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Stamitz, Händel, M. Haydn (1966)

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Stamitz, Händel, M. Haydn (1966)

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1 Carl Stamitz: Orchestral Quartets in F op.4 no.4		 11:02
allegro assai - andante - presto

2 Georg Friedrich Händel: Concerto grosso in C "Alexander's Feast" 13:09
allegro - adagio-allegro - andante non presto

3 Michael Haydn: Divertimento in D for flute, oboe, horn and bassoon 14:46
andante-marcia - allegro - minuetto - siciliana - minuetto - finale

4 Carl Stamitz: Wind Quartet in E flat Major op.8 no.2 10:08
allegro moderato - andante - rondo-allegro

Mannheim Chamber Players


Carl Stamitz: Orchestral Quartets, Op. 14. Annotator and music editor Allan Badley explains that these energetic string works were published as suitable for either orchestral or quartet performance, but doesn't explain how the original publication designated the music. What does he mean when he writes that "only two of the quartets are specifically designated as 'orchestral' quartets"? Did the publication read "Quatuors pour l'orchestre"? We'll never know, but the performance by a moderate-sized string orchestra is effective. Whatever forces Carl Stamitz may have had in mind, he was here thinking musically in terms of the sound of the large and virtuosic Mannheim court orchestra for which he wrote many of his better-known symphonies. The music is festooned with examples of the famed "Mannheim rocket" figure and other effects that would lose a lot of their oomph if played by a mere quartet. --- James Manheim, Rovi


Händel: Concerto grosso in C "Alexander's Feast". Handel composed nineteen works in the concerto grosso form established at the 1680s by Corelli. The combination of a concertino trio of solo strings (two violins and cello) with the body of orchestral strings (the ripieno) became highly popular in England, where the rapid expansion of orchestral groups of mixed ability, including professionals and amateurs, made them an ideal vehicle for this type of music. The present concerto is something of an odd-man out, being the only one not included in one of the two sets of Handel's concerti grossi printed by the London publisher John Walsh. Like the twelve concertos issued as Opus 6 in 1740, HWV 318 was composed with the specific purpose of providing interval or interlude music at performances of Handel's choral works. However, unlike the concertos of Op. 6, the Concerto Grosso in C is associated with a specific work, the Cecilian ode Alexander's Feast, composed to a text based on John Dryden's celebration of the patron saint of music. The ode was first given at Covent Garden on 19 February 1736, on which occasion the concerto served as an introduction to the second part during an evening that also included a performance of the Organ Concerto, Op. 4, No. 1. In addition to the standard complement of strings expected in a concerto grosso, this particularly grandiose example of the genre also includes parts for pairs of oboes and bassoons. The work is in four movements, an Allegro that is unusual in replacing the expected contrast of concertino and ripieno with an emphasis on thematic development, a cantabile, pastoral Largo, another Allegro with a fugal subject and an Andante finale in stylized dance rhythm. The "concerto in Alexander's Feast" quickly became a great favorite among Handel's audiences, encouraging Walsh to publish the work in 1740 after signing a new copyright contract with the composer. --- Brian Robins, Rovi

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Last Updated (Wednesday, 20 May 2015 15:59)


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