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Track(s) taken from CDA68041/2

Suite No 2 in F major, HWV427

composer
published in London in 1720 as part of a set of Suites de pièces pour le clavecin

Danny Driver (piano)
Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
CD-Quality:
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Recording details: April 2013
Potton Hall, Dunwich, Suffolk, United Kingdom
Produced by Andrew Keener
Engineered by David Hinitt
Release date: May 2014
Total duration: 8 minutes 29 seconds

Cover artwork: Statue of Lord Macaulay (1868, detail) by Thomas Woolner (1825-1892)
Chapel of Trinity College, Cambridge
 
1
Adagio  [2'30]
2
Allegro  [2'19]
3
Adagio  [1'31]
4
Allegro: Fugue  [2'09]

Other recordings available for download

Paul Nicholson (harpsichord/virginals)
Angela Hewitt (piano)

Reviews

'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
Suite No 2 in F major is closer to an Italian slow–quick–slow–quick sonata than to a French suite proper. F major was traditionally a pastoral, ‘down-to-earth’ key, but Handel’s first movement, far from being a quasi-improvised keyboard exercise, is a civilized and highly ornamented quasi-operatic aria, while the bustling allegro which follows is a vigorously Italianate two-part invention, more urban than rustic in harmonic solidity and neatness of texture. The next movement, in the relative, D minor, has the pulse of a sarabande, but it is also an operatic aria in miniature, ending with a written-out, quasi-vocal cadenza. This leads back to the tonic F major and into a powerful fugue, initially in three parts but introducing a fourth after chromatic intensification.

from notes by Wilfrid Mellers © 1995

Le style de la Suite no2 en fa majeur se rapproche davantage de celui d’une sonate italienne aux mouvements lent–rapide–lent–rapide, qu’à celui d’une Suite française. Le ton de fa majeur était traditionnellement considéré comme étant «terre-à-terre», mais le premier mouvement de Hændel, loin d’être un exercice presque improvisé au clavier, est au contraire une aria presque opératique, civilisée et très ornementée, alors que l’Allégro animé qui suit est une Invention vigoureusement italianisée à deux voix, plus urbaine que rustique dans sa solidité harmonique et la clarté de sa texture. Le mouvement suivant, dans le ton relatif de ré mineur, possède le rythme d’une Sarabande, mais est aussi une aria opératique en miniature qui se termine avec une cadence écrite dans un style presque vocal. Celle-ci permet un retour à la tonique fa majeur dans une Fugue énergique, à l’origine à trois voix, mais introduisant une quatrième voix après une intensification chromatique.

extrait des notes rédigées par Wilfrid Mellers © 1995
Français: Isabelle Dubois

Die Suite Nr. 2 in F-Dur ähnelt eher einer italienischen Sonate mit der Satzfolge „langsam–schnell–langsam–schnell“ als einer echten französischen Sonate. F-Dur galt traditionell als „nüchterne“ Tonart, doch wirkt Händels erster Satz ganz und gar nicht wie eine halb improvisierte Tastaturübung, sondern eher wie eine gepflegte und reichverzierte, fast opernhaft anmutende Arie. Das dann folgende belebte Allegro ist eine zweistimmige Invention im kraftvollen italienischen Stil, die in der Dichtheit ihrer Harmonien und der Eleganz ihrer Struktur eher urban als rustikal erscheint. Der nächste, in der zugehörigen Tonart d-moll verfaßte Satz hat den Rhythmus einer Sarabande, ist aber auch eine miniaturhafte Opernarie, die mit einer ausgeschriebenen, fast vokal anmutenden Kadenz schließt. Dies führt zurück zur Tonika F-Dur, und mit ihr in eine kraftvolle Fuge. Diese ist erst dreistimmig, aber läßt nach chromatischer Intensivierung eine vierte Stimme erklingen.

aus dem Begleittext von Wilfrid Mellers © 1995
Deutsch: Angelika Malbert

Other albums featuring this work

Handel & Haydn: Angela Hewitt plays Handel & Haydn
Studio Master: CDA67736Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
Handel: Harpsichord Suites
CDD220452CDs Dyad (2 for the price of 1)
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