In Handel's Shadow
The figure of George Frideric Handel cast a long shadow over musical London in the first half of the eighteenth, condemning many of his contemporaries – fine composers themselves – to long years of obscurity. In Handel’s Shadow throws light into forgotten corners and discovers some glittering gems, some of them demanding dazzling vocal fireworks from their performers. Several of these composers set scenes from Classical mythology or Old Testament narratives – but they also explore the underside of the Baroque psyche in one of David’s darkest psalms and in a representation of Arcadian madness.
The composers in question are Johann Ernst Galliard (1666 or 1687–1747), Jeremiah Clarke (c. 1674–1707 – he of the famous ‘Trumpet Voluntary’), Maurice Greene (1696–1755), the short-lived Elisabetta de Gambarini (1730–65), Henry Carey (c. 1688–1743) and John Blow (1649–1708). The music is performed by Lux et Umbrae, a group founded in 2015 and here making its first recording. It consists of Robert Crowe and Annette Fischer, respectively male and female sopranos (and it’s instructive to hear how different the voices are), Julia Nilsen-Savage, cello, Sigrun Richter, lute, and Michael Eberth, harpsichord.