Handel Oxford Water Music

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Handel Oxford Water Music

AV0028

Release Date: November 2003

It’s easy to imagine the well-documented first performance of Handel’s Water Music, played by at least 50 musicians on a barge floating down the Thames for a royal procession. But what was the score’s first incarnation? After all, Baroque composers would shamelessly beg, borrow and steal from their own music, whatever it took to make a few extra bob.

Enter the Brook Street Band, a young baroque chamber ensemble whose core make-up is two violins, harpsichord and cello. Upon learning of a chamber version of the Water Music in an Oxford University library, apparently penned by Handel himself, the group applied 18th century practices and adapted the music for their own forces, adding an oboe doubling on recorder. The resulting world premier recording recreates how Handel’s popular music may have been enjoyed by 18th century folk in the privacy of their own home.

This is the debut recording by The Brook Street Band, award winning specialists in eighteenth century repertoire who take their name from the London street where George Frideric Handel lived and composed for most of his working life. They complete their CD with trio sonatas by Corelli, Geminiani, Handel and Leclair.

Tracks:

1 – 3 Handel Trio Sonata Op.5 No.4 in G Major
4 – 9 Leclair, Premier Recreation De Musique Op. 6 In D Major
10 Corelli, Trio Sonata Op. 2 No. 12 in G Major
11 – 13 Corelli, Trio Sonata Op. 1 No. 7 in C Major
14 – 16 Geminiani, Sonata V In A minor
17 – 20 Handel, Oxford Water Music Suite in F Major
21 – 22 Handel, Oxford Water Music Suite In G minor
23 – 25 Handel, Oxford Water Music Suite In D Major
26 – 29 Handel, Trio Sonata Op2 No.3 in B flat Major
  1. Excerpt from Track 9: Chaconne
  2. Excerpt from Track 17: Aire
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‘The Brook Street Band… are gaining quite a reputation for their stylish and imaginative programmes. They bring a delightful freshness and lack of affectation… playing in a vivacious style… that makes it very clear that they are enjoying themselves. Their pleasure in the music is infectious.’
Gramophone Magazine Editor’s Choice, Stanley Sadie, Gramophone Magazine, February 2004

…The Brook Street Band… play with style and zest, keeping the rhythms light and springy and ornamenting deftly… eager continuo… delightful music-making, with violinists sparring elegantly in the faster numbers and bringing a delicate sense of timing and colour to the slow movements.’
Richard Wigmore, BBC Music Magazine, March 2004, Double 4-star Rating

‘No matter how many recordings of this music you may already have, if you buy one Baroque music disk this year, let it be this one… It is a tremendous pleasure to be a reviewer when a disk like this comes along… [a] magical balance of crispness, bounce, swing, sweetness and dignity… The Brook Street Band are stratospheric in quality…’
Paul Shoemaker, Music Web, Recording of the Month, December 2003

‘It’s a delight to hear vigorous yet informed playing, combined with such a crisp, well-balanced recording… Well researched and compiled… the accomplished performances of Handel’s earliest version of the famous Water Music suites are fresh and sparky, enlivening this all-too familiar music.’
Jane Jones – Classic FM, February 2004, 4-star Rating