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CD feature: Händel Water Music

img  Tobias

One thing’s for sure: Reading about the Dual Disc and actually holding one in your own hands are two entirely different things! The comfort of a single disc that you can first listen to on your CD-player and then flip over and enjoy in your DVD-set is truly magnificent. Because of its (slightly) increased weight and depth, the “DD” also feels more luxurious and special.

Which befits this release of Händels Water Music and his Music for the Royal Fireworks. It’s not as though there aren’t already quite a few recordings of this repertoire available, but Johanes Somary’s well-balanced approach, never too exuberant, never too casual, also has something luxurious and special about it. Part of that is inherent to the music itself, which has the pleasant effect of working in two ways: Turn the volume low and it’s a fabulous aural apperitive for dinner-time. Turn it up and it’s as energetic and powerful as a friendly torrent – if you’re looking for uplifting, brilliantly melodious and smart Classics, the “Allegro in ¾” is as good as it gets. But Somary adds to the piece, by first of all selecting an intelligent playing order (he argues that the piece has no definite build-up) and then by striving for subtle dynamics: The tempi are moderate and the forti never exagerated. The production fits this approach perfectly: Far away from the usal pomp and “big chappel”-design, the recording engineers have decided to go for clearly seperated instrument-groups (even in the Stereo version) and a warm sound. The only real disappointment are the changeovers from one track to the next, which clearly show different qualities of the source material.

The Royal Fireworks Suite concentrates on the “martial” aspect of the composition (a very dominant drum sound), while sticking to the original, toned-down orchestration. That’s a bit of a contradiction, even though the fine playing of the English Chamber Orchestra never disappoints. Over all, a more than excellent release and a fine alternative to current recordings both in interpretation and sound.

by tocafi

Label: Silverline Classics

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