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Handel: Harpsichord Suites / Jory Vinikour


Release Date: 03/31/2009 
Label:  Delos   Catalog #: 3394   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Jory Vinikour
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 2 Hours 8 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Jory Vinikour’s traversal of Handel’s eight so-called “Great Suites” published in 1720 falls interpretively between the smooth and stylish work of Sophie Yates on Chandos and the more aggressive approach of Ludger Rémy on cpo, generally but not always leaning toward Rémy’s more highly inflected readings. To say that you can learn everything you need to know about Vinikour’s Handel from the first Suite in A Major, is an exaggeration, but it’s a good start. Vinikour gently elasticizes the Prelude without stretching it out of shape, which is true of his approach to many of the other slow movements in this set; in this particular piece, he actually takes the trouble to phrase the arpeggios. His approach to the inner movements, the Read more Allemande and Courante, is rather French, gentle and flowing (here Vinikour is more similar to Yates). Vinikour doesn’t come down hard on the downbeats, thereby banishing all hints of stodginess while still keeping the melodic phrases well defined. The concluding Gigue is perky, but again Vinikour avoids bearing down on the rhythmic element once past the introductory phrase (and its repeats).

So far, Vinikour seems to have more in common with Yates, but later—as in the first Allegro of HWV 427—he seems to take special delight in the quick, perky, note-cluttered movements, and he absolutely revels in the bravura aspects of the Passacaglia that concludes HWV 432. Vinikour makes it clear that the mighty trills are what the second Adagio of HWV 427 is all about. He takes a lovely, lyrical approach to the slow music of HWV 430, and his ornamentation of the so-called “Harmonious Blacksmith” movement is generous but not overbearing. Some of his slow playing, as in the Prelude of HWV 431, would benefit from just a bit more freedom, but this is not a major issue, and it would be worse if Vinikour were so wayward that he let the music fall apart, which is never a problem here.

Vinikour imports into the middle of HWV 428 the famous Sarabande from HWV 437, from Handel’s 1733 keyboard collection, which suggests that he is not planning a follow-up album. Too bad, for what Vinikour offers here is first-rate. It’s well recorded on a recent John Phillips instrument, based on a large 1739 Johann Heinrich Gräbner model.

FANFARE: James Reel
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Works on This Recording

1.
Suite for Harpsichord in A major, HWV 426 by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Jory Vinikour (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1720; London, England 
2.
Suite for Harpsichord in F major, HWV 427 by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Jory Vinikour (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1720; London, England 
3.
Suite for Harpsichord in D minor, HWV 428 by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Jory Vinikour (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1720; London, England 
4.
Suite for Harpsichord in E minor, HWV 429 by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Jory Vinikour (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1720; London, England 
5.
Suite for Harpsichord in E major, HWV 430 by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Jory Vinikour (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1720; London, England 
6.
Suite for Harpsichord in F sharp minor, HWV 431 by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Jory Vinikour (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1720; London, England 
7.
Suite for Harpsichord in G minor, HWV 432 by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Jory Vinikour (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1720; London, England 
8.
Suite for Harpsichord in F minor, HWV 433 by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Jory Vinikour (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1720; London, England 
9.
Chaconne and Variations (21) for Harpsichord in G major, HWV 435: Chaconne by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  Jory Vinikour (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1733; London, England 

Sound Samples

Keyboard Suite No. 1 (Set I) in A major, HWV 426: I. Prelude
Keyboard Suite No. 1 (Set I) in A major, HWV 426: II. Allemande
Keyboard Suite No. 1 (Set I) in A major, HWV 426: III. Courante
Keyboard Suite No. 1 (Set I) in A major, HWV 426: IV. Gigue
Keyboard Suite No. 2 in F major, HWV 427: I. Adagio
Keyboard Suite No. 2 in F major, HWV 427: II. Allegro
Keyboard Suite No. 2 in F major, HWV 427: III. Adagio
Keyboard Suite No. 2 in F major, HWV 427: IV. Allegro
Keyboard Suite No. 3 (Set I) in D minor, HWV 428: I. Prelude
Keyboard Suite No. 3 (Set I) in D minor, HWV 428: II. Allegro
Keyboard Suite No. 3 (Set I) in D minor, HWV 428: III. Allemande
Keyboard Suite No. 3 (Set I) in D minor, HWV 428: IV. Courante
Keyboard Suite No. 4 (Set II) in D minor, HWV 437: Keyboard Suite in D minor, HWV 437: III. Saraband - 2 Variations
Keyboard Suite No. 3 (Set I) in D minor, HWV 428: V. Air
Keyboard Suite No. 3 (Set I) in D minor, HWV 428: VI. Doubles
Keyboard Suite No. 3 (Set I) in D minor, HWV 428: VII. Presto
Keyboard Suite No. 1 (Set I) in E minor, HWV 429: I. Allegro
Keyboard Suite No. 1 (Set I) in E minor, HWV 429: II. Allemande
Keyboard Suite No. 1 (Set I) in E minor, HWV 429: III. Courante
Keyboard Suite No. 1 (Set I) in E minor, HWV 429: IV. Sarabande
Keyboard Suite No. 1 (Set I) in E minor, HWV 429: V. Gigue
Keyboard Suite No. 5 in E major, HWV 430: I. Prelude
Keyboard Suite No. 5 in E major, HWV 430: II. Allemande
Keyboard Suite No. 5 in E major, HWV 430: III. Courante
Keyboard Suite No. 5 in E major, HWV 430: IV. Air, "Harmonious Blacksmith"
Keyboard Suite No. 6 (Set I) in F sharp minor, HWV 431: I. Prelude
Keyboard Suite No. 6 (Set I) in F sharp minor, HWV 431: II. Largo
Keyboard Suite No. 6 (Set I) in F sharp minor, HWV 431: III. Allegro
Keyboard Suite No. 6 (Set I) in F sharp minor, HWV 431: IV. Gigue [Presto]
Keyboard Suite No. 7 (Set I) in G minor, HWV 432: I. Overture
Keyboard Suite No. 7 (Set I) in G minor, HWV 432: II. Andante
Keyboard Suite No. 7 (Set I) in G minor, HWV 432: III. Allegro
Keyboard Suite No. 7 (Set I) in G minor, HWV 432: IV. Sarabande
Keyboard Suite No. 7 (Set I) in G minor, HWV 432: V. Gigue
Keyboard Suite No. 7 (Set I) in G minor, HWV 432: VI. Passacaille
Keyboard Suite No. 8 (Set I) in F minor, HWV 433: I. Adagio
Keyboard Suite No. 8 (Set I) in F minor, HWV 433: II. Allegro
Keyboard Suite No. 8 (Set I) in F minor, HWV 433: III. Allemande
Keyboard Suite No. 8 (Set I) in F minor, HWV 433: IV. Courante
Keyboard Suite No. 8 (Set I) in F minor, HWV 433: V. Gigue
Chaconne in G major, HWV 435

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