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Handel: Organ Concertos Vol 2 / Hurford, Rifkin


Release Date: 06/04/2008 
Label:  Decca   Catalog #: 417560   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Peter Hurford
Conductor:  Joshua Rifkin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Chamber Orchestra
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 2 Hours 1 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Hurford and Rifkin wear their scholarship lightly and the overall impression this record gives is one of fun. Even the more solemn movements of Op. 7 are relieved by shining string tone and a bright organ singing in a resonant acoustic. Every note seems glad to be there and nowhere is there any trace of inordinate propriety. All the players it seems, are doing what comes naturally. There's a high degree of co-operation too — more often than not a reedy orchestral passage is answered by a flutey one from the organ. Contrasts are well worked out — and there are many places where the soloist hauls down his flag to accompany an interesting orchestral feature.

For me, the most welcome characteristic of this set is the close
Read more agreement on speeds between orchestra and soloist. This is a matter of some concern even in otherwise very fine performances. Hurford and Rifkin meet up to perfection and together they produce many examples of long running or trilling passages marching perfectly together, the very precision of it making a thrill of its own. The harpsichord backing is neither muted nor obtrusive. It helps enormously when a slight touch of slap and tickle is needed to give unvarnished Handelian truth. For these concertos were meant to provide entertainment and astonishing entertainment at that. Handel left whole movements for himself to improvise. It has become the practice nowadays to fill in with movements from other parts of Handel's output. Hurford does that on three occasions, but at other times introduces music by Telemann, Avison and Stanley. This is by no means reprehensible, since some of Handel's own movements are based on other men's ideas, and the little splashes of freshness are welcome. I have not quite taken to the Avison movement introduced to Op. 7 No. 2 in A major but am prepared to give it time.

Hurford and Rifkin's bonus of surplus-to-requirements movements from Arnold's edition of the long F major Concerto known as No. 16 is an additional pull. But in any case I have fallen for the breezy bounce of this splendid recording.

-- Gramophone [1/1988]
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Works on This Recording

1.
Concertos (6) for Organ, Op. 7: no 1 in B flat major, HWV 306 by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Peter Hurford (Organ)
Conductor:  Joshua Rifkin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Chamber Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1740; London, England 
Date of Recording: 12/1985 
Venue:  Bethlehemkerk, Papendrecht, Netherlands 
2.
Concertos (6) for Organ, Op. 7: no 2 in A major, HWV 307 by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Peter Hurford (Organ)
Conductor:  Joshua Rifkin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Chamber Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1743; London, England 
Date of Recording: 12/1985 
Venue:  Bethlehemkerk, Papendrecht, Netherlands 
3.
Concertos (6) for Organ, Op. 7: no 3 in B flat major, HWV 308 by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Peter Hurford (Organ)
Conductor:  Joshua Rifkin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Chamber Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1751; London, England 
Date of Recording: 12/1985 
Venue:  Bethlehemkerk, Papendrecht, Netherlands 
4.
Concertos (6) for Organ, Op. 7: no 4 in D minor, HWV 309 by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Peter Hurford (Organ)
Conductor:  Joshua Rifkin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Chamber Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1750; London, England 
Date of Recording: 12/1985 
Venue:  Bethlehemkerk, Papendrecht, Netherlands 
5.
Concertos (6) for Organ, Op. 7: no 5 in G minor, HWV 310 by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Peter Hurford (Organ)
Conductor:  Joshua Rifkin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Chamber Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1750; London, England 
Date of Recording: 12/1985 
Venue:  Bethlehemkerk, Papendrecht, Netherlands 
6.
Concertos (6) for Organ, Op. 7: no 6 in B flat major, HWV 311 by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Peter Hurford (Organ)
Conductor:  Joshua Rifkin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Chamber Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1749; London, England 
Date of Recording: 12/1985 
Venue:  Bethlehemkerk, Papendrecht, Netherlands 
7.
Concerto for Organ in D minor, HWV 304 by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Peter Hurford (Organ)
Conductor:  Joshua Rifkin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Chamber Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1746; London, England 
Date of Recording: 12/1985 
Venue:  Bethlehemkerk, Papendrecht, Netherlands 
8.
Concerto for Organ in F major, HWV 305a by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Peter Hurford (Organ)
Conductor:  Joshua Rifkin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Chamber Orchestra
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1748; London, England 
Date of Recording: 12/1985 
Venue:  Bethlehemkerk, Papendrecht, Netherlands 

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