HANDEL: Great Suites
Harpsichord Suite No. 2 In F Major, HWV427
Harpsichord Suite No. 4 In E Minor, HWV429
Harpsichord Suite No. 5 In E Major, HWV430
Harpsichord Suite No. 6 In F-sharp Minor, HWV431
Chaconne In G Major, HWV435
The Most Celebrated Lessons: Suit[e] No. 1 [Rinaldo]
Erin Helyard - acclaimed internationally as a leading light in the new generation of baroque music specialists - presents his debut solo album, surveying the keyboard works of George Frideric Handel.
Acclaimed as “Australia’s most engaging soloist” by Limelight Magazine, Helyard is a virtuosic and expressive performer as well as a dedicated scholar of historically informed performance practice. This album was recorded shortly before Helyard was awarded the 2017 Helpmann Award for Best Music Direction, for Handel’s opera Saul, the latest in a long line of accolades for his work. Written over the preceding few years, they are remarkable for their eclectic and wide-ranging idioms: French-style
overtures, Italian sonatas and arias, and the dance elements of the Franco-German keyboard suite.
The repetitive form allowed both technical and expressive skills to be showed off: Helyard plays from a 1730s score with handwritten ornamentation that demonstrates how musicians at the time would have risen to the challenge.
The album closes with a set of variations on Handel’s opera arias by William Babell, a violinist and harpsichordist in George I’s private band. Helyard plays a harpsichord made by Jacob and Abraham Kirckman in London in 1773, one of very few instruments from the time that have survived unaltered from their original state. This harpsichord is particularly remarkable for its ‘machine stop’, allowing the player to produce diminuendo and crescendo effects without lifting his hands from the keys.
|Release Period||October 2017|