Hyperion Records

Suite No 7 in G minor, HWV432
composer
published in London in 1720 as part of a set of Suites de pièces pour le clavecin

Recordings
'Handel: Harpsichord Suites' (CDD22045)
Handel: Harpsichord Suites
Buy by post £10.50 CDD22045  2CDs Dyad (2 for the price of 1)  
'Handel: The Eight Great Suites' (CDA68041/2)
Handel: The Eight Great Suites
Buy by post £20.00 CDA68041/2  2CDs   Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
'Hyperion monthly sampler – May 2014' (HYP201405)
Hyperion monthly sampler – May 2014
HYP201405  Download-only monthly sampler  
Details
Movement 1: Ouverture
Track 5 on CDA68041/2 CD2 [6'07] 2CDs
Track 5 on CDD22045 CD2 [5'17] 2CDs Dyad (2 for the price of 1)
Movement 2: Andante
Track 6 on CDA68041/2 CD2 [3'21] 2CDs
Track 6 on CDD22045 CD2 [3'22] 2CDs Dyad (2 for the price of 1)
Movement 3: Allegro
Track 7 on CDA68041/2 CD2 [2'25] 2CDs
Track 7 on CDD22045 CD2 [2'27] 2CDs Dyad (2 for the price of 1)
Movement 4: Sarabande
Track 8 on CDA68041/2 CD2 [3'23] 2CDs
Track 8 on CDD22045 CD2 [3'41] 2CDs Dyad (2 for the price of 1)
Movement 5: Gigue
Track 9 on CDA68041/2 CD2 [1'35] 2CDs
Track 9 on CDD22045 CD2 [1'42] 2CDs Dyad (2 for the price of 1)
Movement 6: Passacaille: Chaconne
Track 10 on CDA68041/2 CD2 [4'26] 2CDs
Track 10 on CDD22045 CD2 [4'46] 2CDs Dyad (2 for the price of 1)
Track 2 on HYP201405 [4'26] Download-only monthly sampler

Suite No 7 in G minor, HWV432
EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
Suite No 7 in G minor owes its character to its key, which Charpentier had called ‘sévère et magnifique’ and which was shortly to become Mozart’s key of tragedy and consequence. But this suite is to a degree equivocal because although it starts with a pompous and circumstantial French overture, with a slow introduction complete with double dots and shooting scales which outdo Lully himself in rhetorical ostentation, the succeeding quick fugal section is not the conventional triple-rhythmed round-dance, but is in common time, and is indeed a bit ‘common’ in mood and manner – like the quick fugato from the overture to Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, which follows the royally tragic grandeur of the introduction with the chattering of demotic witches. Handel’s fugato has the same pounding rhythm, on the verge of chuckling risibility. The orthodox return to grandeur in the slow coda does not quite convince, and perhaps is not meant to.

After this highly theatrical overture, an Andante and Allegro (really a French allemande and Italian corrente) are discreet, consistently in two parts, one for each hand, with canonic imitations. The sarabande, more harmonic in texture, is heart-easingly lyrical, flowering into additional ornamentation in the repeats. The conventionally Italianate gigue is unpretentious, but Handel adds as finale a massive passacaille: not a series of melodic extensions over an unvarying linear ground, as in Dido’s ‘Lament’, but a set of variations over a chord sequence, beginning in diatonic homophony but increasingly chromaticized into diminished sevenths (the stock operatic ‘chord of horror’, since it consists of two interlinked and rootless tritones). Significantly, this piece is not in the triple rhythm typical of processional passacaglias (and of chaconnes and sarabandes) but is rather in a common time relating back to the fugato section of the overture. It marches remorselessly, generating increasingly virtuosic figuration. There is nothing like this in Bach, and its effect is remarkably similar to that of Handel’s monumentally public choruses in his oratorios. If this Handelian passacaille is ceremonial, it is a procession no longer of court dignitaries, but of affluent British burghers.

from notes by Wilfrid Mellers © 1995

Track-specific metadata
Click track numbers opposite to select

Details for CDA66931/2 disc 2 track 5
Ouverture
Artists
ISRC
GB-AJY-95-93205
Duration
5'17
Recording date
1 May 1994
Recording venue
All Saints' Church, East Finchley, London, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Martin Compton
Recording engineer
Antony Howell
Hyperion usage
  1. Handel: The Eight Great Suites (CDA66931/2)
    Disc 2 Track 5
    Release date: February 1995
    Deletion date: November 2002
    2CDs Superseded by CDD22045
  2. Handel: Harpsichord Suites (CDD22045)
    Disc 2 Track 5
    Release date: November 2002
    2CDs Dyad (2 for the price of 1)
   English   Français   Deutsch