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Track(s) taken from CDA67627

Oboe Sonata in B flat major, HWV357

circa 1706; 'Fitzwilliam' Sonata

Alexandra Bellamy (oboe), The King's Consort
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

Other recordings available for download

Paul Goodwin (oboe), Richard Tunnicliffe (cello), Paul Nicholson (harpsichord/virginals)


'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)
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

Bourbier à l’authenticité douteuse, les sonates de chambre de Haendel, pour instrument solo et continuo, sont souvent assignées au mauvais instrument solo—des premières éditions erronées parurent du vivant même du compositeur, sans que ce dernier y ait participé. Selon Charles Burney, historien de la musique, Haendel fut amusé de voir une copie de six sonates pour deux hautbois et continuo, censées être ses toute premières œuvres, composées vers l’âge de dix ans. Sans en confirmer la paternité (les spécialistes les pensent aujourd’hui douteuses), il aurait déclaré: «J’écrivais comme un fou en ce temps-là, et surtout pour le hautbois, qui était mon instrument préféré.»

Seules trois sonates sont indubitablement authentiques, avec des parties solo manifestement destinées au hautbois, et prouvent l’enthousiasme évident de Haendel pour les capacités expressives et les couleurs de cet instrument. La plus ancienne des trois, la Sonate pour hautbois en si bémol majeur HWV357, est dite «Fitzwilliam», son autographe étant désormais conservé au Fitzwilliam Museum de Cambridge. Écrite sur un papier italien que Haendel utilisa également à Hanovre—une origine que corrobore le titre en français («Sonata pour l’Hautbois Solo»)—, cette musique semble cependant d’un style plus proche de la toute première période italienne du compositeur.

extrait des notes rédigées par David Vickers © 2007
Français: Hypérion

Händels Kammersonaten für jeweils ein Soloinstrument und Continuo-Begleitung sind ein wahrer Sumpf zweifelhafter Authentizität. Zudem sind, aufgrund fehlerhafter Ausgaben, die zu Lebzeiten des Komponisten publiziert wurden (jedoch ohne dessen Beteiligung), zahlreiche Sonaten dem falschen Soloinstrument zugeordnet. Der Musikhistoriker Charles Burney erzählte eine Anekdote, derzufolge Händel mit Belustigung eine Ausgabe mit sechs Sonaten für zwei Oboen und Continuo gesehen hatte, die angeblich seine frühesten Kompositionen und entstanden sein sollten, als er ein zehnjähriger Schuljunge war. Obwohl Händel diese Zuschreibung nicht bestätigte (die Forschung ist heute der Ansicht, dass die Authentizität dieser Werke zweifelhaft ist), soll er sich folgendermaßen geäußert haben: „Ich schrieb in jener Zeit wie der Teufel, und besonders für das Hautbois, das mein Lieblingsinstrument war.“

Es existieren nur drei Sonaten, die Händel sicher zugeschrieben werden können und deren Solopartien offensichtlich für die Oboe gedacht sind. In allen drei Sonaten wird Händels Leidenschaft für die Ausdrucksmöglichkeiten und Klangfarben des Instruments deutlich. Das früheste Werk ist die Oboensonate in B-Dur HWV357, die „Fitzwilliam“-Sonate, so genannt, da das autographe Manuskript heute im Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge aufbewahrt wird. Sie ist auf italienischem Papier notiert, das Händel auch in Hannover benutzte. Der französische Titel im Manuskript („Sonata pour l’Hautbois Solo“) weist zwar auf Hannoveraner Ursprünge hin, doch entspricht der Musikstil eher dem der Frühperiode Händels in Italien.

aus dem Begleittext von David Vickers © 2007
Deutsch: Viola Scheffel

Other albums featuring this work

Handel: 20 Sonatas Op 1
CDS44411/33CDs Boxed set (at a special price)
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