HANDEL: works for viola da gamba and harpsichord

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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 two sonatas from a recently unearthed collection called the Kassel Sonatas. (Ibrahim Aziz)

Released Spring 2020
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Ibrahim Aziz viola da gamba
Masumi Yamamoto harpsichord

George Frideric HANDEL (1685–1759)
Sonata in G minor for viola da gamba and basso continuo, HWV 364b
Sonata in G major for viola da gamba and basso continuo, after HWV 372 (trans. I. Aziz)
Prelude for unaccompanied viola da gamba from Suite in D minor, HWV 437 (trans. I. Aziz)
Suite in D minor for viola da gamba and continuo, after HWV 448 (trans. I. Aziz)
Kassel Sonata No. 5 in D major for viola da gamba and basso continuo (attr. Handel)
Kassel Sonata No. 6 in D minor for viola da gamba and basso continuo (attr. Handel)
Sonata for viola da gamba and obbligato harpsichord in C major (attr. Handel)

Gottlieb MUFFAT (1690–1770)
Suite in E minor for harpsichord, after Handel HWV 429

Features premiere recordings

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

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