dda 21219 (2CD midprice)



Acknowledged without reservation as the greatest composer working in England in the 18th century, Georg Frideric Handel is revered worldwide as a master composer. His Harpsichord Suites are among the finest instrumental works of the period, and eight of those are presented here by Gilbert Rowland, one of Europe's foremost harpsichordists.

These two well filled discs are a real bargain for such accomplished performances.
More details for vol. 3 & vol. 2

CD DURATION:  CD1: 74.57 CD2: 71.34  

Suite in C major, HWV443 - Courante






Suite in D minor, HWV428
Suite in E minor, HWV429
Suite in E major, HWV430
Suite in E minor, HWV438
Suite in G minor, HWV439
Suite in G major, HWV441
Suite in C major, HWV443
Suite in A major, HWV454

review extracts: for full reviews click here

“The playing is lively, spirited and devoid of any mechanical delivery that renders so many harpsichord recordings unenjoyable. The segments in the minor modes are given the right touch of sobriety and darker color. The phrasing is always shaped and well manipulated to reinforce the melody and forward momentum of each piece. Rowland's fluid and well accented fingering never allows the music to settle into repetitive tedium, but instead seems to give repeated lines a slightly different inflection. All very well reproduced in this fine Divine Art recording.” - Jean-Yves Duperron (Classical Music Sentinel)

“The instrument...has a lovely upper manual, with a sweet, nasal twang. Rowland's Soler was robust and unapologetically virtuoso. His Handel is similarly scaled and brightly rendered. Quite florid ornamentation.. more Rococo than improvisatory.” – Phillip Kennicott (Gramophone)

“The standard of playing is very high indeed, with some crisp articulation, appropriately added ornamentation in the repeats and a subtly convincing application of inégalité ... this is a most enjoyable recording.” – John Collins (The Consort)

“I have heard no other performer bring such a sense of grandeur and weight to Handel's suites combined with authentic tempos that feel just right. If you want to hear Handel's harpsichord music played as authentically as possible by a true professional who understands how to interpret Baroque music properly then look no further.” – “RB” (Amazon)

“Performances which are delivered with great relish ... considerable verve and vitality. His clear-sighted and purposeful delivery maintain a strong feeling of cohesion.” – Marc Rochester (International Record Review)

“A welcome addition to the catalogue.. the Divine Art set is offered at a keen price.” – Brian Wilson (MusicWeb)

“Rowland is an evenhanded and intelligent player, His ornaments are always tasteful, but it is his changes of texture that add interest and variety. Lovers of Handel's music will appreciate Rowland's commitment to the rich musical world of these suites” – Katz (American Record Guide)

“Rowland's playing tends towards the big-boned and virtuosic. But he can exercise restraint where needed: his sarabandes are subdued and tender, his gigues suitably jaunty...[his] performance of the concluding movement of “The Harmonious Blacksmith” is as fine as any I've heard.” – Christopher Broderson (Fanfare)

“I found my enjoyment of [Rowland's] playing for some reason increased as the set progressed. The superb fugal Allegro {of HWV 429] played with a masterly grasp of contrapuntal complexities... The [HWV 430] final Air and Variations are not only played with virtuosic assurance but also introduce a nice suggestion of humour. Always honest, musical performances that are likely to provide much pleasure.” – Brian Robins (Harpsichord and Fortepiano)

“These modern recordings are cleanly and most listenably played ... the music is conveyed with impeccable fingerwork and an admirable sense of style. This series could and should run and run. Meanwhile, snap up these albums without delay and bask in some unfailingly delicious playing.” – Michael Round (International Record Review – joint review with vol. 2)