Monday, May 26, 2008


I have long been a fan of the work of the late conductor and keyboardist Karl Richter (he died tragically young, of a heart attack, in 1981), whose recordings of the Handel Organ Concertos, Opus 4 & 7, I regard as the finest available, not least for their superb ad libtum extemporisations. Someone from Ankara in Turkey has been putting Richter archive material up on YouTube recently. Well done and many thanks, whoever you are. Here's the first movement of Concerto No 1 - which has a second movement (here) famously known as "the cuckoo and the nightingale". Confusingly it is No 13 in the Simon Preston set, because of the different cataloguing systems that evolved. Handel put these concertos together from existing material to serve as interval suites for his oratorios. But they are delightful in their own right.

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