Handel’s six Trio Sonatas, Op. 2 (HWV 386-391) were written between 1717 and 1719 and circulated in a bootleg edition until their official publication in 1733. Following the “slow-fast-slow-fast” model of the Italian Sonata da chiesa (“church sonata”), these Sonatas represent the culmination of a form popularized by Arcangelo Corelli in the 1680s. Handel’s Trio Sonatas were scored for “two violins, two oboes, or two flutes and basso continuo.”
In the Baroque period, composers freely borrowed, recycled, and adapted music in a way which was similar to jazz musicians of the twentieth century. The opening movement of the Sonata in B minor, HWV 386 is based on an aria from the opera, Octavia, by Handel’s German contemporary, Reinhard Keiser (1674-1739). The final movement is a spritely adaptation of a duet from Handel’s Chandos Anthem No 6, HWV 251b, Why So Full of Grief, O My Soul. In between, comes a sensuous and quietly introspective Largo. Throughout, the B minor Trio Sonata is a glorious celebration of melody.
Released in 2009, here is Richard Egarr’s exceptional recording with the Academy of Ancient Music. The recording features flutist Rachel Brown, violinists Rodolfo Richter and Pavlo Beznosiuk, and cellist Joseph Crouch.
I. Andante – Adagio:
II. Allegro ma non troppo:
- Handel: Sonata No. 1 in B minor, HWV 386, Richard Egarr, Academy of Ancient Music Amazon