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Handel: Die acht grossen Suiten (Eight Suites for Piano)

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Audio CD, January 24, 2012
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

This is the ECM New Series debut for the exceptional pianist Lisa Smirnova, playing Händel s Eight Great Suites (1720), also known as The Eight London Suites or Suites de Pièces pour le Clavecin by any name, major pieces in the keyboard literature. The 1720 edition of suites MWV 426-433 is considered by many the most important collection of Händel s early works. Published by the composer himself, it includes works from both his Hamburg and English periods, all extensively revised by the composer, right through the printing process. Outstanding artists from Glenn Gould to Keith Jarrett have been drawn to Händel s suites of 1720, but there are very few recordings of all eight, either on piano or harpsichord, currently on the market. Smirnova (born 1972, in Moscow, currently living in Austria) opts for the modern piano. She had been working rigorously on the 8 Great Suites for five years prior to undertaking this recording, making many discoveries. Educated at Moscow s Tchaikovsky Conservatory, the Salzburg Mozarteum, and with additional studies with Maria Curcio and Robert Levin, Smirnova burst onto the classical scene in 1992 with a well-received debut at Carnegie Hall when she was only 20. This was followed by a successful tour of Japan and the beginning of a long relationship with the Far East since 2007 she has been Artistic Director of the Nagasaki-Ojika International Music Festival. In 1993, she received the Brahms Prize at the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival, the first pianist ever to be honoured with this award, and her concert activities have extended to international concert podia in Europe, Asia and the USA.



Smirnova s repertoire extends across the centuries she has collaborated with contemporary composers including Kancheli, Silvestrov and Rihm, and won international awards for her recordings of Bach on MDG. Other widely-praised recordings include her account of Bloch s works for viola and piano with Daniel Raiskin, on BMG/Arte Nova.

Review

She performs with great sensitivity and poise and subtle differentiation. --The Guardian


Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         


Disc 1:

Samples
Song Title Time Price
  1. Handel: Harpsichord Suite Set I No.2 in F major, HWV 427 - Adagio 3:33$0.99  Buy MP3 
  2. Handel: Harpsichord Suite Set I No.2 in F major, HWV 427 - Allegro 2:08$0.99  Buy MP3 
  3. Handel: Harpsichord Suite Set I No.2 in F major, HWV 427 - Adagio 1:44$0.99  Buy MP3 
  4. Handel: Harpsichord Suite Set I No.2 in F major, HWV 427 - Allegro 2:00$0.99  Buy MP3 
  5. Handel: Harpsichord Suite Set I No.8 in F minor, HWV 433 - Prélude 1:50$0.99  Buy MP3 
  6. Handel: Harpsichord Suite Set I No.8 in F minor, HWV 433 - Allegro 2:47$0.99  Buy MP3 
  7. Handel: Harpsichord Suite Set I No.8 in F minor, HWV 433 - Allemande 3:13$0.99  Buy MP3 
  8. Handel: Harpsichord Suite Set I No.8 in F minor, HWV 433 - Courante 1:35$0.99  Buy MP3 
  9. Handel: Harpsichord Suite Set I No.8 in F minor, HWV 433 - Gigue 2:11$0.99  Buy MP3 
10. Handel: Harpsichord Suite Set I No.4 in E minor, HWV 429 - Allegro 3:09$0.99  Buy MP3 
11. Handel: Harpsichord Suite Set I No.4 in E minor, HWV 429 - Allemande 2:15$0.99  Buy MP3 
12. Handel: Harpsichord Suite Set I No.4 in E minor, HWV 429 - Courante 2:04$0.99  Buy MP3 
13. Handel: Harpsichord Suite Set I No.4 in E minor, HWV 429 - Sarabande 4:39$0.99  Buy MP3 
14. Handel: Harpsichord Suite Set I No.4 in E minor, HWV 429 - Gigue 1:58$0.99  Buy MP3 
15. Handel: Harpsichord Suite No.5 in E HWV 430 "The Harmonious Blacksmith" - Prélude 1:38$0.99  Buy MP3 
16. Handel: Harpsichord Suite No.5 in E HWV 430 "The Harmonious Blacksmith" - Allemande 4:22$0.99  Buy MP3 
17. Handel: Harpsichord Suite No.5 in E HWV 430 "The Harmonious Blacksmith" - Courante 1:46$0.99  Buy MP3 
18. Handel: Harpsichord Suite No.5 in E HWV 430 "The Harmonious Blacksmith" - Air - Double 1-5 3:49$0.99  Buy MP3 


Disc 2:

Samples
Song Title Time Price
  1. Handel: Harpsichord Suite Set I No.3 in D minor HWV 428 - Prélude 1:17$0.99  Buy MP3 
  2. Handel: Harpsichord Suite Set I No.3 in D minor HWV 428 - Allegro 3:05$0.99  Buy MP3 
  3. Handel: Harpsichord Suite Set I No.3 in D minor HWV 428 - Allemande 3:44$0.99  Buy MP3 
  4. Handel: Harpsichord Suite Set I No.3 in D minor HWV 428 - Courante 1:43$0.99  Buy MP3 
  5. Handel: Harpsichord Suite Set I No.3 in D minor HWV 428 - Air - Double 1-5 8:38$0.99  Buy MP3 
  6. Handel: Harpsichord Suite Set I No.3 in D minor HWV 428 - Presto 4:28$0.99  Buy MP3 
  7. Handel: Harpsichord Suite No.6 in F sharp minor HWV 431 - Prélude 1:31$0.99  Buy MP3 
  8. Handel: Harpsichord Suite No.6 in F sharp minor HWV 431 - Largo 2:32$0.99  Buy MP3 
  9. Handel: Harpsichord Suite No.6 in F sharp minor HWV 431 - Allegro 2:01$0.99  Buy MP3 
10. Handel: Harpsichord Suite No.6 in F sharp minor HWV 431 - Gigue 2:48$0.99  Buy MP3 
11. Handel: Harpsichord Suite Set I No.1 in A major, HWV 426 - Prélude 1:50$0.99  Buy MP3 
12. Handel: Harpsichord Suite Set I No.1 in A major, HWV 426 - Allemande 3:21$0.99  Buy MP3 
13. Handel: Harpsichord Suite Set I No.1 in A major, HWV 426 - Courante 2:23$0.99  Buy MP3 
14. Handel: Harpsichord Suite Set I No.1 in A major, HWV 426 - Gigue 3:01$0.99  Buy MP3 
15. Handel: Harpsichord Suite No.7 in G minor HWV 432 - Ouverture 3:09$0.99  Buy MP3 
16. Handel: Harpsichord Suite No.7 in G minor HWV 432 - Andante 3:09$0.99  Buy MP3 
17. Handel: Harpsichord Suite No.7 in G minor HWV 432 - Allegro 1:32$0.99  Buy MP3 
18. Handel: Harpsichord Suite No.7 in G minor HWV 432 - Sarabande 2:47$0.99  Buy MP3 
19. Handel: Harpsichord Suite No.7 in G minor HWV 432 - Gigue 1:27$0.99  Buy MP3 
20. Handel: Harpsichord Suite No.7 in G minor HWV 432 - Passacaille 3:56$0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Details

  • Conductor: n/a
  • Composer: George Frideric Handel
  • Audio CD (January 24, 2012)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: ECM New Series
  • ASIN: B005MASIFW
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #109,418 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Kagan Heater on February 21, 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
When I purchased this recording I was not familiar with Lisa Smirnova but now I will be on the lookout for any more of her present and future recordings. Her performance of Handel's keyboard suites is sublime. She demonstrates complete technical mastery and even the most difficult passages (and trust me, there are many) sound effortless. But there are other technically proficient recordings out there; what makes this one so engaging is the depth and range of emotion and expression. The first movement of the first suite is ethereal and delicate while others are driving and exuberant. Lisa has complete control over phrasing and the emotional development and each piece is a joy to listen to.

In my opinion, this is the best recording of Handel's keyboard suites available and well worth every penny. Go ahead and buy it. You will not be disappointed.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Steven H. Koenig on March 8, 2012
Format: Audio CD
Lisa Smirnova is a perfect guide through these eight suites. The first few notes make you think you're commencing the Goldberg Variations. Although she plays piano rather than harpsichord or fortepiano, she uses it to command fluid phrasing without smearing notes, and she brings pianistic volume to the show when appropriate.

Significant to me is that in this performance the pieces sound of their own time, yet there is a barely perceptible and most satisfying shifting between classical, baroque and romantic feeling. The most important quality here is the frolicsome, dancelike rhythms present throughout.

These discs have been totally enjoyable throughout repeated playings, and have been a wonderful discovery for me. I have not heard Keith Jarrett's performance of four of these eight on his own ECM disc of various Handel keyboard suites.

Editor, AcousticLevitation dot org
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Michael Roberts on February 19, 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Russian-born pianist Lisa Smirnova has produced a gorgeous two-disk recording of Handel's eight keyboard suites (The Eight Suites or Die Acht Grossen Suiten). She captures Handel's wide range of emotions embedded here, by turns lively and joyful, in other spots spacious and meditative. Her interpretation is wonderful from beginning to end. The package is reminiscent of Keith Jarrett's excellent 2000 Handel recording,"Suites for Keyboard," another first-rate ECM production. [...]
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Format: Audio CD
Lisa Smirnova was born in Moscow but now resides in Vienna. Smirnova's vast repertoire includes the piano concertos of Mozart and work of Schubert, Haydn, Bach and Handel. Smirnova is deeply committed to the contemporary music having collaborated with Giya Kancheli and Minas Borboudakis. But on to the recording featured here - a triumphant traversal of the keyboard works of Handel that become magic in Smirnova's hands.

ECM New Series debut for Lisa Smirnova, playing Georg Friedrich Händel's Die Acht Grossen Suiten (The Eight Great Suites,1720), also known as "The Eight London Suites" or "Suites de Pièces pour le Clavecin", major pieces in the keyboard literature, too rarely brought together on disc. The 1720 edition of suites (HWV 426-433), published by the composer himself, is amongst the most important collections of Handel's early works. Handel's early biographer John Mainwaring noted these pieces for their difficulty due to the "fullness and activity of the inner parts" of these keyboard works ensures that "few persons are capable of doing them justice". Smirnova who has worked extensively on the Eight Great Suites, rises comprehensively to the challenge, on the modern piano, in these recordings made at Schloss Goldegg in Austria. The combination of her rhythmically bouyant playing and Handel's endlessly satisfying melodies -- be they in slow laments or sprightly gigues -- makes for a very welcome new album.

A pristine sound captures a stunning performance from Lisa Smirnova and makes for an especially brilliant debut recording for ECM. These particular works were published by Handel with special authorization from George I and include his Hamburg and English periods.
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By anne on August 7, 2015
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Love Harper Lee's rich and yet precise us of language. Her word crafting was delicious. It made me stop just to re read her words and enjoy their flavor. She wraps the reader immediately in the atmosphere, social climate and temperament of the south in the 1950's with an immersion that stays with you along after you put the book down. Life lessons and observations, both raw and subtle, are brought out into in the open for us to learn from. Great book. Will read it again so savor anything I missed first time round.
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Handel: Die acht grossen Suiten (Eight Suites for Piano)
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