HANDEL: works for viola da gamba and harpsichord

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CD available NOW from our website (released 17 April 2020)
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Allegro from Sonata in G minor, HWV 364b released as a single (digital platforms only): 10 April 2020 [FHR91s]
UK / Europe / USA / digital release = 17 April 2020

Ibrahim Aziz viola da gamba
Masumi Yamamoto harpsichord

George Frideric HANDEL (1685–1759)
1–4. Sonata in G minor for Viola da Gamba and Basso Continuo, HWV 364b
(2. II. Allegro will also be released as a single (digital platforms only) 10 April 2020 [FHR91S])

5–8. Sonata in G major for Viola da Gamba and Basso Continuo, after HWV 372
(transcribed from the original for violin in A major by I. Aziz )

9. Prelude in D minor for Viola da Gamba, HWV 437
(after Suite No. 4 in D minor: I. Prelude, HWV 437 [from 9 Suites for Keyboard, Vol. 2 (1733), HWV 434–442]) (transcribed by I. Aziz)

10–13. Kassel Sonata No. 5 in D major for Viola da Gamba and Basso Continuo *
(attribributed G.F. Handel / possibly by J.J. Kress (1685–1728))

14. Suite in E minor for Viola da Gamba: Prélude

15–20. Suite No. 4 in E minor for Harpsichord, HWV 429
[from 8 Suites for Keyboard (1720), HWV 426–433 (‘mises dans une autre applicature
pour la facilité de la main’ (1736)] by Gottlieb MUFFAT (1690–1770)]

21–25. Suite in D minor for Viola da Gamba and Basso Continuo, HWV 448
(after Keyboard Suite, HWV 448) (transcribed by I. Aziz)

26–29. Sonata in C major for Viola da Gamba and Obbligato Harpsichord

Première recording *

Viola da gamba by Barak Norman, 1712 and Shem Mackey, 2011 after Michel Collichon, 1683
Harpsichord by Alan Gotto, 2000, after Michael Mietke, c.1710
Pitch and temperament: A = 415Hz, 6th comma meantone

Recording venue: Church of the Ascension, Plumstead, London
Chiaro Music Recording and Production:
Producer: Tom Hammond
Engineer: John Croft
24bit, 96kHz hi-resolution recording and mastering
Handel wrote a number of obbligato gamba parts with orchestral accompaniment, notably in the cantata Tra Le Fiamme, the oratorio La Resurrezione and the opera Giulio Cesare, but it is less obvious how he treated the instrument elsewhere as a solo instrument. One clue lies in an autograph manuscript of a violin sonata, where at the foot of the first page the composer writes a few bars of the opening an octave lower in the alto clef, and labels it ‘per la viola da gamba’. It is my feeling that transcriptions like this were fairly common, and may be a reason why there isn’t more surviving solo music for the gamba from the early Georgian period in England including by Handel – the solo gamba very likely played existing music written for other instruments. I am using this hypothesis as a basis for this programme. As well the original sonata for gamba and continuo that Handel had left us, I will be including several transcriptions which I’ve made of his other works, as well as pieces which are attributed to him such as the sonata in C major with obbligato harpsichord and one sonata from a recently unearthed collection called the Kassel Sonatas. (Ibrahim Aziz)


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