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George Frideric Handel

Al Ayre Español

Handel's Memories - A selection from Grand Concertos op. 6

  • Type SACD hybrid
  • Label Challenge Classics
  • UPC 0608917254822
  • Catalog number CC 72548
  • Release date 18 May 2012
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About the album

Something new and something borrowed. In the days that Handel lived, it was common to use an existing melody and make it your own. Handel's Grand Concertos contains a surprising quantity of newly composed material, as well as some borrowings, such as the memories or musical anecdotes, written with intense lyricism and certain sentimentality, previously absent from his instrumental music.
His “operatic” Concerto No. 8, written in the ill-natured, though also lovely, tonality of C minor, is one of the most dramatic in the collection, and concurrently possesses one of the most interesting structures. It starts with a movement based on the main motif of an allemande – “a German piece” – by Johann Mattheson, published in his Pièces de clavecin (London, 1714, the same year as Corelli’s concerts).

The Componimenti Musicali by Gottlieb Theophil Muffat, with whom the German composer exchanged music during the 1730s, provide Handel with some ideas from which he builds formidable orchestral movements in these concertos. “He takes other men's pebbles and polishes them into diamonds”, the British composer William Boyce used to say of him. It could not be more true when we observe the use Handel makes of these and other loans. Al Ayre Espanol with this performance makes us aware of the sheer beauty of this music, which always turns into gold in the hands of master Handel: new or borrowed. Grand concertos grandly performed! 

Caecilia-Concert, Ars Antiqua Austria & Eduardo López Banzo at Early Music Festival Utrecht


image This weekend the annual Early Music Festival in Utrecht starts and there will be Challenge artists performing on different locations.On Sunday August 28th the Caecilia-Concert will perform in VB Leeuwenbergh in Utrecht at 20.00 hours. The trio will play a number of beautiful works by Frescobaldi. About the last cd of the trio, called "Schmelzer & Co" the critics were enthusiastic, take for instance Gramophone: "Intonation is outstanding...and the ...



September 18th 2013 20:09
Hi guys, this is a terrific album! Still, track number 5 has only 4 seconds of duration and this is not right, it should be around 3 minutes.

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