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Hyperion Records

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Track(s) taken from CDA67627
Recording details: October 2006
Menuhin Hall, Yehudi Menuhin School, Stoke d'Abernon, Cobham, Surrey, United Kingdom
Produced by Ben Turner
Engineered by Philip Hobbs
Release date: June 2007
Total duration: 6 minutes 57 seconds

'With her pure, luminous tone, graceful sense of phrase and discerning musicality, Carolyn Sampson gives enchanting performances of music that is essentially about enchantment … Süsse Stille is exquisitely shaped and savoured, with a rapt, confiding pianissimo at the da capo. Elsewhere Sampson perfectly catches the blissful langour of Künft'ger Zeiten eitler Kummer and brings a smiling eagerness to Die ihr aus dunklen Grüften, enhancing the da capo with playful touches of ornamentation' (Gramophone)

'The nine German arias Handel composed … still rank among his best-kept secrets. Barthold Brockes's verses are a pantheistic celebration of God-in-Nature, and Handel responded with music of hedonistic enchantment, from the rapt, wondering Süsse Stille to the laughing ebullience of Das zitternde Glänzen. Always a lovely Handel soprano, Carolyn Sampson sings these arias with her trademark pellucid tone and refined phrasing. She spins a smooth, serene line in the more contemplative numbers, and dances blithely in an aria such as Süsser Blumen Ambraflocken, vying with violinist Stéphanie-Marie Degand in playful coloratura flourishes' (The Daily Telegraph)

'Sampson brings undeniable flair to these arias, sometimes endowing them with a beguiling sensuality … Alexandra Bellamy plays with a gentle, relaxed period sound that is very pleasing' (American Record Guide)

'Carolyn Sampson's singing is graceful, pure-toned, beautiful … she embellishes neatly, her runs are smooth, and in a contemplative song like Künftiger Zeiten eitler Kummer she can spin out phrases to magical effect … balance and clarity are admirable, as indeed are the introductory texts' (International Record Review)

'Sampson persuasively evokes the innocent, carefree countryside in Handel’s Nine German Arias, both at quicksilver speed with babbling effervescent runs and shakes in Das Zitternde Glanzen, and at languid siesta pace with caressing vocal heat and a slight, appealing huskiness in Süsse Stille … the oboist Alexandra Bellamy plays the three oboe sonatas with thrilling buoyancy, burning long notes and no mechanical clatter' (The Times)

'Carolyn Sampson beautifully expresses inward rapture and outward joy, and she is touchingly wistful in 'Süsser Blumen'. She is nicely matched by the violin of Stéphane-Marie Degand, and the spiky tone of Alexandra Bellamy is an extra pleasure in the three oboe sonatas' (Classic FM Magazine)

'This is essential Handel … Carolyn Sampson sings with great circumspection and understanding of Handel's intentions' (Audiophile Audition, USA)

'Carolyn Sampson, who has a vivacious personality to go with her bright tone and virtuoso technique, sings Handel's melting melodies as if born to them. The open textures of the period-instrument King's Consort could hardly be more attractive, to boot' (The Star-Ledger, USA)

'Carolyn Sampson comes across spectacularly well on disc. Her beautiful sweet-toned soprano is ideally suited to the baroque repertoire and here, as in the other Hyperion releases such as Handel's Ode to St Cecilia, she excels. The performance is well-integrated, both within the ensemble and between instruments and voice' (MusicOHM.com)

Oboe Sonata in B flat major, HWV357
composer
circa 1706; 'Fitzwilliam' Sonata

Allegro  [3'05]
Grave  [1'37]
Allegro  [2'15]

Other recordings available for download
Paul Goodwin (oboe), Richard Tunnicliffe (cello), Paul Nicholson (harpsichord/virginals)
Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
Handel’s chamber sonatas for solo instrument and continuo accompaniment are a quagmire of doubtful authenticity and numerous sonatas assigned to the wrong solo instrument since faulty early editions were published during the composer’s lifetime without his involvement. The music historian Charles Burney related an anecdote that Handel was amused at seeing a copy of six sonatas for two oboes and continuo, which were alleged to be his earliest compositions written when he was a schoolboy of about ten years of age. Although Handel did not confirm the attribution (scholars now believe that their authenticity is doubtful), he reportedly commented: ‘I used to write like the devil in those days, and chiefly for the hautbois, which was my favourite instrument’.

There are only three sonatas of certain authenticity with solo parts that Handel obviously intended for oboe, and each demonstrates Handel’s apparent enthusiasm for the instrument’s expressive capabilities and colours. The earliest of them is the Oboe Sonata in B flat major HWV357, the so-called ‘Fitzwilliam’ sonata because the autograph is now at the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge. Written on Italian paper that Handel also used at Hanover, the French title on the autograph (‘Sonata pour l’Hautbois Solo’) suggests a Hanoverian origin, but the style of the music seems closer to Handel’s earliest period in Italy.

from notes by David Vickers © 2007


Other albums featuring this work
'Handel: 20 Sonatas Op 1' (CDS44411/3)
Handel: 20 Sonatas Op 1
MP3 £15.00FLAC £15.00ALAC £15.00 CDS44411/3  3CDs Boxed set (at a special price) October 2014 Release  

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