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London in the early 1700’s offered a dazzling mix of virtually every European musical style. The recent union between England and Scotland led to an increased cultural exchange, and English audiences were entranced by the rhythms and colours of the traditional tunes of Scotland. Various collections, such as the settings by the recorder virtuoso Francesco Barsanti, were published and even Handel could not resist a few turns at the hornpipe in his Water Music. This state of affairs is reflected in the present mix of four baroque sonatas, by composers associated with London in various ways, and nine Scottish tunes in arrangements based on the Barsanti settings.
This imaginative programme is characteristic of the approach adopted by Parnassus Avenue, an ensemble which is constantly challenging ‘baroque standards’: according to Parnassus Avenue there is no ‘early’ music, just a never-ending ‘now’. In lending a John Stanley Adagio the same melancholy expressivity as the mournful Waly waly, and applying the same virtuosity to the hypnotic Clout the Cauldron as to a Handel Allegro, Dan Laurin and his colleagues also demonstrate that there are no genres, only one seamless musical whole.
Traditional: Lord Aboynes Welcome or Cumbernault House
Lord Aboynes Welcome or Cumbernault House
Traditional: Waly Waly
Traditional: Clout the Cauldron
Clout the Cauldron
John Stanley: Flute Solo No. 4 in B minor, Op. 4, No. 4
II. Poco Allegro
Traditional: Fy gar rub her o'er with Straw
Fy gar rub her o'er with Straw
Traditional: Busk ye busk ye Bonny Bride
Busk ye busk ye Bonny Bride
George Frideric Handel: Flute Sonata in B minor, HWV 376, "Halle Sonata No. 3"
Francesco Geminiani: Cello Sonata No. 3 in C major, Op. 5, No. 3
Traditional: The Flowers of the Forrest
The Flowers of the Forrest
Anonymous: Dumbarton's Drums
Anonymous: Logan Water
Johann Helmich Roman: Sonata No. 10 for Flute, Violin and Harpsichord in E minor
IV. Non Presto
George Frideric Handel: Flute Sonata in E minor, HWV 375, "Halle Sonata No. 2"
Flute Sonata in E minor, HWV 375, "Halle Sonata No. 2": IV. Minuet
Click on any of the works listed above for alternative recordings.