Magazine article Gramophone

Smith * Handel: Handel Riccardo Primo, Re d'Italia-Overture

Magazine article Gramophone

Smith * Handel: Handel Riccardo Primo, Re d'Italia-Overture

Article excerpt

Smith * Handel

Handel Riccardo Primo, re d'Italia--Overture

JC Smith Six Suites of Lessons for the Harpsichord, Op 3

Julian Perkins hpd

Chandos Chaconne (F) CHAN0807 (77' * DDD)

John Christopher Smith (1712-95) was the son of Handel's longserving assistant Johann Christoph Schmidt. By 1725 he was studying composition and harpsichord with Handel; from 1751 he served as his mentor's amanuensis, and he eventually succeeded his master as director of oratorio seasons at Covent Garden. He is the only one of Handel's pupils who followed in his teacher's footsteps as a professional keyboard player and composer-performer of theatre works.

His music occupies a strange sort of halfway territory between the late Baroque style and the progressive early Classical mould, and Julian Perkins captures the dichotomy of mid-18thcentury England's Scarlattian obsession and the emerging rococo style in his judicious playing of Smith's Six Suites of Lessons for the Harpsichord, Op 3 (printed by John Walsh in 1755)--although he prefaces it with Handel's own short harpsichord arrangement of the overture to Riccardo Primo. …

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