Richard Egarr

Written by: Colin Anderson

Richard Egarr’s new association with the Academy of Ancient Music is signalled by Handel and Telemann…

Harpsichordist Richard Egarr is the newly appointed associate director of the Academy of Ancient Music for “keyboard-led instrumental programmes and with larger projects in the pipeline.” Catch them at the Wigmore Hall on January 12, an intriguing mix of Handel and Telemann, not least these composers’ respective works called Water Music. “Handel and Telemann knew and had great respect for each other and had an active correspondence – mainly on the subject of flowers! Both were extremely fluent composers, easily able to produce anything required of them. Telemann wrote music that has immediate impact, and Handel’s is also immediate that, perhaps unlike Telemann’s, grows in depth and satisfaction on repeated hearing. The two Water Music suites that we’re playing are very different; Handel’s is quite intimate and the Telemann is a grand overture.”

Telemann is further represented by a concerto for flute and recorder and Handel by three of his Opus 3 Concerti Grossi, which tend to be overshadowed by the Opus 6 collection. “Whereas Opus 6 represents a controlled publication, by Handel himself, the Opus 3 set was published in a more haphazard way. The music however is fantastic and shows Handel at his best composing for a colourful ensemble including wind instruments, flutes, oboes and bassoons – a kind of musical menu ranging from rich meats to more delicate sorbet.”

  • Wigmore Hall concert on 12 January
  • Academy of Ancient Music

  • Wigmore Hall
  • The above article was published in “What’s On in London” on 12 January 2006 and is reproduced here with permission

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