Hässler: Harpsichord Music

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Composer & Artist:
Composer: Johann Wilhelm Hässler
Artists: Michele Benuzzi (harpsichord)

About this Album:
Johann Wilhelm Hässler’s keyboard works occupy a fascinating position in the history of music. Although the composer was a harpsichord virtuoso in the late 18th century, just as his instrument was beginning to fall out of favour with composers and performers as the piano increased in popularity, Hässler’s music was not hopelessly old-fashioned. He was a successful pianist and organist, and a great admirer of C.P.E. Bach who he had met several times. He undertook many concert tours throughout Europe, and was able to publish a large quantity of music during his lifetime. The works heard in this collection can, in fact, be understood as a bridge between the Baroque composers who preceded him and the Classical and early-Romantic era that followed, drawing on a range of contrasting styles to create music of great drama, complexity and even theatricality.

The music heard on this new recording is particularly rare; it is found only in anonymous manuscripts and has previously been misattributed to W.F. Bach. As such, Michele Benuzzi’s thoroughly researched performances are an excellent opportunity to hear repertoire that will be unfamiliar to many listeners.

00:00:00 Fantasia in C Minor (Leipzig, 1776)
00:05:23 Sonata in D (Leipzig, 1776): I. Allegro di Molto
00:10:30 Sonata in D (Leipzig, 1776): II. Andante
00:16:16 Sonata in D (Leipzig, 1776): III. Con Brio
00:18:38 Fantasia in A (Leipzig, 1779)
00:25:19 Sonata in A (Leipzig, 1779): I. [Moderato]
00:29:48 Sonata in A (Leipzig, 1779): II. Adagio
00:31:46 Sonata in A (Leipzig, 1779): III. Scherzo-Allegro
00:35:50 Fantasia in D (Leipzig, 1786)
00:40:40 Sonata in D Minor (Leipzig, 1779): I. [Allegro]
00:41:49 Sonata in D Minor (Leipzig, 1779): II. Arioso
00:43:33 Sonata in D Minor (Leipzig, 1779): III. Presto
00:49:05 Fantasia in C (Erfurt, 1782)
00:50:58 Rondeau in C (Leipzig, 1779)
00:53:05 Ariette mit einigen Veräderungen (Leipzig, 1786): ‘Der Demoisel Scherniß in Erfurth zugeeignet’
00:55:40 Fantasia in E Minor (Moscow, 1803)
00:57:15 Sonata in A Minor (Leipzig, 1776): I. Poco allegro
00:59:36 Sonata in A Minor (Leipzig, 1776): II. Largo
01:01:22 Sonata in A Minor (Leipzig, 1776): III. Presto

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