Album: Lisa Smirnova, Handel: Die Acht Grossen Suiten (ECM New Series)


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The Independent Culture

The diversity of Handel's works, especially popular ones such as the Messiah, Royal Fireworks and Water Music, has tended to overshadow his keyboard compositions. T

These are few in number, compared to the output of his contemporary JS Bach - yet in their era, Handel's were the more widely disseminated and performed, a reflection, perhaps, of his "mixed goût" synthesis of European styles. He shared with Bach, however, the habit of recycling sections from his earlier works. Lisa Smirnova here performs the so-called "Eight London Suites" with great sensitivity and poise - the first movement of the Suite No. 2 opens with the most startlingly delicate of trills - and subtle differentiation between the various Gigues, Allemandes, Courantes and Sarabandes whose abundance reflects the suites' origins in contemporary dance forms. 

Download this: Suite No. 2; Suite No. 4; Suite No. 7