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Handel’s first set of London suites played on the piano, in the hands of Lisa Smirnova, are a resounding success. This is a performance of real artistry and is unspeakably beautiful at moments. If I had to pick out highlights – a difficult task – the E minor and F minor suites are, for me, some of the best Handel playing I’ve heard. I did feel that the opening prelude of the F minor suite came across as rather matter-of-fact and lacking in profundity, and in other places I was less convinced by what sound like hints of ‘harpsichordity’, such as a tendency to staccato in some of the Courantes, which rather breaks up their melodies as they gracefully sweeps across the staves. But such moments are rare and only minor distractions from the overall achievement: this is a superb disc.

Adrian Horsewood Read the full review on Agora Classica


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