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The Gentleman’s Flute
Stefan Temmingh (recorder), Olga Mishula (psaltery), Olga Watts (harpsichord) & Lyndon Watts (bassoon)
This CD features Handel arias in 18th century arrangements for recorder and basso continuo. The arias of the ‘newest’ Handel operas were analogous to pop hits and were played in all conceivable arrangements. They were demanding to play and even today require skilled recorder players. Stefan Temmingh has gathered various musician friends and colleagues to revive this fascinating repertoire.
“these are for the most part thoroughly engaging performances in which Temmingh uses a sure sense of line, judicious ornamentation and joyfully muscular and woody tone to ensure that every aria has character and inner life...a varied line-up of accompanying instruments has you looking forward to finding out what colours will come next” Gramophone Magazine, February 2011
(also available to download from $10.50)
Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days. (Available now to download.)
Handel In The Playhouse
Some confounded Planet reigning, HWV 28
Smile, smile, my Chloe, smile, HWV 22
The little wanton god, HWV 228/14
Sonata in C major for recorder and continuo, HWV365, Op. 1 No. 7: Allegro
In vain, in vain, I rove, HWV 47
How cruel are the Traitors, HWV 228/19
Water Music Suite No. 3 in G major, HWV350: excerpts
Was ever a Man possest?, HWV 15
Beauty's but a fading Flower, HWV 228/6
Why you little blind Contriver, HWV 228/22
Away with Suspicion, HWV 542
Brave Boys prepare, HWV 20
Oboe Sonata in f major, HWV 363a: Bourree
Hence with tedious dull repining, HWV 228/4
Abroad after Misses, HWV 348
Variation for the Harpsichord to the Gavot in Otho
Women in vain Love's powerful Torrent, HWV 14
Do not ask me if I love you, HWV 27
Grant Mars, grant us thy Fires, HWV 28
Mary Bevan (soprano) & Greg Tassell (tenor)
L'Avventura London, Zak Ozmo (director)
London-based early music group L'Avventura announces the launch of their debut CD, a unique collection of previously unrecorded music by Handel. Fighting the deluge of re-recordings and re-issued CDs in this Handel anniversary year, Opella Nova Records is pleased to present a new group with a completely different take on the venerated composer. The playful, eminently-listenable Handel in the Playhouse is the debut album of new early music ensemble L'Avventura London, directed by Zak Ozmo, based on new musicological research. Consisting mainly of previously unheard English playhouse music composed by Handel, the recording is perfectly timed to coincide with the anniversary of the composer's death. An unusually large number of Handel tunes have been discovered in comic 18th-century musical theatre pieces called ballad operas.Working in London in the 1730s, the authors of these theatre works (which included quality playwrights and writers such as novelist Henry Fielding) cleverly stole Handel's music from his fashionable operas and instrumental works, added new English texts and used them in their own music theatre pieces. The ballad operas, which included (among others) the timeless Beggar's Opera, were staged many hundred times more than even the most successful of Handel's Italian operas. They were performed ceaselessly in London and were huge hits in the provinces for over a century. It was these versions of Handel's music, according to scholars, that were the most well known among British middle-class audiences in the first half of the 18th century. It was also this music that made the composer popular as a national composer, as these very English ballad operas were successes years before Handel's oratorios were fashionable. Handel in the Playhouse is full of new discoveries and the instrumentalists' energetic and sensitive playing brings light to the novel and highly entertaining songs. These little musical gems, played and sung as they would have been performed in the fairs and tiny packed theatres outside London, show the lively and colourful tastes of 18th-century middle-class audiences.The disc also includes a fresh take on movements of the Water Music and the overture from Rinaldo. L'Avventura London has a UK tour planned for Winter 2009-2010. Future releases include a recording of unrecorded 18th-century Portuguese modinhas (sentimental love songs) and related instrumental music, a CD of greatest Baroque hits, Italian instrumental works and a recording of 18th-century Scottish folk songs (all previously unrecorded) in collaboration with a modern Scots folk singer.
“The performances are fully in keeping with the nature of the genre: hearty singing by Mary Bevan and Greg Tassell; robust instrumental playing by a small band of string and winds. …medley of popular ditties and foot-tapping instrumental numbers - movements from Handel's solo sonatas and arrangements from Rinaldo and the Water Music - carried off with spirit.” BBC Music Magazine, March 2010 ****
“Ozmo has researched and worked incredibly hard on this labour of love, and his insightful commentary on the music and performance practice chosen for this programme contains some fascinating facsimiles of historical sources” Gramophone Magazine, April 2010
Usually despatched in 3 - 4 working days.
John Kitchen plays Handel Overtures
John Kitchen (1755 Kirkman Harpsichord from the Raymond Russell Collection)
Handel's overtures had an independent life almost from their inception and the practice of performing them on keyboard instruments has a similarly long pedigree, beginning with a number of transcriptions made by the composer himself. Keyboard specialist John Kitchen virtuosically evokes Handel's orchestral palette in the welter of timbres and colours which he summons forth from Jacob Kirckman's 1755 harpsichord, a classic instrument from the very apex of the English harpsichord-building tradition.
"His playing is exemplary" Early Music Review, February 2009
“John Kitchen’s stylishly played recording, made on a 1755 Kirckman harpsichord, brings together eight well-chosen transcriptions. The music is universally glorious, yet the inclusion of the Suites in A and G is welcome relief — we hear the harpsichord as its more intimate, lyrical self.” Sunday Times, 9th August 2009 ****
Usually despatched in 3 - 4 working days.