Friday, 16 May 2008

100. George Friedric Handel - Organ Concertos (1735-51)


Title: Organ Concertos
Performers: The Brandenburg Consort, Paul Nicholson (organ), Frances Kelly (harp)
Director: Roy Goodman
Year: 1996
Length: 2 hours 34 minutes


These Handel concertos make organ bearable to me, while usually it is one of most reviled instruments when it is being played against a tutti it feels much better, there is none of the usual dullness associated with the organ and these end up being quite good concertos.

If you are like me and aren't the greatest organ fan this is definitely something you should check out, it won't change your ideas about what it sounds like solo but it will make it bearable.

Some of the pieces here are particularly interesting, the first movement of the Harp concerto on the collection is perhaps one of the most famous harp pieces ever, even if it now sounds like hotel lobby music. The concerto that follows it D Minor, Op.7 no.4 has a particularly classical opening adagio, which sounds quite ahead of its time. An impressive collection based around my most reviled instrument of all, so I can't give it a 9 or 10 but a very solid 8.

Final Grade



From Wikipedia:

Like all types of instrumental concertos, an organ concerto is a piece of music for an pipe organ soloist with an orchestra. The form's heyday was in the 18th century, when composers such as George Frideric Handel, Antonio Vivaldi and Johann Sebastian Bach among others wrote organ concertos, with a small orchestra, and solo parts which rarely call for the organ pedal board. Although the organ concerto repertoire was hardly expanded during the Classical and Romantic periods, there are some 20th- and 21st-century examples, of which the concerto by Francis Poulenc has entered the repertoire, and is quite frequently played.

The organ concerto form is not usually taken to include orchestral works that call for an organ used as an extra orchestral section, examples of which include the Third Symphony of Camille Saint-Saƫns, Gustav Holst's The Planets or Richard Strauss's Also sprach Zarathustra.

Hotel Lobby Music extraordinarie, the Harp concerto Op.4 No 6:

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