Friday 30 July 2021

Handel's recorder sonatas filmed in his music room in Brook Street

Handel wrote his recorder sonatas in the 1720s at a time when his popularity in London was extremely high. This was domestic music, the recorder was going out of use as an orchestral instrument and being replaced by the transverse flute (which had a stronger, more brilliant tone), but seems to have still been popular with amateurs for whom, we presume, Handel wrote these sonatas. Yet they have plenty of virtuoso moments, in both recorder and harpsichord, and it would be lovely to know more.

Handel & Hendrix in London has shared a lovely video recorded in Handel's own music room as part of the Handel House Concert Series in which Caoimhe De Paor (recorder) and Katarzyna Kowalik (harpsichord) of Royal Baroque perform two of Handel's recorder sonatas. And if you recognise some of the music then don't be surprised, Handel shamelessly recycled some of his operatic music or perhaps, as Caoimhe De Paor suggests in her introduction, the music was intended as a play-it-at-home greatest hits. 

Available on YouTube.

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