HASSLER, JOHANN Harpsichord Music. Michele Benuzzi. Brilliant Classics

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Hassler Johann Harpsichord Music Michele Benuzzi Brilliant Classics

HASSLER

Harpsichord Music

Michele Benuzzi – harpsichord

1 Fantasia in C minor (Leipzig, 1776) 6’41

Sonata in D (Leipzig, 1776)

2 I. Allegro di Molto 5’23

3 II. Andante 4’03

4 III. Con Brio 2’24

5 Fantasia in A (Leipzig, 1779) 1’34

Sonata in A (Leipzig, 1779)

6 I. [Moderato] 4’28

7 II. Adagio 4’49

8 III. Scherzo-Allegro 2’00

9 Fantasia in D (Leipzig, 1786) 1’09

Sonata in D minor (Leipzig, 1779)

10 I. [Allegro] 1’45

11 II. Arioso 2’21

12 III. Presto 1’52

13 Fantasia in C (Erfurt, 1782) 1’46

14 Rondeau in C (Leipzig, 1779) 2’07

Johann Wilhelm Hässler was a great and famous keyboard virtuoso in the second half of the 18th century. His style forms a bridge between the Baroque and the early Classical era, a period of “Sturm und Drang”, highly virtuosic and extravagant in its expression of feelings and character.

Harpsichordist Michele Benuzzi undertook thorough research into this music, some of which was formerly attributed to Wilhelm Friedemann Bach, before he prepared the present edition, as well as writing the

extremely informative liner notes. Played on a magnificent historic 18th century instrument from the Russell Collection in Edinburgh.

New Premiere Recording.

Johann Wilhelm Hässler’s keyboard works occupy a fascinating position in the history of music. Although the composer was a harpsichord virtuoso in the late 18th century, just as his instrument was beginning to fall out of favour with composers and performers as the piano increased in popularity, Hässler’s music was not hopelessly old-fashioned. He was a successful pianist and organist, and a great admirer of C.P.E. Bach who he had met several times. He undertook many concert tours throughout Europe, and was able to publish a large quantity of music during his lifetime.

The works heard in this collection can, in fact, be understood as a bridge between the Baroque composers who preceded him and the Classical and early-Romantic era that followed, drawing on a range of contrasting styles to create music of great drama, complexity and even theatricality. The music heard on this new recording is particularly rare; it is found only in anonymous manuscripts and has previously been misattributed to W.F. Bach.As such, Michele Benuzzi’s thoroughly researched performances are an excellent opportunity to hear repertoire that will be unfamiliar to many listeners.

Brilliant Classics 94293

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