Handel: Overtures & Harpsichord Suites

Handel’s overtures had an independent life almost from their inception, and the practice of performing them on keyboard instruments has a similarly long pedigree, beginning with a number of transcriptions made by the composer himself.

John Kitchen virtuosically evokes Handel’s orchestral palette in the welter of timbres and colours which he summons forth from the Russell Collection’s 1755 Jacob Kirckman harpsichord, a classic instrument from the apex of the English harpsichord-building tradition. Interspersed between the overture transcriptions are two of Handel’s suites written for the harpsichord; these are played on a 1709 single-manual Thomas Barton instrument from the Rodger Mirrey Collection, one of very few extant early eighteenth-century English harpsichords. Its modest size and unpretentious appearance do not prepare the listener for the extraordinarily rich and characterful sound that emerges.



"stylishly played … The music is universally glorious"

Physical format: Jewel case
Number of discs: 1
Number of tracks: 38
Total playing time: 1:19:50
Album ID: DCD34053