Handel: Trio Sonatas (7), Op. 5, HWV 396-402

Challenge Classics: CC72663

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Handel: Trio Sonatas (7), Op. 5, HWV 396-402

Catalogue No:

CC72663

Discs:

1

Release date:

20th April 2015

Barcode:

0608917266320

Length:

76 minutes

Medium:

CD (download also available)

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Handel: Trio Sonatas (7), Op. 5, HWV 396-402


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A new account of Handel’s Sonatas Op. 5, perhaps his most important chamber music work, performed with their usual drive and intensity by the renowned and award-winning Al Ayre Espanol conducted by Eduardo Lopez Banzo.

During his stay in Rome, Handel participated in the musical evenings hosted by Cardinal Pietro Ottoboni and Prince Francesco Ruspoli, where he would have met Corelli, who had established the defining features of the sonata da chiesa. So it’s not surprising that Handel’s six early Trio Sonatas Op. 2 follow strictly the four-movement structure of Corelli’s sonatas (slow-quick-slowquick). On the other hand, the Op. 5 set (HWV 396-402) shows a more mature and personal approach to this formal pattern, adding a fifth movement in all the sonatas and a sixth movement in two of them (Nos. 3 and 5).

As a result, these sonatas are, in reality, suites in five or six movements, whose last section is always a dance-piece in the French style (gavotte, minuet or bourrée). The sequence of contrasting movements that characterize Op. 5 demonstrates a curious mix of styles and techniques, as well as the juxtaposition of distinctive dramatic characteristics, so that these seven sonatas appear to resemble seven scenes of a wordless opera, combining a variety of feelings.

Besides its innovative structure, the most remarkable characteristic of this set lies is that it barely contains original music at all. Most of it is composed from pre-existing material taken from Handel’s own compositions, which makes it an example of a habit popular among opera composers, the pasticcio - an intelligent way of refreshing his musical thinking with subtle transformations.

Other Challenge Classics recordings by Al Ayre Espanol and Eduardo Lopez Banzo are a 2-disc selection of Handel’s Op. 6 Grand Concertos (CC72548) and sacred cantatas by José de Nebra (CC72509).

George Frideric Handel: Sonata Op. 5 No. 1 in A Major, HWV 396

Andante

Allegro I.

Larghetto

Allegro

Gavotte

George Frideric Handel: Sonata Op. 5 No. 2 in D Major, HWV 397

Adagio

Allegro

Musette

Marche

Gavotte

George Frideric Handel: Sonata Op. 5 No. 3 in E Minor, HWV 398

Andante larghetto

Allegro

Sarabande

Allemande

Rondeau

Gavotte

George Frideric Handel: Sonata Op. 5 No. 4 in G Major, HWV 399

Allegro

A tempo ordinario. Allegro non presto

Passacaille

Gigue

Menuet

George Frideric Handel: Sonata Op. 5 No. 5 in G Minor, HWV 400

Largo

Come alla breve

Larghetto

A tempo giusto

Air

Bourrée

George Frideric Handel: Sonata Op. 5 No. 6 in F Major, HWV 401

Largo

Allegro II.

Adagio

Allegro

George Frideric Handel: SSonata Op. 5 No. 6 in F Major, HWV 401: Menuet

SSonata Op. 5 No. 6 in F Major, HWV 401: Menuet

George Frideric Handel: Sonata Op. 5 No. 7 in B-Flat Major, HWV 402

Larghetto

Allegro, ma non presto

Adagio

Allegro

Gavotte

Menuet

Gramophone Magazine

September 2015

“Al Ayre Espanol never shirk from the chance to exaggerate - even when it undermines good works they do elsewhere...With such a distinguished discography, maybe there is room for Al Ayre Espanol's mercurial alternative, which is never boring but seldom endearing.”

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