Society for Eighteenth-Century Music
Julian Perkins – clavichord
‘[Handel] had found means to get a little clavichord privately convey’d to a room at the top of the house. To this room he constantly stole when the family was asleep. He had made some progress before Music had been prohibited, and by his assiduous practice at the hours of rest, had made such farther advances, as, tho’ not attended to at that time, were no slight prognostics of his future greatness.’
From Memoirs …George Frederic Handel, 1760, by John Mainwaring.
Handel’s dogged determination to succeed was present from the start, and it is touching that his first muse was possibly the clavichord. Small wonder, given that its intimate tones compel the player to cultivate a singing tone that bewitches many who encounter it.
This short programme falls into two parts: pieces by two composers that Handel studied in his youth, and works that I like to imagine him playing as an adult in his top-floor bedroom in Brook Street, London.
Capriccio sopra l’aria Pergamasco, WMin 731 W. Ebner (1612–1665)
Suite in B minor F. W. Zachow (1663–1712)
Allemande – Courante – Sarabande – Fuga Finalis
Suite in G minor, HWV 452 G. F. Handel (1685–1759)
Allemande – Courante – Sarabande – Gigue
Sonata K 208 in A major Adagio e cantabile D. Scarlatti (1685–1757)
Sonata no. 1 in F major T. A. Arne (1710–1778)
Andante – Adagio – Allegro
from VIII Sonatas or Lessons for the Harpsichord, London, 1756
Chorale Jesu meine Freude, HWV 480 G. F. Handel
‘Lascia ch’io pianga’ from Rinaldo, HWV 7 arr. W. Babell (1690–1723)