Handel in Italia

By Hamilton, Gregory | Sacred Music, Summer 2009 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Handel in Italia


Hamilton, Gregory, Sacred Music


RECORD REVIEW:

Handel: Six Concertos for Organ, Op. 4. La Divina Armonia Ensemble, Lorenzo Ghielmi, conductor & organist. (Organ: Pradella/Santuario del Divin Prigioniero, Valle de Colorina, Italy, 2007). Passacaille CD-944.

Handel seems to be a composer who is claimed by many countries, to the English, he is the London composer of Messiah, the Royal Fireworks; to the Germans, he is claimed as German, being born in Halle, and receiving his early training in Hannover, from Friedrich Zachow.

However, equally important must be his early exposure to the Italian style, during his years in Florence and Rome, building his reputation as an opera composer. But while in Italy, Handel also absorbed the Italian concerto style, a style which is thoroughly explored in these wonderfully inventive organ concertos, op. 4. Although these concertos were premiered entr'acte in opera performances, there is an appropriate tradition in church performance, and they belong to the sonata da chiesa tradition, in the line of Corelli.

This recording is the most delightful to date of the many sets available of op. 4. Most evident at first listening is the most appropriate and creative sense of improvisation which Lorenzo Ghielmi brings to this music, not only in ornamentation, but also in the various segues, introductions, and cadences which are needed. If one looks at Handel's score, it is clear that the performer needs to supply added musical material to create a complete musical statement. Handel, perhaps more than Bach requires this "performance" aspect. This added creative element makes the difference between a prosaic interpretation and one that is truly brought to life. Lorenzo Ghielmi captures this Handelian spirit, and there is an improvisatory feeling to this aspect of the recording which brings the music to life.

Another engaging aspect of this recording is the sense of rhythm. There is a delightful sense of the underlying tactus as being solid, yet springy and flexible in weight.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Handel in Italia
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?