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Pierre Hantaï - Händel: Suites pour clavecin

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Händel: Suites pour clavecin

Pierre Hantai

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The new album from Pierre Hantaï, who is momentarily moving away from his dear Scarlatti, is a veritable gem! The French harpsichordist opens this masterful recital recorded in January 2020 in Haarlem (Netherlands) by Nicolas Bartholomée's team and dedicated to four suites by Georg Friedrich Haendel through one of the least known, HWV 426, the first issue of Book I of 1720. Immediately, his fingers immerse this eclectic, cosmopolitan world, where neighbouring Italy and France collide seamlessly, in a resplendent sunshine. Once again, the phrasing dazzles as much as the science that the worthy heir of Gustav Leonhardt displays in grasping the diversity of character as he does in painting landscapes in changing light.


Here, the Suite in F major, HWV 427 is a miracle. It is a moving, opening Adagio, with an unheard-of melancholy fullness, in which the "art of touching the harpsichord", of singing, of making polyphony shine, is carried high. So much so that the perpetual movement of the Allegro that follows may initially startle you, Pierre Hantaï's metrical regularity is astonishing, even in the more ornate repeats. However, the lines never seem tight, which makes you look at the choreography, undoubtedly reproducing the outlines of an imaginary Gavotte: an unforgettable sensation! The second Adagio is a sort of prelude, before a bugle fugue, not so distant here from the most joyful fugues of J. S. Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier.


The focus of the recital is the spacious and rather sombre Suite in D minor, HWV 428; at first the traditional Präludium, Allemande, Courante, then suddenly, a long Air whose theme is tenderly unfolded, morphing into a strange world of "harmonic" ramblings, as if improvised, launched like rockets by the harpsichordist - a work in its own right!


On all levels, an enthralling recital, to be treasured, which will give many people the opportunity to enjoy Handel's Harpsichord Suites once again. © Pierre-Yves Lascar/Qobuz

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Händel: Suites pour clavecin

Pierre Hantaï

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1
Suite in A Major, HWV 426: I. Prélude
00:02:27

George Frideric Handel, Composer - PUBLIC DOMAIN, MusicPublisher - Pierre Hantai, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer

2020 Mirare 2020 Mirare

2
Suite in A Major, HWV 426: II. Allemande
00:04:21

George Frideric Handel, Composer - PUBLIC DOMAIN, MusicPublisher - Pierre Hantai, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer

2020 Mirare 2020 Mirare

3
Suite in A Major, HWV 426: III. Courante
00:02:31

George Frideric Handel, Composer - PUBLIC DOMAIN, MusicPublisher - Pierre Hantai, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer

2020 Mirare 2020 Mirare

4
Suite in A Major, HWV 426: IV. Gigue
00:03:20

George Frideric Handel, Composer - PUBLIC DOMAIN, MusicPublisher - Pierre Hantai, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer

2020 Mirare 2020 Mirare

5
Suite in F Major, HWV 427: I. Adagio
00:03:05

George Frideric Handel, Composer - PUBLIC DOMAIN, MusicPublisher - Pierre Hantai, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer

2020 Mirare 2020 Mirare

6
Suite in F Major, HWV 427: II. Allegro
00:02:43

George Frideric Handel, Composer - PUBLIC DOMAIN, MusicPublisher - Pierre Hantai, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer

2020 Mirare 2020 Mirare

7
Suite in F Major, HWV 427: III. Adagio II
00:01:59

George Frideric Handel, Composer - PUBLIC DOMAIN, MusicPublisher - Pierre Hantai, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer

2020 Mirare 2020 Mirare

8
Suite in F Major, HWV 427: IV. Allegro (Fugue)
00:02:46

George Frideric Handel, Composer - PUBLIC DOMAIN, MusicPublisher - Pierre Hantai, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer

2020 Mirare 2020 Mirare

9
Suite in D Minor, HWV 428: I. Präludium. Allegro (Fugue)
00:04:00

George Frideric Handel, Composer - PUBLIC DOMAIN, MusicPublisher - Pierre Hantai, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer

2020 Mirare 2020 Mirare

10
Suite in D Minor, HWV 428: II. Allemande
00:04:49

George Frideric Handel, Composer - PUBLIC DOMAIN, MusicPublisher - Pierre Hantai, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer

2020 Mirare 2020 Mirare

11
Suite in D Minor, HWV 428: III. Courante
00:01:58

George Frideric Handel, Composer - PUBLIC DOMAIN, MusicPublisher - Pierre Hantai, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer

2020 Mirare 2020 Mirare

12
Suite in D Minor, HWV 428: IV. Air & 5 variations
00:09:32

George Frideric Handel, Composer - PUBLIC DOMAIN, MusicPublisher - Pierre Hantai, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer

2020 Mirare 2020 Mirare

13
Suite in D Minor, HWV 428: V. Presto
00:05:00

George Frideric Handel, Composer - PUBLIC DOMAIN, MusicPublisher - Pierre Hantai, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer

2020 Mirare 2020 Mirare

14
Fugue in C Minor, HWV 610
00:03:43

George Frideric Handel, Composer - PUBLIC DOMAIN, MusicPublisher - Pierre Hantai, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer

2020 Mirare 2020 Mirare

15
Suite in E Minor, HWV 429: I. Allegro (Fugue)
00:04:13

George Frideric Handel, Composer - PUBLIC DOMAIN, MusicPublisher - Pierre Hantai, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer

2020 Mirare 2020 Mirare

16
Suite in E Minor, HWV 429: II. Allemande
00:03:21

George Frideric Handel, Composer - PUBLIC DOMAIN, MusicPublisher - Pierre Hantai, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer

2020 Mirare 2020 Mirare

17
Suite in E Minor, HWV 429: III. Courante
00:02:14

George Frideric Handel, Composer - PUBLIC DOMAIN, MusicPublisher - Pierre Hantai, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer

2020 Mirare 2020 Mirare

18
Suite in E Minor, HWV 429: IV. Sarabande
00:03:35

George Frideric Handel, Composer - PUBLIC DOMAIN, MusicPublisher - Pierre Hantai, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer

2020 Mirare 2020 Mirare

19
Suite in E Minor, HWV 429: V. Gigue
00:02:00

George Frideric Handel, Composer - PUBLIC DOMAIN, MusicPublisher - Pierre Hantai, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer

2020 Mirare 2020 Mirare

Album Description

The new album from Pierre Hantaï, who is momentarily moving away from his dear Scarlatti, is a veritable gem! The French harpsichordist opens this masterful recital recorded in January 2020 in Haarlem (Netherlands) by Nicolas Bartholomée's team and dedicated to four suites by Georg Friedrich Haendel through one of the least known, HWV 426, the first issue of Book I of 1720. Immediately, his fingers immerse this eclectic, cosmopolitan world, where neighbouring Italy and France collide seamlessly, in a resplendent sunshine. Once again, the phrasing dazzles as much as the science that the worthy heir of Gustav Leonhardt displays in grasping the diversity of character as he does in painting landscapes in changing light.


Here, the Suite in F major, HWV 427 is a miracle. It is a moving, opening Adagio, with an unheard-of melancholy fullness, in which the "art of touching the harpsichord", of singing, of making polyphony shine, is carried high. So much so that the perpetual movement of the Allegro that follows may initially startle you, Pierre Hantaï's metrical regularity is astonishing, even in the more ornate repeats. However, the lines never seem tight, which makes you look at the choreography, undoubtedly reproducing the outlines of an imaginary Gavotte: an unforgettable sensation! The second Adagio is a sort of prelude, before a bugle fugue, not so distant here from the most joyful fugues of J. S. Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier.


The focus of the recital is the spacious and rather sombre Suite in D minor, HWV 428; at first the traditional Präludium, Allemande, Courante, then suddenly, a long Air whose theme is tenderly unfolded, morphing into a strange world of "harmonic" ramblings, as if improvised, launched like rockets by the harpsichordist - a work in its own right!


On all levels, an enthralling recital, to be treasured, which will give many people the opportunity to enjoy Handel's Harpsichord Suites once again. © Pierre-Yves Lascar/Qobuz

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