The prolific German-born Baroque composer George Frideric Handel (1685–1759) spent most of his adult life in England (eventually even becoming a naturalized British subject). His staggering output includes 42 operas, 29 oratorios (you love The Messiah; what’s not to love?), around 120 cantatas, 16 organ concerti, 2o Italian duets, 15 Italian arias, a dozen hymns, two dozen English songs, plus anthems, canticles, concerti grossi, and all sorts of orchestral works of varying types (the Water Music suites being the most famous, perhaps), many sonatas for different instruments (but none for guitar; he did write a concerto for lute and harp)—well, you get the idea. This particular work dubbed a “Suite de pièce,” was composed sometime before 1720 (the year it was published), and was originally for harpsichord (or other keyboard); hence its comfortable translation to two guitars.
The Amadeus Guitar Duo—German Thomas Kirchhoff and Canadian Dale Kavanagh—have been playing for nearly a quarter-century, in the process becoming one of the most respected duos based in Europe. They boast an extremely broad repertoire (including many pieces written for them, by such notable composers as Carlo Domeniconi, Roland Dyens, Stephen Dodgson, and Štĕpán Rak), have recorded 16 albums together, and toured all over the world. They also founded Germany’s popular Iserlohn festival (July 23–30 this year). You can find the full four movements of this Handel piece on their 2015 Naxos CD, Through the Centuries. Their most recent release, reviewed favorably in the Fall 2016 issue of CG, is called Images from the South. I’m really looking forward to seeing them in 2018 at the GFA convention in Louisville, Kentucky! (You can find their complete future touring schedule here.) —Blair Jackson