Music of Handel

Telarc CD-83544
1 CD
full price
Recorded in March-May 2002
Released in 2002

- New jazz arrangements by Jacques Loussier of Handelís Water Music, Music for the Royal Fireworks, and Passacaglia.

Jacques Loussier Trio







The French jazz pianist Jacques Loussier has famously been performing the works of J.S. Bach in his own style for many years, but recently he has also brought his distinctive touch to Ravelís Bolero and Vivaldiís Four Seasons. Maybe it was only a matter of time before he turned his attention to Handelís popular works. Often his arrangements are not strict adaptations of Handelís score at all, but flexible jazz treatments based on particular melodic or rhythmic motifs.

Handelís Water Music does not really suit a jazz trio in the same natural way that Bachís Italian Concerto seems to, but the Fireworks Music bears all the Loussier hallmarks of agility and mellowness. Loussierís repackaging of the baroque originals is greatly enhanced by the sensitivity of his drummer Andrť Arpino and bassist Benoit Dunoyer de Segonzac.

It is impossible to award it a mark that would have any meaningful significance in context with our usual reviews, but it would be churlish for us to ignore this enjoyable disc. It will not appeal to Handel purists, but anybody who enjoys one great musical personality being redesigned by another will find this disc to be a lot of fun. If you like smooth jazz, Mozartís arrangements of Acis & Galatea and Messiah, and Beechamís tinkering with Handelís orchestrations, there is little to be offended by here in comparison to the delights that it offers.

No mark given

© David Vickers - November 2002

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