Handel: Romantic Organ Transcriptions

Handel: Romantic Organ Transcriptions
Composer Georg Frideric Handel
Artist Massimo Gabba organ
Format 1 CD
Cat. number 94709
EAN code 5028421947099
Release June 2013

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About this release

The art of transcription has been a part of the history of keyboard instruments since the Renaissance period, a time that saw the first publishing of sacred as well as secular vocal works. In the 19th century, however, the trend entered its golden age, thus satisfying the domestic music-making appetite of the bourgeoisie across Europe and reflecting technological advances in mechanisms such as the organ. This release is dedicated towards this king of instruments, whose expansion into concert-like proportions allowed the music of Handel to flourish in particular.

The recording is based on a selection of the Baroque composer’s most famous works, arranged by some of the 19th century’s greatest organ virtuosos. As well as W.T. Best, who gave about 100 recitals a year for 40 years and who published two great collections – of which Handel’s Choruses, selected and arranged for the Organ is included here – there features transcriptions by the likes of George C. Martin (organist of St Paul’s Cathedral), F.C. Woods, Théodore Dubois (organist at the Madeleine in Paris) and Alexandre Guilmant (organist of Saint-Trinité in paris and a noted concert performer). The two symphonies of Saul, Zadok the Priest and excerpts from the Messiah are just some of the works contained on this engaging release.

Performed by Massimo Gabba at the Mascioni organ of the Church of San Giovanni Evangelista in Alessandri (Italy), Romantic Organ Transcriptions details a fascinating area of 19th-century music-making and exposes the predilection for all things Baroque at that time. Gabba explores the full gamut of the instrument, revealing the immense variety of timbres and characteristic grandeur that the organ came to attain during the 1800s.

Other information:
- Recorded 28–29 September 2012, Church of San Giovanni Evangelista, Alessandria, Italy.
- An attractive and hugely enjoyable programme of popular Handel works transcribed for grand romantic organ by 19-th century composers Alexandre Guilmant, Theodore Dubois, William Thomas Best and Francis Cunningham Woods.
- Includes the famous Hallelujah (Messiah), Ombra Mai Fu (Serse), I know that my redeemer liveth (Messiah), Zadok the Priest and other evergreens by the great Baroque master.
- Massimo Gabba, one of the most talented young Italian organists, pulls out all the stops from the grand romantic organ of the Church of San Giovanni Evangelista in Alessandria, Italy.
- Contains liner notes on 19th-century organ transcription and the works as well as an artist biography.

Track list

Disk 1

  1. Occasional Oratorio, HWV 62: Overture. I. Andante maestoso – Allegro (arr. William Thomas Best)
  2. Occasional Oratorio, HWV 62: Overture. II. Largo (arr. William Thomas Best)
  3. Occasional Oratorio, HWV 62: Overture. III. March (arr. William Thomas Best)
  4. Suite No. 1 in B-Flat Major, HWV 434: I. Prelude (arr. William Thomas Best)
  5. Suite No. 1 in B-Flat Major, HWV 434: II. Allegro moderato (arr. William Thomas Best)
  6. Suite No. 1 in B-Flat Major, HWV 434: III. Air – Five variations (arr. William Thomas Best)
  7. Serse, HWV 40: Largo “Ombra mai fu” (arr. George Clement Martin)
  8. Saul, HWV 53, Act I: Symphony. I. Allegro (arr. William Thomas Best)
  9. Saul, HWV 53, Act I: Symphony. II. Andante (arr. William Thomas Best)
  10. Saul, HWV 53, Act I: Symphony. III. Allegro (arr. William Thomas Best)
  11. Saul, HWV 53, Act I: Symphony. IV. Larghetto (arr. William Thomas Best)
  12. Saul, HWV 53, Act 2: Symphony. I. Largo (arr. Alexandre Guilmant)
  13. Saul, HWV 53, Act 2: Symphony. II. Allegro (arr. Alexandre Guilmant)
  14. Messiah, HWV 56: “I know that my Redeemer liveth” (arr. Francis Cunningham Woods)
  15. Messiah, HWV56: “Hallelujah” (arr. Théodore Dubois)
  16. Prelude and Fugue in F Minor: Prelude (arr. Alexandre Guilmant)
  17. Prelude and Fugue in F Minor: Fugue (arr. Alexandre Guilmant)
  18. Zadok the Priest, HWV 258 (arr. William Thomas Best)
  19. Judas Maccabaeus, HWV 63: Paraphrase “See the conqu’ring hero comes” (Arr. Alexandre Guilmant)
  20. Messiah, HWV 56: Marche religieuse “Lift up your heads” (Arr. Alexandre Guilmant)