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Handel: Complete Violin Sonatas

4.4 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Audio CD, January 11, 2005
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Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Violin Sonata in D major, Op.1/13, HWV 371: Affetuoso
  2. Violin Sonata in D major, Op.1/13, HWV 371: Allegro
  3. Violin Sonata in D major, Op.1/13, HWV 371: Larghetto
  4. Violin Sonata in D major, Op.1/13, HWV 371: Allegro
  5. Violin Sonata in F, Op.1/12, HWV 370 (doubtful): Adagio
  6. Violin Sonata in F, Op.1/12, HWV 370 (doubtful): Allegro
  7. Violin Sonata in F, Op.1/12, HWV 370 (doubtful): Largo
  8. Violin Sonata in F, Op.1/12, HWV 370 (doubtful): Allegro
  9. Violin (or Oboe) Sonata in D minor, HWV 359a: Grave
  10. Violin (or Oboe) Sonata in D minor, HWV 359a: Allegro
  11. Violin (or Oboe) Sonata in D minor, HWV 359a: Adagio
  12. Violin (or Oboe) Sonata in D minor, HWV 359a: Allegro
  13. Violin Sonata in A major, Op.1/3, HWV 361: Andante
  14. Violin Sonata in A major, Op.1/3, HWV 361: Allegro
  15. Violin Sonata in A major, Op.1/3, HWV 361: Adagio
  16. Violin Sonata in A major, Op.1/3, HWV 361: Allegro
  17. Violin Sonata in G minor, Op.1/6, HWV 364a: Larghetto
  18. Violin Sonata in G minor, Op.1/6, HWV 364a: Allegro
  19. Violin Sonata in G minor, Op.1/6, HWV 364a: Adagio
  20. Violin Sonata in G minor, Op.1/6, HWV 364a: Allegro
  21. Violin Sonata in A major ('Roger'), Op. 1/10 (doubtful): Adagio
  22. Violin Sonata in A major ('Roger'), Op. 1/10 (doubtful): Allegro
  23. Violin Sonata in A major ('Roger'), Op. 1/10 (doubtful): Largo
  24. Violin Sonata in A major ('Roger'), Op. 1/10 (doubtful): Allegro
  25. Violin Sonata in E major ('Roger'), Op. 1/12 (doubtful): Adagio
  26. Violin Sonata in E major ('Roger'), Op. 1/12 (doubtful): Allegro
  27. Violin Sonata in E major ('Roger'), Op. 1/12 (doubtful): Largo
  28. Violin Sonata in E major ('Roger'), Op. 1/12 (doubtful): Allegro
  29. Violin (or recorder) Sonata in G major, HWV 358: [Allegro]
  30. Violin (or recorder) Sonata in G major, HWV 358: [Adagio]
  31. Violin (or recorder) Sonata in G major, HWV 358: [Allegro]
  32. Andante for violin & continuo in A minor, HWV 412
  33. Allegro for violin & continuo in C minor, HWV 408


Product Details

  • Performer: Andrew Manze, Richard Egarr
  • Composer: George Frideric Handel
  • Audio CD (January 11, 2005)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Harmonia Mundi
  • ASIN: B0006Z2LN8
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #144,724 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Handel's five authenticated violin sonatas are gems of the high baroque violin repertoire; why they have not been more widely recorded is hard to understand. Leave it to baroque violin superstar Andrew Manze to put a complete version before the public. Manze plays the opening slow movements in a rhapsodic, dreamy manner, like improvisations, and lends his accustomed humor and audacity to the fast movements. It is enlightening to learn that the opening of the D major sonata is marked AFFETTUOSO, not MAESTOSO, and I am continually surprised by Manze's use of finger extensions (creeping up to higher positions on the fingerboard) for expressive effect.

Now, recording the "complete" anything can be a questionable enterprise. The violin sonatas for which Handel's authorship is undisputed are five in number. In addition to these, Manze and Egarr have decided to record several spurious works, some of lesser merit; these tend to diminish the effect of the whole and give the impression of having been included simply to justify the title of the CD. (Indeed, Manze fiddles through these selections in an off-hand, careless manner, as if he himself isn't convinced of their worth.) My second contention is with the absence of a cello or other sustaining bass instrument. In his historical note Manze does not provide a serious justification for omitting the cello beyond the fact that it was done in Handel's time. I miss the strength in the bass line that a sustaining instrument can provide, especially in contrapuntal material, but also in the slow movements, where there is a lot of right-hand "doodling" with no firm "bottom".

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4 Comments 52 of 53 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Alongside the Handel of the oratorios and operas -- the Handel of what George Orwell called the Big Bow Wow -- there was also the composer of "pure" music. The violin sonatas are among the finest of Handel's chamber compositions, elegant, concise, and full of affect.
There are at least three performances of these sonatas available on CD at this time, a bonanza of musical choice. In addition to this performance by Andrew Manze and Richard Egarr, there's another by Hiro Kurosaki and Bill Christie, and yet another by violinist Rachal Barton. Each CD has attractions; you might use the "sample" function of amazon before you choose, for choose you must!
Kurosaki's violin playing is more varied, more imaginative, and (dare I say) more baroque. However, Christie's harpsichord continuo, though utterly authentic, is awfully sparse, hardly a partnership with the violin at all.
Manze plays the four sonatas which he regards as genuine Handel masterworks very masterfully indeed. Manze is not the subtlest of baroque fiddlers; I'd love to hear what Biondi or Holloway would do. Also, he pays scant respect to those other sonatas that he clearly regards as inauthentic Handel. He plays them perfunctorily and with occasional lapses of tuning. Richard Egarr's harpsichord continuo is expressive and solid throughout.
The chief attraction of Rachel Barton's performance is that the continuo is enriched by the cello of JM Rozendaal. Not to denigrate Ms Barton's fiddling! She plays wonderfully, but perhaps less specially than Manze or Kurosaki.
All in all, you can't go wrong with any of the three. Trust your own ears.
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It is not without a sense of awe that I write these words. I believe Mr. Handel himself, had he been alive to hear this recording, would have been thoroughly delighted and not perhaps devoid of a tear or two.

The grace and elegance with which these endearing sonatas are played is simply astounding. Both Manze and Egarr ought to be given knighthoods for this CD. It just has no peers. I find this supremely enjoyable CD to be an absolutely essential part of any serious baroque music fan's collection. The liner notes provide great background information of each of the sonatas, even those of less than certain authenticity, with a meticulousness that could concieveably allow for acceptable academic referencing, which is saying something!

With a careful attention to detail, the performers have given us a brilliant interpretation (I am willing to say the BEST I have ever heard, as obsequious as that may sound), of these works, in what must be considered a benchmark of high standards. Five out of five, for the purchase of the decade.
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I love the feelings and expertise with which it was performed. The acoustics, sound quality, and ambience are profound. Truly the most listened to of all my Handel cd's. The instruments flow welcomingly together like twisted bread dough baked, buttered, and warm.

Please get this and enjoy seated with a beautiful view, libation, and cigar. Feel free to shed a tear as you participate in this truly beautiful and wonderous audible experience.

Every bit as good as Buxtehude, Corelli, and Tartini !!!

Good day!
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Although the recording and rendering of his violin sonatas is perfectly acceptable in this CD, I am of the opinion that Handel's violin sonatas are not representative of his finest compositions. As a composer for violin, I find Locatelli to be far superior to Handel in terms of melody and virtuosity. JMHO.
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