegraph) » More

'When performed with such commitment and expressive vitality, Handel’s suites are worthy to be placed alongside the finest, and these performances by Danny Driver are a welcome addition to the discography … Driver's impeccable technique, which is in abundant display here, with immaculate clarity of texture, neat and unfussy ornamentation, and with voice-leading all brought out to fine effect … what is so remarkable about these performances is the combination of textural clarity with the richness of tone afforded by Driver’s Steinway … I feel sure that Handel would have been only too delighted with these results … for those who prefer the piano, Driver provides the ideal alternative. It comes with fabulously eloquent notes from Richard Wigmore (in which every movement comes alive in his prose, a remarkable feat in itself) and a recording quality that captures every finest detail' (International Record Review) » More

Chaconne in G major, HWV435
composer
published as No 2 of a set of nine suites by John Walsh around 1733; with 21 variations

Other recordings available for download
Angela Hewitt (piano)
Edwin Fischer (piano)
Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
The Chaconne in G major with twenty-one variations was published as ‘Suite No 2’ in the 1733 collection. This magnificent piece is Handel at his most Gallic, with shades of the clavecinistes—Rameau, Couperin—in the elaborately ornamented Sarabande theme and several of the variations. In time-honoured fashion, the figuration grows increasingly animated during the early variations. Variations 9 to 16 are in G minor, beginning with a tender contrapuntal meditation on the theme—one of Handel’s most poetic keyboard inventions. By the time the major key re-emerges in variation 17, Handelian virtuosity is again in full spate. We can imagine the composer playing this Chaconne on his colourful two-manual Ruckers harpsichord at home in Brook Street, to the astonished delight of privileged visitors.

from notes by Richard Wigmore © 2014


Other albums featuring this work
'Handel & Haydn: Angela Hewitt plays Handel & Haydn' (CDA67736)
Handel & Haydn: Angela Hewitt plays Handel & Haydn
MP3 £7.99FLAC £7.99ALAC £7.99Buy by post £10.50 Studio Master: FLAC 24-bit 44.1 kHz £9.00ALAC 24-bit 44.1 kHz £9.00 CDA67736  Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
'Edwin Fischer – The First Beethoven Sonata Recordings' (APR5502)
Edwin Fischer – The First Beethoven Sonata Recordings
MP3 £6.99FLAC £6.99ALAC £6.99 APR5502  Download only  

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