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Track(s) taken from CDA68041/2

Suite in E minor, HWV438

published as part of a set of nine suites by John Walsh around 1733

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: 7 minutes 52 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)

Handel reused the HWV444/5 Allemande’s opening motif in the first movement of the miniature Suite in E minor, from the set of nine suites published by John Walsh (Handel’s most prolific publisher) around 1733. Walsh’s edition was largely a mopping-up operation. Some of the suites may have originated as teaching pieces for Princesses Anne and Caroline after Handel became their music teacher in 1723. Others, probably including this three-movement E minor Suite, date back to the Hamburg or early London years. The Sarabande second movement is yet another variant on the fertile Allemande motif, while the final Gigue whirls along in the unusual metre of 24/16.

from notes by Richard Wigmore © 2014

Haendel réutilisa le motif introductif de l'Allemande HWV444/5 dans le premier mouvement de sa Suite en mi mineur miniature, extraite du corpus de neuf suites publié par John Walsh (le plus prolifique des éditeurs de Haendel), vers 1733. Cette édition de Walsh s’apparenta grandement à une opération de nettoyage. Certaines suites purent être, à l’origine, des morceaux pédagogiques destinés aux princesses Anne et Caroline, dont Haendel était devenu le professeur de musique en 1723. D’autres—et la présente Suite en mi mineur en trois mouvements ne fait probablement pas exception—remontent à Hambourg ou aux premières années londoniennes de notre compositeur. Le deuxième mouvement, une Sarabande, est encore une variante du fertile motif de l’Allemande, cependant que la Gigue conclusive tournoie dans l’inhabituel mètre à 24/16.

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

Händel verwendete das Anfangsmotiv der HWV444/5 Allemande im ersten Satz der kleinen Suite in e-Moll wieder, die in dem Zyklus von neun Suiten, herausgegeben ca. 1733 von John Walsh (Händels produktivster Herausgeber), erschien. Walshs Ausgabe war in erster Linie eine Art Bündelung verschiedener Werke. Einige Suiten waren möglicherweise ursprünglich als Unterrichtsstücke für die Prinzessinnen Anne und Caroline entstanden, nachdem Händel 1723 als ihr Musiklehrer engagiert worden war. Andere Werke, so wahrscheinlich auch diese dreisätzige Suite in e-Moll, entstammen seiner Hamburger oder seiner frühen Londoner Zeit. Der zweite Satz, eine Sarabande, ist eine weitere Variante des ertragreichen Allemande-Motivs, während der Finalsatz, eine Gigue, in der ungewöhnlichen Taktart von 24/16 dem Ende entgegenwirbelt.

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

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