Monday, December 27, 2010

Hellendaal: 6 Concerti Grossi - Manze, ECBO, Roy Goodman

Pieter Hellendaal
6 Concerti Grossi
Manze, The European Community Baroque Orchestra, Goodman
Channel Classics CCS 3492

Pieter Hellendaal is one of those curiously elusive figures from the past, whose life, spent industriously in a musical backwater, left little impression on history, but whose surviving music, although modest in quantity, is of surprising quality. This is the first complete recording of his osagnificant Six Grand Concertos op. 3 (t75g), undoubtedly one of the finest sets of concerti grossi published in England during the eighteenth century, though surely one of the most unjustly neglected today. The son of a Rotterdam candle-maker, Ftellendaal's prodigious talents as a violinist were recognised at an early age when the Secretary of Amsterdam, Mattheus Lestevenon, sent bins (aged barely sixteen) to study in Italy with the virtuoso violinist and composer Guiseppe Tartium. After his return to Amsterdam in the early 1740's he published some of the fruits of his studies: two engaging sets of six sonatas for violin and continuo. He continued his studies at the University of Leiden between 1749 and 1751, playing at the frequent gatherings of music-loving academics to earn his living. A free-lance life-style playing in Leiden and at The Hague suited him for a while, but with apparently little prospect of a permanent position in his native country he emigrated to 'Little Holland' across the ocean sometime late in 1751. London newspapers of the time provide conspicious evidence that Hellendaal successfully pursued his career as a violinist in the capital for eight years, appearing frequently as a soloist in such prestigious concert venues as Hickford's Rooms on Brewer Street, and, as on 13 February 1754, playing solos between the acts of Handel's Aci.s and Ga/ateo. Towards the end of 1759 he travelled to Oxford where the local paper recorded that on 5 November "Mr. Hellendaal from London will lead the Concert and play a Solo on the Violin"....

No comments:

Post a Comment