Trevor Pinnock: Purcell, Haydn and Handel

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COMPOSERS: Handel,Haydn,Purcell
LABELS: Wigmore Hall Live
WORKS: Purcell: Suite No. 4 in A minor; No. 2 in G minor; A New Ground in E minor; Handel: Suites: No. 2 in F; No. 7 in G minor; Haydn: Sonatas: in D, Hob. XVI/14; in G, Hob. XVI/27; in D, Hob.XVII/D1 – Finale: Allegro
PERFORMER: Trevor Pinnock (harpsichord)


These composers were fêted for their various anniversaries in 2009. Here is an effectively constructed programme in which Trevor Pinnock celebrated their music at a Wigmore Hall recital in May last year. Purcell and Handel are the most amiable of concert companions and they sit together very comfortably here.

Haydn might, on the face of it, seem to be the odd man out, since he cannot be classified as a Baroque composer. Yet his music blends in well in the present context. The D major Sonata is an early piece, airily galant in character, in three movements and almost certainly written for harpsichord.

The other, in G major, is later and brings to mind the sensitive style of CPE Bach. Pinnock’s playing in these works is fluent, modestly extrovert and fun-loving. It is without silly gestures and empty rhetoric of the kind that marrs the performances of some of his contemporaries. 

Purcell and Handel fare comparably well and from among the many movements of their Suites I shall highlight the splendid virtuosity that Pinnock brings to the Passacaille which concludes Handel’s G minor Suite and the spacious introspection which characterises the Almand of Purcell’s Suite in the same key.


Two contrasting encores set the seal on a sympathetically recorded disc. Nicholas Anderson