£16 post free World-wide

 


555 sonatas 9Cds mp3 files
Only £22


 


Benjamin: Written on Skin £16

Search
What's New
Previous CDs
Concerts
Jazz
Nostalgia
Composers
Resources
Announce
Labels index


Every day we post 10 new Classical CD and DVD reviews. A free weekly summary is available by e-mail. MusicWeb is not a subscription site. To keep it free please purchase discs through our links.

  Classical Editor Rob Barnett    



REVIEW

Some items
to consider


Shostakovich 14 Petrenko


Rachmaninov #3
Prokofiev #2

 


Dunedin Consort

Peter Grimes

Hymn of Jesus: Sea Drift

Complete Mozart Edition
Mozart complete edition

Vaughan Williams Symphonies 5 & 8 £11

Weiner, Klepper, Bloch, Schulhoff £12 post free


Available again

 

Availability
CD: Crotchet AmazonUK AmazonUS

 

George Frederic HANDEL (1685-1759)
Organ Concertos, Op.4 (1735/36): No.3 in G minor, HWV 291 [13:11]; No.2 in B flat major, HWV 290 [11:38]; No.1 in G minor, HWV 289 [17:04]; No.5 in F major, HWV 293 [9:37]; No.6 in B flat major, HWV 294 [11:27]; No.4 in F major, HWV 292 [14:22]
Accademia Bizantina/Ottavio Dantone (organ)
rec. 10-12 June 2008 Bartholomäuskirche, Hallé, Germany. DDD
L'OISEAU-LYRE 478 1465 [77:27]

Experience Classicsonline





I love musical connections and this L'Oiseau-Lyre recording of the Handel Organ Concertos, Op.4 was made in Hallé the city of the composer's birth. In particular the Bartholomäuskirche is renowned as the wedding place of several generations of the Handel family.

Organ soloist Ottavio Dantone, who also directs the Accademia Bizantina, has chosen for this recording a positive organ, a 2007 copy of the small portable continuo organ without pedals that Handel would have typically used. The instrument by contemporary builder Khristian Wegscheider of Dresden is designed in the style of a small Bohemian positive organ with a modest number of six stops.

Founded in 1983 at Ravenna, Italy, Accademia Bizantina specialise in seventeenth and eighteenth century music and are one of the foremost period instrument ensembles on the scene today. On this recording for L'Oiseau-Lyre the modest forces of Accademia Bizantina employ 6 violins, 2 violas, 2 cellos, 1 violone, 1 bassoon, 1 archlute, 1 harpsichord, 2 oboes and the B flat major Concerto requires 2 recorders.

Johann Mattheson the Hamburg composer and musicologist expressed the view that Handel was the greatest organist of his day comparable only with Johann Sebastian Bach. In view of his prowess on the organ it is surprising that Handel waited until around 1735/36 when he was nearly fifty before composing concertos specifically for the instrument. It seems that Handel would typically perform an organ concerto between the acts of an oratorio to help strengthen audience appeal for the concert. Musicologist Sir John Hawkins noted how an audience would especially enjoy the early part of the concerto when Handel might choose to improvise passages at the organ.

This opus 4 set like the majority of Handel's 16 or so Organ Concertos tends to follow the more established four movement, slow, fast, slow, fast design. Only the B Flat major Concerto No. 6 is cast in a three movement form. Handel often reused his music and it seems that the Concerto No.5 is reworking of an earlier sonata for recorder. In addition the Concerto No.6 was originally conceived as a harp concerto for inclusion in the ode Alexander's Feast (1736). I noted that the well known opening movement marked Andante allegro is often played in a splendid transcription for solo organ. Of special interest is the opening movement of the Concerto No.3 where in the form of a Concertino the parts for the solo violin and solo cello feature prominently.

Ottavio Dantone expertly directs his Accademia Bizantina from the keyboard in these Organ Concertos. He delivers brisk, lively and ebullient Allegros with the Adagios slow and relaxing in tempo; almost meditative in mood. With the lightness and delicacy of creamy porcelain and significant reserves of power available when needed the choice of the compact positive organ is eminently suited to these concertos. The Wegscheider organ is exceptional, never reedy or tinny, matched perfectly to the chapel rather than the cathedral proportions of the Handel family church at Hallé. As organ soloist Ottavio Dantone provides dexterous and often imaginative playing that is certainly out of the ordinary.

Those wanting a complete set of Handel's complete Organ Concertos might like to obtain the stimulating and crisply played period instrument set by soloist Simon Preston with The English Concert directed by Trevor Pinnock. Recorded in 1982/3 the generally well recorded 3 disc set is available on Deutsche Grammophon Archiv 'Trio' Series 469 358-2. Of note is another splendid period instrument recording from Ottavio Dantone in partnership with Viktoria Mullova are his 2007 accounts of J.S. Bach's six Sonatas for Violin and Harpsichord. The double set was recorded at the Alte Grieser Pfarrkirche in Bolzano, Italy on Onyx 4020.

I find it hard to imagine finer playing in these Handel Organ Concertos, Op.4 than this from Ottavio Dantone and the Accademia Bizantina for L'Oiseau-Lyre. The closely recorded sound quality from the Bartholomäuskirche in Hallé is of a high standard.

Michael Cookson 

 


Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and get a free CD

New Releases

Naxos Classical

Hyperion

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
Alto
Arcodiva
CDAccord
Centaur
Hallé
Hortus
Lyrita
Nimbus
Northern Flowers
Redcliffe
Sheva
Talent
Toccata Classics


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly newsletter
 


EXPLORE MUSICWEB INTERNATIONAL

Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews

 

Discographies
   Composer
      Composer surveys
   National
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
.
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

Interviews
With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site

Nostalgia

Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Comment
Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure

Announcements

 

Community
Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Reviewers
Pat and present

Helpers invited!

Resources
How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips


Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Publishers
Other links
Newsgroups
Web News sites etc

PotPourri
A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Questionnaire    
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Dictionary
Magazines
Newsfeed  
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools




Return to Review Index

Untitled Document


Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.