Of course a project like this requires a certain amount of help in terms of funding: the overall costs, which will include fees for the recording team and the artists, the venue hire, harpsichord transport and tuning, will total about £4000.00. If you would like to help I would be delighted to hear from you, and you can either get in touch with me about this by email or via the contact page on this website, or leave a donation: https://www.ibiaziz.com/donate. Please feel free to write for any further information regarding this project. Donations of £300 above will be acknowledged in the CD booklet. 

With grateful thanks in advance for your continued support. 

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I am about to embark on another solo recording following the release of my first album "Risonanze" on First Hand Records. I have chosen Handel as the subject of my next CD because I hope it will be the first on the market to focus both on the composer and the viola da gamba together. I am also hoping that the CD will attract not just gamba aficionados and early music fans but also a wider audience of music lovers in general because of the composer and its subject matter. For this project I will be collaborating with harpsichordist Masumi Yamamoto, a friend and colleague who I've known and worked with for many years. We will be recording the CD in October this year (2019) and it will be released on FHR in 2020.

 

Handel used the viola da gamba in a number of his vocal works with orchestral accompaniment, notably in the cantata Tra Le Fiamme, the oratorio La Resurrezione and the opera Giulio Cesare. It is not so obvious, however, how much he used it as a solo instrument in his chamber works. One interesting fact is that in an autograph manuscript of a violin sonata, at the foot of its first page, the composer writes the opening few bars an octave lower in the alto clef, and labels it per la viola da gamba - indicating that the sonata could be played on that instrument. It is my feeling that transcriptions like this were fairly common and may be a reason why there isn't more surviving solo gamba music by Handel or indeed by other composers from the early Georgian period in England - the solo gamba probably played existing music already written for other instruments! I am using this hypothesis as a basis of this programme. As well the original sonata for gamba and continuo that Handel had left us, I will be including several of my own transcriptions of his other works, as well as pieces which are attributed to him such as the sonata in C major with obbligato harpsichord and a sonata from a recently unearthed collection called the Kassel Sonatas.