Handel: Trio Sonatas, Opus 2
The Brook Street Band
Avie Records, AV2282

Tatty Theo’s magnificent Brook Street Band has whipped up a delicious recording of Handel’s six trio sonatas, Op.2, with a bonus track, the Passacaille. Precise, crisp playing combined with a close-to-the-mic recording, makes this a treat to listen to. The BSB manages to give a lyrical suppleness to music that sounds rigid on some earlier recordings.

Careful thought has evidently gone into this performance – Theo’s insert notes offer an enlightening history of the Op.2 sonatas, and explains that their publication ca1730 belies the fact that most of them were composed around 1718, and that one (No.2) was possibly composed in 1699.

The sonatas give the BSB the opportunity to mix the instrumentation up – Lisete da Silva’s recorder playing is particularly sublime in the Adagio of the fourth trio, as are the two violins throughout the third. For the final track, all the players come together for the delightful Passacaille (from the Op.5, No.4, trio sonata (HWV 399)), rounding off a splendid new addition to the canon of Handel recordings.

James Hobson

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