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Handel: Overtures / Trevor Pinnock, The English Concert


Release Date: 05/15/2008 
Label:  Archiv Produktion (Dg)   Catalog #: 419219   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Christian RutherfordAnthony HalsteadSimon StandageDavid Reichenberg,   ... 
Conductor:  Trevor Pinnock
Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Concert
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 2 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

The English Concert are on excellent form throughout, offering crisp and sparkling performances of page upon page of enchanting music. This treasure-trove needs greater exposure and the imaginative way in which the programme has been assembled is very enjoyable.

It will be the privilege of a very few of us, I hear, to be able to see, or even hear, all of Handel's operas. All the more is it to be hoped therefore, that programmes such as this will attract recording companies in search of first-rate but, as often as not, unfamiliar music from Handel's theatre works. I almost invariably enjoy. The English Concert's way with Handel and in this instance, to use a gaming term, they have turned up trumps. Trevor Pinnock has
Read more chosen music not only from three of Handel's operas, but also from two oratorios and a masque. The masque, Alceste, was performed in 1742 at Covent Garden. Handel's music is decidedly French in flavour in the fine maestoso movement played here. It is in the manner of a French overture but has a jauntiness which is quite unmistakably Handel; rapid upward and descending scale passages in the oboes and violins recall Rameau and the freshness and vigour of Handel's invention at once commands our attention.

In contrast with the ''Grand entree'' to Alceste, the Overture to Handel's early Italian opera Agrippina (1710) possesses both French and Italian characteristics. It begins in the spirit of a French overture but gives way to an Italianate allegro with a concertante element. The Overture to Il pastor fido (1712) is more substantial in dimensions consisting not only of the overture itself but an ensuing dance suite with some affecting writing for oboes and bassoon. The concluding Allegro will be familiar to readers in its slightly different versions as the finale to the Concerto grosso in D major/D minor, Op. 3 No. 6, and as that to the Organ Concerto in D minor, Op. 7 No. 4. The remaining opera overture is that to Teseo (1712); its first sections fall into the pattern of a French overture with concertante violin-episodes in the second of them. The character and form of the last section recall some of the string and reed instrument writing of Handel's Op. 3 concertos. The rest of the music here is drawn from two of Handel's greatest oratorios, Saul (1739) and Samson (1743).

As I have implied, The English Concert are on excellent form throughout, offering crisp and sparkling performances of page upon page of enchanting music. This treasure-trove needs greater exposure and the imaginative way in which the programme has been assembled is very enjoyable. Over an hour's playing time of music of this calibre, realized in such a sympathetic, buoyant fashion should not be overlooked. Fine recording and presentation.

-- Nicholas Anderson, Gramophone [12/1986]
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Works on This Recording

1.
Samson, HWV 57: Overture by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Christian Rutherford (French Horn), Anthony Halstead (French Horn)
Conductor:  Trevor Pinnock
Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Concert
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1743; London, England 
Date of Recording: 12/1985 
Venue:  Henry Wood Hall, London 
Length: 8 Minutes 0 Secs. 
2.
Teseo, HWV 9: Overture by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Simon Standage (Violin)
Conductor:  Trevor Pinnock
Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Concert
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1712; London, England 
Date of Recording: 11/1985 
Venue:  St John's Church, Smith Square, London 
Length: 5 Minutes 0 Secs. 
3.
Agrippina, HWV 6: Sinfonia by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  David Reichenberg (Oboe), Simon Standage (Violin)
Conductor:  Trevor Pinnock
Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Concert
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1709; Venice, Italy 
Date of Recording: 11/1985 
Venue:  St John's Church, Smith Square, London 
Length: 4 Minutes 0 Secs. 
4.
Alceste, HWV 45: Grand entrée by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Michael Laird (Trumpet)
Conductor:  Trevor Pinnock
Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Concert
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1749-1750; England 
Date of Recording: 11/1985 
Venue:  St John's Church, Smith Square, London 
Length: 3 Minutes 0 Secs. 
5.
Il pastor fido, HWV 8a: Overture by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  David Reichenberg (Oboe), Alastair Mitchell (Bassoon), Nigel North (Theorbo),
Amanda Macnamara (Double Bass), Simon Standage (Violin)
Conductor:  Trevor Pinnock
Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Concert
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1712/1734; London, England 
Date of Recording: 11/1985 
Venue:  St John's Church, Smith Square, London 
Length: 24 Minutes 0 Secs. 
6.
Saul, HWV 53: Overture by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Trevor Pinnock (Organ)
Conductor:  Trevor Pinnock
Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Concert
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1738-1739; London, England 
Date of Recording: 11/1986 
Venue:  St John's Church, Smith Square, London 
Length: 17 Minutes 0 Secs. 
7.
Saul, HWV 53: Sinfonia no 3 by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Trevor Pinnock (Organ)
Conductor:  Trevor Pinnock
Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Concert
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1738-1739; London, England 
Venue:  St John's Church, Smith Square, London 

Featured Sound Samples

Alceste: Act 1: Grande entrée
Agrippina: Sinfonia
Saul: Act 2: Sinfonia "Wedding Symphony"
Samson: Act 1: Sinfonia: II. Allegro

Sound Samples

Alceste, HWV 45 / Act 1: Grand Entrée: Maestoso
Agrippina, HWV 6: Sinfonia
Il pastor fido, Overture, HWV 8a: 1. (without tempo indication) - Lentement
Il pastor fido, Overture, HWV 8a: 2. Largo
Il pastor fido, Overture, HWV 8a: 3. Allegro
Il pastor fido, Overture, HWV 8a: 4. (Menuet)
Il pastor fido, Overture, HWV 8a: 5. Adagio
Il pastor fido, Overture, HWV 8a: 6. (Allegro)
From Saul: Sinfonia, HWV 53: 1. Allegro
From Saul: Sinfonia, HWV 53: 2. Larghetto - Adagio
From Saul: Sinfonia, HWV 53: 3. Allegro
From Saul: Sinfonia, HWV 53: 4. Andante larghetto
Saul, HWV 53 / Act 2: 63a.Sinfonia "Wedding Symphony" - Largo - Allegro
Teseo, HWV 9
From Samson (Act I): Sinfonia, HWV 57: 1. Andante - Adagio
From Samson (Act I): Sinfonia, HWV 57: 2. Allegro
From Samson (Act I): Sinfonia, HWV 57: 3. Menuetto

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 An oldie but a goodie April 5, 2012 By Richard H. (Glendale, AZ) See All My Reviews "These are little known works performed with great understanding of Handel. Pinnock is lively as usual and the English Concert seems to play itself. This is a great addition to any library. Not sure if these works are available anywhere else." Report Abuse
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