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Perahia Plays Handel and Scarlatti Import

4.7 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Frequently Bought Together

  • Perahia Plays Handel and Scarlatti
  • +
  • Brahms: Handel Variations, Op 24 / Rhapsodies, Op 79 / Piano Pieces, Op 118 & 119
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  • Bach: Goldberg Variations, BWV 988
Total price: £21.05
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Product details

  • Performer: Murray Perahia
  • Composer: Georg Friederich Handel, Domenico Scarlatti
  • Audio CD (24 Feb. 1997)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Sony Classical
  • ASIN: B000024I89
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 17,385 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Suite No. 5 In E Major, Hwv - Prelude
  2. Allemande
  3. Courante
  4. Air
  5. Chagonne In G Major, Hwv
  6. Suite No. 3 In D Minor, Hwv - Prelude
  7. Allegro
  8. Allemande
  9. Courante
  10. Air
  11. Presto
  12. Suite No. 2 In F Major, Hwv - Adagio
  13. Allegro
  14. Adagio
  15. Allegro
  16. Sonata In D Major
  17. Sonata In B Minor
  18. Sonata In C-Sharp Minor
  19. Sonata In D Major
  20. Sonata In A Major
  21. Sonata In E Major

Product Description

Amazon.co.uk

While performances of Scarlatti sonatas on the piano remain as popular as ever, Handel's keyboard music is rarely so performed, perhaps an acknowledgement both that it does not show its composer at his best, and that it does not respond so well to being taken away from the harpsichord for which it was intended. Murray Perahia's surprising venture into this baroque repertoire, however, is a resounding success. His Handel is by turns warm, eloquent and grand, and as sparklingly clear as any harpsichord performance. Virtuosity is also well to the fore in the famous "Harmonious Blacksmith" variations. The Scarlatti sonatas are nevertheless what the disc will probably be remembered for most; the wide-ranging expressiveness of these quirky and eclectic little masterpieces has always benefited from good pianistic interpretation, but Perahia--while not grabbing the music's every moment as Mikhail Pletnev's highly regarded two-disc alternative does--scores high marks for his responsiveness to the many moods of this music, of which poetry and poise are the ones his highly cultured and faultlessly voiced playing serves best. You may not think you like harpsichord music on the piano, but the sheer refinement of a musician like Perahia is hard to resist. --Lindsay Kemp

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Well maybe that is a bit exaggerated but it certainly ranks way up there with the best.
I was fortunate enough to see Murray Perahia perform a number of these pieces in Oxford during the period leading up this recording. Handel's Chaconne in particular stuck in my mind after the concert as it had a profound affect on me. I am not one moved to tears often but the tears flowed in the concert and they still flow when I listen to this recording.
The "Harmonious Blacksmith" is another astonishing piece on piano.
In fact the whole album is astonishing. The playing is precise and clear at all times, as baroque music should be, but Mr Perahia manages to avoid a mechanical approach, injecting humanity into the music without sentimentality.
I could waffle on for ages but all you need to know is that this album is truly breathtaking and should be in every music lovers collection.
Heck buy two copies so you can keep one in the car permanently ;-)
Just a pity Handel and Scarlatti couldn't hear it!
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Format: Audio CD
"Why can't all piano records be as good as this?", Gramophone's reviewer asks himself as he sets out to describe the many treasures, hidden and otherwise, of this remarkable achievement. Why, indeed. Which, of course, calls forth the question: shouldn't this repertoire be performed on that most individual and idiosyncratic of instruments, the harpsichord, for which it was originally conceived? I am a convinced authenticist--I can no longer bring myself to listen to Baroque (or earlier) music that is not performed on period instruments: somehow it just doesn't sound right. And yet I am a great admirer of Perahia's accomplishments: it is not everyday that one finds such faultless technique, such command of shades and nuances, such surprising insights, such reserved, yet overwhelming lyricism, such versatility of touch--so apparent, for instance, in his masterly presentation of Chopin's Piano Works (1994, strongly recommended). So it was with mixed feelings, and equipped with the necessary dose of scepticism, that I first played this CD. Well, it is unique. Everything one has learned to expect from Perahia is here; and, if possible, even more. He does not pretend that this is piano music; but by means of sheer artistry he succeeds in making wonderful piano music out of it. This is not to say that the more distinctive features of harpsichord music are lost on him: he is brilliant, crisp, and fast enough when needed. Simply, instead of merely mimicking the sound and feel of the harpsichord (a risky and usually unrewarding venture), he tries to make sense of these scores from a pianist's point of view. It seems to me that this approach reveals more than it conceals: for instance, the Harmonious Blacksmith Variations (Suite N.Read more ›
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Format: Audio CD
This CD is wonderful. Perahia plays with consummate skill and reveals the extraordinary beauty and grace of the chosen pieces. Anyone who loves piano music need not hesitate but should buy this CD immediately! Set aside any notions of the difficulty sometimes encountered listening to harpsichord or fortepiano transcriptions. This music is lyrical, limpid, flowing and of great beauty. I am sure that for anyone unfamiliar with Scarlatti (or Handel) it will be a revelation and will quickly become one of their favourite recordings of solo piano music. Magical.
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By Ralph Moore TOP 50 REVIEWER on 11 Jan. 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Perahia has always been the subtlest, most delicate and nuanced of pianists, able to execute runs on either hand with the utmost suavity and brilliance even at pianissimo. I greatly admire his Schubert and Bach, especially the Goldberg Variations, and here he ventures into the territory of two other, exactly contemporaneous Baroque giants. Handel, Scarlatti and Bach were all born in that one annus mirabilis of 1685, all three dying as revered elders in the 1750's. You may be familiar with several of the themes in the Airs, variations and various finales heard in these Suites which Handel re-worked elsewhere; otherwise, his keyboard music remains, unaccountably, relatively neglected. Of course, the highlight of the recital for many will be the splendour of Handel's famous "Chaconne"; the performance here is simply miraculous in its fluency and musicality.

It would be superfluous to add yet another detailed encomium to the many previous reviews extolling the virtues of Perahia's playing in this award-winning CD. Even if you think you are allergic to hearing this music played on anything other than a harpsichord, you should try his rendition while considering it as a different art-form, just as Stokowski orchestrated Bach or Beecham re-touched Handel's "Messiah". Perahia exploits all the tonal, dynamic and expressive range of the grand piano without allowing his interpretation to become soupy or indulgent: this is clean, clear, rigorous period-style playing without too much in the way of agogic distortion or Romantic swooning.
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