Hyperionís web site gives the following information
about this recording: "Handel's so-called 'Opus 1' is a mish-mash
of fifteen sonatas for various instruments cobbled together by an unscrupulous
publisher in Handel's lifetime to take advantage of his name. Some of
them may or may not be by Handel, although all of the music is fine
All of the works on this recording,
with the exception of the final D major sonata, were originally issued
in 1995 by Hyperion. The D major sonata, discovered in the 1980s, was
recently recorded. This recording therefore contains all of Handelís
eight flute sonatas, although it is not certain that he did, indeed,
compose all of this music.
The slow movements of most of these
sonatas are indeed slow; I hesitate to use the word boring, but they
definitely sound like good candidates for nights of insomnia. The faster
movements tend to be more interesting; the allegro of the first E minor
sonata is a good example, as the flute jumps around in brisk, acrobatic
melodies, which are truly attractive. The allegro of the second E minor
sonata is similar; again, the flute jumps around, leaping in large intervals,
and playing virtuoso runs. The combinations of such uninteresting slow
movements and the more artful fast sections tends to flatten out the
music. There is perhaps too much of a difference in tempo between the
movements, but there is a strange feeling of incompleteness listening
to these works.
Lisa Beznosiuk plays with grace and
charm in the faster movements, but something about this music seems
to temper her ardour; I cannot help think that she could inject far
more energy into this music. Her instrument has a deep, rich sound,
in the lower register, and a delightfully limpid sound in the higher
end. Yet this cannot save me from tedium.
The overall sound of this recording
is sober and not unforgettable. These works are not masterpieces, and,
while they may interest Handel fans, or those who especially like the
flute, there is little to recommend them to other, curious listeners.