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Handel ‘Cello’ Sonatas


Release Date: February 2007

Handel Cello Sonatas? As Handel didn’t write any, that may raise a few eyebrows. Then again, period-instrument ensemble The Brook Street Band have been doing just that since their debut recording of Handel’s “Oxford” Water Music (AV 0028), a chamber version of the orchestral evergreen, which earned the all-girl baroque band a Gramophone Editor’s Choice. Tapping into the ubiquitous 18th-century technique of recycling tunes by transposing or arranging for different instruments, The Brook Street Band – named after Handel’s London address – here take the set of recorder sonatas variously known as Op. 1, assigning the solo line to the cello, an instrument which with Handel had obvious affinity.

The Brook Street Band’s second disc, Handel’s Op. 5 Trio Sonatas, became a favourite on Classic FM. This, their third release, is acclaimed and popular in equal measure.

1 – 5 Sonata G Major (Orig. C Major) Op.1 No.7
6 – 12 Sonata A minor (Orig. D minor) Op.1 No.9 Fitzwilliam
13 – 16 Sonata C Major (Orig. F Major) Op.1 No.11
17 – 20 Sonata D minor (Orig. A minor) Op.1 No.4
21 – 23 Sonata F Major (Orig. B flat Major) Fitzwilliam
24 – 27 Sonata D minor (Orig. G minor) Op.1 No.2

‘…The enterprising Brook Street Band… the infectious enthusiasm of these all-female virtuosi seems likely to bring them another Classic FM hit.’
Anthony Holden, The Observer, March 2007

‘Bags of charm on this disc of transcribed recorder sonatas. Theo’s Baroque cello plays mostly high where the tone is dry and appealing.’
Classic FM Magazine, March 2007, 4-star Review

‘…These performances have a powerful stamp of authority about them… Theo’s beautiful sense of line and utterly natural phrasing. Perhaps the most striking thing about these performances is the sense of total unity between both players. These are two musicians coalesced into a single entity, dancing with a wonderful unanimity of purpose… Handel himself would have found real cause for celebration.’
International Record Review, March 2007

‘…a rave review… so convincing are Tatty Theo and Carolyn Gibley’s accounts of them… all beautifully balanced… please do enjoy this unusual and unexpected delight!’
Early Music Review, April 2007

‘…vivacious and ardent music making… a thoroughly enjoyable and expertly played CD’
Goldberg Magazine, May 2007

‘…the playing of the two-person Brook Street Band is expressive and lively… the impact made by this music and its persuasive and technically brilliant advocates here… This CD is recommended… The whole is pleasing, very pleasing’
MusicWeb, April 2007