Music Appreciation


George Friderick Handel (1685-1759)

Deneil Parker, Vi (1720); Benjamin Banks, Vc(1793)
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The “Passacaglia” is taken from Suite No. 7 for harpsichord in G minor(HWV432) of George Frideric Handel’s (1685-1759) first set of harpsichord suites. Norweigan composer Johan Halvorsen (1864-1935) arranged the piece for violin and cello (as well as a violin and viola version) in 1894. Prior to the 20th century, it was rare to see violin and cello duets. The characteristic intimacy shared in a duet setting allows the composer to expand timbral and expressive possibilities. A violin made by British luthier Daniel Parker (1705-1761) in 1720 and a cello made by Benjamin Banks (1727-1795) in 1793 are used in this recording, allowing the reputation of famous British instruments and composers to compliment one other. Passacaglia is called by such a name because of its repetition of a bass note figure. Each variation in the piece is full of delightful changes, making it truly rich and colorful. In Halvorsen’s duet arrangement you can hear how the two instruments are constantly contending with one another, making it sound even more brilliant.