George Frideric Handel

Inventive Instrumentation and Orchestral Opulence

Simon Mold, a noted local composer, presents a fresh approach to Handel, concentrating on his writing for instruments. Simon describes Handel’s masterly approach to writing for instruments as “a miracle of subtlety and variety”. A wonderful contribution to the Christmas season with sherry and mince pies on offer.


Playlist

TitleArtist(s)LabelCatalogue
Alto aria “Virgam virtutis” from Dixit Dominus(†) Andreas SchollHarmonia Mundi902041
Part of the Allegro movement from Sonata for Violin and Continuo, HWV 371Performed live by Tom and Matthew
Chorus: “From the Censer” from the oratorio SolomonGabrieli Consort and Players/Paul McCreesh. Archiv 459 688-2
Andante from Trio Sonata in C minor, Op 2 no 1Performed live by Simon, Tom and Matthew
Mad scene from the opera “Orlando”Bejun Mehta (countertenor), Rosemary Joshua (soprano), Freiburger Barockorchester JacobsHarmonia Mundi - Musique d'AbordHMA1902077
Accompanied recitative and arioso: “Fronde tenere…..Ombra mai fu” from the opera Serse (Xerxes)Performed live by Simon, Tom and Matthew
Overture to revised version of the opera Il Pastor FidoIl Complesso Barocco/Alan CurtisVirgin Classics 5099972311929
Recitative and aria: “Sweet flow the strains…..With honour let desert be crowned” from the oratorio Judas MaccabaeusRyland Davies (tenor), English Chamber Orchestra/MackerrasArchiv B00000130B
“How Excellent thy name, O Lord” – opening chorus from the oratorio Saul(†) Paul McCreeshArchiv000209802
Aria: “Hark, hark, he strikes the golden lyre” from the oratorio Alexander BalusNuria Rial (soprano) with the Artemandoline Baroque EnsembleDeutsche Harmonia Mundi B00QXYWBG8
“Glory to God” – chorus from the oratorio JoshuaMaulbronner Kammerchor/Jürgen BuddayDigital Download K&K Verlanganstalt
The version Simon played is not available on CD. Details of a typical recording are shown.
Simon played the audio from a YouTube promo video of the recent Glyndebourne DVD. The Paul McCreesh is a good version on CD.


Appreciation by John Brooks

What a marvellous and entertaining evening this was.

Simon concentrated on how Handel constructed his music and his approach to his writing for instruments. With the help of his two young friends Tom and Mathew we had some live examples, including a lovely rendering of Handel's Largo.

With recordings of some lively choruses from Solomon, Saul, and Joshua Simon was able to demonstrate how Handel with his lively invention was able to retain his popularity over 40 years of changing and fashion trends.

Some years ago I can remember Handel was one of the most popular composers listed by members. I am sure he will be again after this very enjoyable programme.


Images

Simon favoured us with a splendid Christmas jumper!

Simon, Tom and Matthew play the C minor Trio Sonata

Such a high turnout that I had to sit in the second row