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
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
Works on This Recording
Be the first to review this title