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Track(s) taken from CDA68041/2

Suite in C minor 'Partita', HWV444

circa 1705/6; published in 1930

Danny Driver (piano)
Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
Studio Master:
Studio Master:
Recording details: April 2013
Potton Hall, Dunwich, Suffolk, United Kingdom
Produced by Andrew Keener
Engineered by David Hinitt
Release date: May 2014
Total duration: 10 minutes 4 seconds

Cover artwork: Statue of Lord Macaulay (1868, detail) by Thomas Woolner (1825-1892)
Chapel of Trinity College, Cambridge


'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)

'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

'Cembalo, Fortepiano, moderner Flügel? Die Diskussion ist sinnlos. Jeder soll es für sich entscheiden. Dem Rezensenten bleibt es, seine Meinung zum Spiel zu äussern. Und das ist in diesem Fall ein Spiel auf dem modernen Flügel. Danny Driver lässt keine artikulatorische Nuance der Suiten unausgespielt, die Verzierungen sind reich, jede Phrasierung ist gepflegt, das Spiel generell elegant, ohne jemals auch nur den Anschein erzwungener Bravour zu erwecken. Hoch alert ist das agogische Feinfühlen, vital und energisch die abwechslungsreiche Rhythmik. Auch klangfarblich lässt der Pianist keine Wünsche offen' (Pizzicato, Luxembourg)

'Flawlessly stylish performances with a great variety of dynamic nuances and colors as well as a constant rhythmic energy and vitality that allows you to listen to the entire program without a hint of fatigue' (Pizzicato, Luxembourg)

Unpublished until 1930, the Suite (Partita) in C minor, HWV444, dates from around 1705–6, when the young Handel was earning his living as composer-cum-harpsichordist at the Hamburg Opera. Shortly afterwards Handel revised the Allemande second movement for the incomplete Suite HWV445, in the process enriching its textures. In Handel’s manuscript the C minor Suite’s brooding, improvisatory Prelude is notated in block chords with the superscription arpeggio. After the Allemande comes an Italianate Courante, like a fast minuet, followed by a Gavotte of sober grace and a Minuet whose faint gawkiness is typical of the works the young Handel wrote before his Italian sojourn.

from notes by Richard Wigmore © 2014

Inédite jusqu’en 1930, la Suite (Partita) en ut mineur HWV444 fut rédigée vers 1705–6, quand le jeune Haendel gagnait sa vie comme compositeur-claveciniste à l’Opéra de Hambourg. Peu après, Haendel révisa le second mouvement, l’Allemande, pour sa Suite inachevée HWV445, non sans en avoir enrichi les textures. Dans le manuscrit de Haendel, le Prélude menaçant, à l’improvisade de la Suite en ut mineur est noté sous forme de blocs d’accords avec, suscrit, le mot arpeggio. Après l’Allemande vient une Courante italianisante, pareille à un menuet vif, suivie d’une Gavotte d’une grâce sobre et d’un Menuet dont la gaucherie est typique des œuvres de jeunesse composées par Haendel avant son séjour italien.

extrait des notes rédigées par Richard Wigmore © 2014
Français: Hypérion

Die Suite (Partita) in c-Moll, HWV444, blieb bis 1930 unveröffentlicht und stammt aus den Jahren um 1705/6, als der junge Händel sich sein Brot als Komponist und Cembalist an der Hamburger Oper verdiente. Kurz darauf überarbeitete Händel die an zweiter Stelle stehende Allemande für die unvollständige Suite HWV445, und gestaltete dabei den Satz noch etwas reichhaltiger. In Händels Manuskript der c-Moll-Suite steht am Anfang ein grüblerisches, improvisatorisches Präludium, das in Akkordblöcken und mit der Anweisung arpeggio notiert ist. Auf die Allemande folgt eine italienisch anmutende Courante, die wie ein schnelles Menuett wirkt, eine Gavotte von nüchterner Anmut sowie ein Menuett, dessen leichte Unbeholfenheit charakteristisch für jene Werke ist, die Händel als junger Mann vor seinem Italien-Aufenthalt schrieb.

aus dem Begleittext von Richard Wigmore © 2014
Deutsch: Viola Scheffel

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