HANDEL George Frideric, Suite for keyboard No.5 The Harmonious Blacksmith (arr. for Calefax)
When Calefax was founded in 1985, the available repertoire was virtually non-existent for such an unconventional ensemble: a reed quintet, comprising oboe, clarinet, saxophone, bass clarinet and bassoon. As a consequence, it was necessary to commission brand new works and a large number of arrangements. The earliest music in the present programme is a transcription of music originally written for harpsichord by George Frideric Handel (1685–1759): the Air and Variations from his Keyboard Suite No. 5, known as ‘The Harmonious Blacksmith’ and first published in 1720. As an inveterate recycler and rearranger of his own music for different instrumental combinations, Handel would surely have been delighted to find this work reimagined for reed instruments.
© Nigel Simeone