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Track(s) taken from CDA68041/2

Suite No 4 in E minor, HWV429

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: 14 minutes 49 seconds

Cover artwork: Statue of Lord Macaulay (1868, detail) by Thomas Woolner (1825-1892)
Chapel of Trinity College, Cambridge
 
1
Allegro: Fugue  [3'21]
2
Allemande  [2'35]
3
Courante  [1'52]
4
Sarabande  [5'13]
5
Gigue  [1'48]

Other recordings available for download

Paul Nicholson (harpsichord/virginals)

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 4 in E minor evades convention, beginning not with a prelude but with a fully developed fugue longer and more complex than many of the fugues Handel published as independent pieces. The subject, launched on repeated crotchets, flows into passagework intermittently riddled with chromatics and with quite far-ranging modulations. But this big piece is succeeded by a French suite consisting of the fundamental sequence of allemande, courante, sarabande and gigue, all more than usually French in feeling and ornamentation.

from notes by Wilfrid Mellers © 1995

La Suite no4 en mi mineur échappe à la convention, ne débutant pas avec un Prélude mais avec une Fugue complète, plus longue et plus complexe que la plupart de celles du compositeur qui furent publiées indépendamment. Le sujet, qui commence avec des croches répétées, se transforme en un passage ridé par intermittence de modulations chromatiques larges et étendues. Mais cette œuvre d’envergure est suivie d’une Suite française qui consiste en la succession habituelle d’Allemande, de Courante, de Sarabande et de Gigue, plus que jamais française dans son sentiment et son ornementation.

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

Die Suite Nr. 4 in e-moll geht der Konvention aus dem Wege; statt mit einem Präludium beginnt sie mit einer voll entwickelten Fuge, die länger und kunstvoller ist als viele der von Händel als eigenständige Stücke veröffentlichten Fugen. Das mit wiederholten Viertelnoten in Angriff genommene Thema mündet in mit periodisch auftretender Chromatik und ziemlich weiterreichenden Modulationen durchsetztes Passagenwerk ein. Doch auf dieses mächtige Stück folgt eine französische Suite, die aus der grundlegenden Sequenz von Allemande, Courante, Sarabande und Gigue besteht. Ihre Stimmung und Verzierungskunst lassen einen mehr als üblich französischen Charakter erkennen.

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

Other albums featuring this work

Handel: Harpsichord Suites
CDD220452CDs Dyad (2 for the price of 1)
A Matthay Miscellany – Rare and unissued recordings by Tobias Matthay and his pupils
APR6014for the price of 1 — Download only
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