on 23 October 2001
Where impressive operas and great oratorios enjoy more and more rightful interest, the chamber music of Händel is little known. The recorder sonatas, accompanied here on cello and -in judicious alternation- organ or clavicembalo, contain in a nutshell all qualities of his music. I cannot help feeling moved every time I hear this disc. The recorder playing of Marion Verbruggen is beyond all criticism. Lively but never self-conscious she plays these wonderful pieces. Jaap ter Linden delivers his part inobtrusively, yet very stylish and recognizable. Ton Koopman plays a discreetly sounding beautiful clavicembalo and a nice chest organ. One would not guess this music was recorded in a church, for the sound is fittingly intimate and very well judged. You start listening to some lighter baroque music, but soon you find yourself enticed, consoled and comforted by some of the most extraordinary pieces of music I know. Ideal late evening music, always able to raise your spirit.