418

Philip Edward Fisher: Handel: Keyboard Suites 1

C. Michael Bailey By

Sign in to view read count
Philip Edward Fisher: Handel: Keyboard Suites 1 Johann Sebastian Bach and Domenico Scarlatti (not to mention Francois Couperin and Dieterich Buxtehude) were not the only figures of the High Baroque to compose memorable keyboard music. George Frideric Handel composed two sets of eight keyboard suites each, published in 1720 and 1733, respectively, that remain highly regarded. These suites are comparable to those of Bach (English Suites (BWV 806-811), French Suites, BWV 812-817, Partitas, BWV 825-830) in structure, both men composing in the Baroque suite du danses form comprised of some or all of the parts: Prelude, Allemande, Courante, Sarabande, and/or Gigue.

Handel's prowess as a keyboard player is documented in his 1708 keyboard duel with Scarlatti, where Handel bested Scarlatti at the organ, while Scarlatti prevailed at the harpsichord. The two men, along with Bach, were born within eight months of one another, making them a rather rarefied trio of composers, all accomplished at the keyboard. Where Bach and Scarlatti's keyboard works fairly dominate the recording market, Handel's suites were overshadowed by his operas and oratorios, not the least of which is his famous Messiah.

Pianist Philip Edward Fisher adds his first volume of Handel's 1720 set of suites to a market already sporting sets by Murray Perahia, Sviatoslav Richter and Andrei Gavrilov and Ragna Schirmer. Like these other artists, Fisher performs the Suites on the modern piano. As with Bach and Scarlatti, Handel's keyboard compositions were written for the harpsichord, were contemporary with the development of the fortepiano, and predated the modern hammerklavier by many years. the modern piano provides these older compositions a fantastic array of tonal techniques not available when the pieces were written.

Fisher's Handel starts out almost romantically in the "Suite No. 1 Prelude," where the pianist indulges legato flourishes before he shifts into a classically informed performance of the remainder of the suite. The minor key suites, "No.3 in D minor" and "No. 4 in E minor," like Scarlatti's minor key sonatas, project a solemn grandeur not readily heard in the major key compositions. Fisher has a firm grip on revealing all of the pathos present in these pieces. While his D minor fugue is brisk, it never strays far from the contemplative. An even approach characterizes Fisher's treatment of these Handel compositions, one we can hope will extrapolate to his ostensible Volume 2.

Track Listing: Suite No. 1 in A Major, HMV 426; Suite No. 2 in F Major, HMV 427; Suite No. 3 in D minor, HMV 428; Suite No. 4 in E minor, HMV 429.

Personnel: Philip Edward Fisher: piano.

Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Naxos | Style: Classical


Related Video

Shop

More Articles

Read Petite Afrique CD/LP/Track Review Petite Afrique
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 29, 2017
Read Organ Monk, The Breathe Suite CD/LP/Track Review Organ Monk, The Breathe Suite
by Roger Farbey
Published: April 29, 2017
Read The Wild CD/LP/Track Review The Wild
by Mark Sullivan
Published: April 29, 2017
Read Soul Garden CD/LP/Track Review Soul Garden
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: April 29, 2017
Read The Authorized Bang Collection CD/LP/Track Review The Authorized Bang Collection
by Doug Collette
Published: April 29, 2017
Read Cross My Palm With Silver CD/LP/Track Review Cross My Palm With Silver
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 28, 2017
Read "It's A Mystery" CD/LP/Track Review It's A Mystery
by Roger Farbey
Published: March 31, 2017
Read "Scott Hamilton / Harry Allen: live!" CD/LP/Track Review Scott Hamilton / Harry Allen: live!
by Edward Blanco
Published: August 9, 2016
Read "Sektion 3-7" CD/LP/Track Review Sektion 3-7
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 1, 2017
Read "The Happiest Man In The World" CD/LP/Track Review The Happiest Man In The World
by Chris Mosey
Published: July 28, 2016
Read "Second Stream" CD/LP/Track Review Second Stream
by Troy Dostert
Published: January 26, 2017
Read "Koan" CD/LP/Track Review Koan
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 12, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM RECORDS | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!