WORKS: Passacaglia in G minor; Chaconnein G; Suite in F, HWV 427; Suite in E, HWV 430; Suite in F minor, HWV 433; Suite in B flat, HWV 434
PERFORMER: Bob van Asperen (harpsichord)
CATALOGUE NO: SK 68260
To many music-lovers, Handel’s harpsichord music means little else than the Harmonious Blacksmith variations, but there is a good deal more to it than that agreeable but slight piece. Bob van Asperen here includes the complete suite from which those variations come, as well as the suite inB flat major which contains the innocuous theme Brahms borrowedfor his famous Handel Variations. However, he also tackles the more impressive Suite in F minor, with its austere Prelude and angular Gigue,and the massive Chaconne with62 variations.
Van Asperen is a sympathetic interpreter, whose sense of line, rhythmic expressiveness and graceful ornamentation all combine to make these beguiling performances; in addition, the engineers have beautifully captured the pellucid quality of his harpsichord. Kate Bolton