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Cat. No. CHAN 0711 Price: £10.5 No. of discs: 1
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CHAN 0711 - Hasse: Sonatas
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Available From: 11 October 2004
Hasse was born in 1699 in Bergedorf, near Hamburg. He started out as a tenor before moving to Naples to study with Nicholas Porpora and Alessandro Scarlatti. From 1727 he was ‘Maestro di cappella’ in Venice and then at the court in Dresden. After the death of the King, Hasse was active both in Dresden and in many trips abroad, living mainly in Venice.

Hasse earned great fame in his own time, mainly for his theatrical works, in which he was able to utilise and develop the characteristic traits of Neopolitan opera as learned in his stay in Italy. Indeed, Handel held Hasse in such high esteem that he included several of Hasse’s arias in his pasticci londinesi.

The sonatas and the trio sonatas of Hasse have been published with different indications of instrumental arrangements. The majority of them have the indication: for flute or violin and basso continuo or for 2 flutes or violins and basso continuo. As usual in these kinds of composition, this is a conventional indication which has commercial purposes and, according to the performing habits of the time, the instrumentation can be changed. In fact, nothing prevents the playing with oboe a piece for flute or violin, as long as this is allowed by the technical and musical characteristics, and if the piece is not losing its effect. In Hasses’s work, many compositions are published with the indication for oboe where there are acute notes and solistical parts not performable with this instrument, but much more suitable for flute or viola. Vice versa, works published with the indication for flute or violin have a better effect if performed with the oboe.

'The playing is characterful throughout and puts as strong a case as one can make without needless hyperbole.'

I cannot imagine there is any reader who could fail to be beguiled by the gentle allure of this unfailingly amiable music. The playful spirit of the faster movements is effortlessly captured by these accomplished musicians while the lyricism, sometimes tinged with melancholy of the slow ones – the Adagio of the Quartet springs to mind – is always tenderly revealed. In short here is a disc of pure enchantment, and which offers a model of balanced ensemble playing.
BBC Music Magazine

The performances in general terms very satisfying, with accomplished playing from the oboist, violinist, and bassoonist (the splendid Sergio Azzolini).


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