Händel’s organ concertos

fri 9 apr 2021
Theme: Early Music

On Thursday 8 April at 20:00 CET, L’Esprit Baroque begins a short series of programmes about the organ concertos and other works for keyboard by Georg Friedrich Händel.

The series focusses on the organ concertos. These are works written for an organ in combination with a baroque orchestra in which the organ is the solo instrument and is joined by the orchestra for the tuttis.
Opus numbers 3, 4 and 7 are important when we consider the organ concertos. All 3 feature in the series but the emphasis is on opus numbers 4 and 7.

Händel also composed music for the harpsichord as well as for the organ. He wrote two series of works with music for the harpsichord, a first series with eight suites and other pieces from 1720 and a second series with works from 1733.
The history of the suites is quite troubled with accusations by Händel of copyright infringements, suggestions that Händel himself made use of existing material and a sometimes quite unusual style of composition.
Finally Händel also composed music for other keyboard instruments and even some works for a carillon. These are also featured in the series.

In part 1 we can listen to performances of two of the organ concertos by The Academy of Ancient Music with conductor and organist Richard Egarr. We start with perhaps Händel’s best known organ concerto: ‘The Cuckoo and the Nightingale’.
Richard Egarr also plays one of Händel’s suites.

Click here for the playlist for part 1
Part 2 of the series is on Thursday 22 April 20:00 CET