A composer, folk-song collector and virtuoso pianist, Percy Aldridge Grainger (1882–1961) was born in Australia and studied in Frankfurt. In his Delius film, Ken Russell depicted Grainger as boyish and high-spirited, and the fact that much of his best-known music is jovial and immediately attractive has indeed caused him to seem something of a lightweight; but Grainger was a serious artist and brought to musical composition one of the most original minds of his day. Handel in the Strand
, which he sub-titled Clog Dance
, is the second of his Room-Music Tit-Bits
, and its title and brisk harmonic pulse reflect Grainger’s admiration for Baroque music (which manifested itself most notoriously in his astonishing transcriptions of Bach). Themes emerge against a background of rapid, staccato chords: heard here in the arrangement by Wolfgang Stockmeier, the work proceeds good-naturedly to a boisterous conclusion.
from notes by Relf Clark © 2009