Arne’s Eight Harpsichord Sonatas was Christopher Hogwod’s first record for L’Oiseau-Lyre and this reissue marks its first international CD release.
Whereas Arne’s career lay primarily in the theatre (his melodic gifts ensured success not only in Italianate opera but in masque and pantomime as well), an appointment in 1754 as composer to the Vauxhall Gardens meant that he needed to exercise his talents in song writing as well as keyboard concertos. Rarely recorded, the eight harpsichord sonatas (all Arne ever composed in this genre) are a delight. The Italianate influence of Scarlatti, Zipoli and Alberti are present, but there is also something of the ‘gallant’ style of German writers. For this recording, the original 1756 edition was used and the recordings were made on Kirkman (1766) and Blasser (1744) harpsichords. Christopher Hogwood provides a new introductory note to this issue as well as notes on the music and the instruments used.
Sonata No. 1 in F major
Sonata No. 2 in E minor
Sonata No. 5 in B flat major
Sonata No. 6 in G minor
Sonata No. 3 in G major
Sonata No. 4 in D minor
Sonata No. 7 in A major
Sonata No. 8 in G major
Christopher Hogwood, harpsichord
Executive Producer: Raymond Ware
Recording Producer: Peter Wadland
Balance Engineers: Trygg Tryggvason, Colin Moorfoot
Recording Location: Finchcocks, Goudhurst, Kent, UK, 17–19 April 1973
‘The style of the performances cannot be faulted and [Hogwood] knows how to be rhythmically vigorous (splendidly so in the ‘Allegrissimo’ of No. 2) without rushing the music’ Gramophone