In her debut recording, Olwen Foulkes explores the music of Handel’s London theatre orchestra. Includes Handel’s stunning recorder sonata in F major, glittering virtuosity from Castrucci and Corelli, haunting melodies by Giuseppe Sammartini, as well as a charming air by Handel’s favourite amanuensis, J C Smith.
With Nathaniel Mander (harpsichord), Carina Drury (cello), Tabea Debus (bass recorder), Toby Carr (theorbo)
“…intriguing and imaginative… Olwen Foulkes is a lovely recorder player, with a fulsome tone and very musical approach… Her phrasing and effortless decoration are exemplary and extremely persuasive, and she is ably supported by a range of other fine musicians. This barn-storming performance will delight recorder players everywhere, but is also of much wider interest as a window on a period when musicians happily ‘borrowed’ extensively from each other to satisfy public demand.”
Early Music Review
“Olwen Foulkes playing is excellent, producing a beautifully controlled and mellifluous tone which she combines with an impressive sense of musical detail as well as the longer melodic phrase. ”
“Much research has gone into this disc, and Foulkes is to be congratulated for managing to combining this with such fine playing that the disc is far more than an academic exercise. The pieces are all lively and engaging, with Foulkes being supported superbly by her continuo group, so much so that this becomes real chamber music in the later sense of the word. This is surely only the tip of the iceberg, and we must be grateful to Foulkes for revealing what a hot-bed of activity Handel’s orchestra was and creating such an engaging disc.”
“…what we have here is a collection of delightful items which were written and played during the height of Handel’s operatic fame. Olwen Foulkes investigated these while taking part in a residency at Handel House in 2015 and much of this recording is the result of that research. It includes pieces by Corelli, Sammartini and JC Smith as well as Handel himself. It is good to see such a valuable undertaking coming to such enjoyable fruition.”