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John Kitchen Plays Handel Overtures


Release Date: 03/08/2011 
Label:  Delphian   Catalog #: 34053   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  George Frideric Handel
Performer:  John Kitchen
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews



HANDEL 8 Overtures (arr. hpd). Suite in G, HWV 450. Suite in A, HWV 454 John Kitchen, hpd DELPHIAN DCD34053 (79:50)


Overtures to Athalia, The Occasional Oratorio, Il pastor fido, Radamisto, Rinaldo, Samson, Saul, Teseo


Before the fortunate times in which we live, most music Read more lovers who wanted to hear the vast majority of Handel’s works would have had to play them for themselves. Although the overtures to his works were sometimes played in amateur and professional concerts (as evidenced by published sets of orchestral parts), they were also issued in transcriptions for harpsichord. Autographs of five such transcriptions by Handel survive. Musicologist Terrence Best has published an edition of 20 such transcriptions (Novello, 1985) which he believes to be by Handel himself. Among the publications of London publisher John Walsh are Handel’s Sixty Overtures from all his Operas and Oratorios Set for the Harpsichord or Organ and the similarly titled Handel’s Overtures from all his Operas and Oratorios Set for the Harpsichord or Organ . Of the eight recorded here, Best believes two ( Radamisto and Teseo ) to be by Handel. The others are from Handel’s Sixty Overtures (a modern edition from Dover seems to be currently out of print).


John Kitchen contributes performances of theatrical flair and technical excellence. His tempos are perfectly suited to the music. He attempts to supply what color he can as a substitute for the orchestra. But therein, of course, lies the problem. All of these works are available in recordings in their full orchestral dress. As enjoyable as this disc is, it makes me want to hear the overtures in all their orchestral glory.


The two harpsichord suites are rarities. Neither is currently listed at ArkivMusic. I have the Suite in A on a 10-disc set by Eberhard Kraus on ebs incorrectly titled The Complete Works for Harpsichord ( Das Gesamtwerk für Cembalo ), available in Europe from such retailers as jpc.de. I have not come across the Suite in G before; this may be its first recording. Kitchen’s performances are equally impressive as those of the overtures.


There is almost no recorded competition for the overtures; only three of the transcriptions are listed at ArkivMusic. This disc will appeal especially to lovers of harpsichord music and to collectors attempting to collect Handel’s harpsichord suites.


FANFARE: Ron Salemi
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Works on This Recording

1.
Occasional Oratorio, HWV 62: Overture by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  John Kitchen (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1746; London, England 
2.
Athalia, HWV 52: Overture by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  John Kitchen (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1733; London, England 
3.
Radamisto, HWV 12: Overture by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  John Kitchen (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1712/1720; London, England 
4.
Suite for Harpsichord in A major, HWV 454 by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  John Kitchen (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1705 
5.
Samson, HWV 57: Overture by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  John Kitchen (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1743; London, England 
6.
Saul, HWV 53: Overture by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  John Kitchen (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1738-1739; London, England 
7.
Suite for Harpsichord in G major, HWV 450 by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  John Kitchen (Harpsichord)
8.
Il pastor fido, HWV 8a: Overture by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  John Kitchen (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1712/1734; London, England 
9.
Teseo, HWV 9: Overture by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  John Kitchen (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1712; London, England 
10.
Rinaldo, HWV 7: Overture by George Frideric Handel
Performer:  John Kitchen (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1711; London, England 

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