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Richard Egarr plays Handel's Eight 'Great' Suites

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The eight 'Great' suites were the first keyboard works that Handel chose to present to London audiences. They demonstrate the inspiration he drew from Italian virtuosity and the French 'style-brisé' of the time, as well as his own 'orchestral' way of writing for the keyboard.

The prelude of the F minor suite, which you can download here, is 'capped by a fugue whose left-hand chords strive after an orchestral effect that seems to tear up the rules of idiomatic harpsichord writings', as Paul Riley put it when he reviewed the disc in our March issue.

Riley continued: 'Where Handel boldly leads, Egarr heroically follows. But he never nurtures virtuosity for its own sake ... Daring and full of insight, this release goes straight to the top of the class.'

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