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Händel: Suites for Keyboard

22 customer reviews

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Audio CD, January 25, 2000
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Händel: Suites for Keyboard + Bach: Sonatas + Bach: Six Sonatas for Violin and Piano
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Product Details

  • Performer: Keith Jarrett
  • Composer: George Frideric Handel
  • Audio CD (January 25, 2000)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: ECM
  • ASIN: B000025XCW
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #38,268 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

47 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Melvyn M. Sobel on July 9, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Jarrett's recording of seven attractive Handel suites is, well, just delicious. His pianism, always at the service of the composer, is consistently lyrical, never rushed or hectic, with textures warm and rich. Each suite holds its own bounty, all of which Jarrett mines to the fullest. The pianist's jazz background complements the music, imbues it with a depth and humanity rarely found, especially in baroque keyboard. As well, it's more than apparent that Jarrett has made a conscious effort to get completely "inside" the composer, completely "inside" the music. He has succeeded incredibly well.
Sample, for instance, his swirling, beautifully wrought playing of the opening Prelude from Suite 1, No. 1 (HWV 426), the purity of the following Allemande, and the yearning wistfulness of the Courante. Or feel the breathtaking melancholy of the opening Adagio of Suite 1, No. 2 (HWV 427). And the particular beauty Jarrett imparts to the Prelude-Fuga of Suite 1, No. 8 (HWV 433) is absolutely not to be missed. This is playing of such tenderness and honesty that it silences criticism, pays homage to Handel and offers us the most unusual kind of musical blessing.
[Running time: 74:31]
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Timothy Dougal on December 27, 2001
Format: Audio CD
This is a terrific disc, well-filled(74 minutes), well recorded and wonderfully played. I am particularly grateful that Mr. Jarrett chose to use his piano, rather than the harpsichord he has been accustomed to use on his other baroque recordings. It is much more expressive. Only the piano could really bring out the warm-heartedness of many of the Handel melodies recorded here, as well as the power of some of the fugues. This disc is one of a kind and certainly worth keeping!
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Tina Morris on February 25, 2003
Format: Audio CD
This CD is wonderful because I have never heard Haendel played like this - Baroque meets the Koeln concert. Without depriving Haendel's music of its period appeal, Jarrett is able to infuse it with his absolutely unique keyboard style. Furthermore the pieces fit together so well that they seem to form a natural melodic progression that the listener soon wants to continue forever. A wonderful set of music!
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Format: Audio CD
There is no need to belabour the excellences of Keith Jarrett's performances of Handel's keyboard suites. The playing has the lyrical flow that other Amazon.com and Amazon.ca reviewers almost unanimously praise so lavishly and so rightly; even when Jarrett choses at times to play somewhat détaché, he never pokes, bangs, or thumps, as so many other keyboard players tend (whether on the piano or the harpsichord) to do. The phrasing of the music is so beautifully delineated that one simply would have to look long and far, indeed, to find the equal!

The way that Jarrett plays the suites in E minor and in A major alone would be worth the price of this disc, but the entire CD is a delight from beginning to end. However, in the other suites, there occasionally is all of that gentle reflectiveness that characterises his playing, in his own improvisational music and in classical repertoire alike, at the expense of the spritelier movements' humour and dash, the tempi at times just a tad too slow to maximise the brio of such sections, but all is forgiven for the sheer musicality and utter lack of pedantry of what one has to endure elsewhere in the performances of "early music specilists" or of some aggressive thwackers of Baroque keyboard music (especially in the music of Handel's contemporary, J.S. Bach) such as Weissenberg and (too much of the time) Gould.

The fugues in these suites simply surpass what praise can heap upon them.
Read more ›
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 20, 2002
Format: Audio CD
This disc proves once again beyond a shadow of a doubt that Keith Jarrett could have had a sensational career as a classical pianist. When one listens to the vast amount of bilge that is served up by would-be classical pianists, one appreciates all the more the versatility and depth of Jarrett and his musicianship. His Bach is superb, his Shostakovich is even better, and his Handel is in a class by itself. It equals Richter's. Bravo.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Robert E. Hurst on June 27, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Keith Jarrett's deft and sensitive hand brings Handel's keyboard music to life in a way that will make late Baroque fans drop whatever else they are doing and just let the music flow over them. The music just flows out of the speakers and over the listener in an uninterupted stream. This is superb stuff. Jarrett's sensitive interpretations take the mathematical precision of baroque and interprets it with a touch of the romantic era that follows the classical period just over the horizon. Yet, Jarrett remains true to the baroque idiom. The recording is clean and crisp, even on a high-quality stereo system.
This is one of my favorite CDs. In fact, I think I'll slip it into the disk drive.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By David Nawabi on April 11, 2008
Format: Audio CD
Keith Jarrett reminds and illustrates with this CD how much Johann Sebastian Bach was influenced by Friedrich Handel. Keith Jarrett is able to capture the richness and mathematical perfection in this pieces as Glenn Gould is able to capture them for instance in Johann Sebastian Bach's Goldberg Variations. I was surpiresed that Jarrett with his Jazz background was able to play this pieces in such a neio classical clarity. I actally expected the CD to have a Jazz influence like we have with Jaques Loussier when he plays pieces of Bach. As already mentioned, the pieces illustrate, how much Johann Sebastian Bach's music and clarity was influenced and inspired by Friedrich Handel. Keith Keith Jarrett proved to me that he is a great Pianist and this CD should earn him the appropiate respect which he deserves.
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