The idea for this instrumental programme featuring the trio sonata emerged when the Philharmonie de Paris and Musée de la Musique commissioned the construction - by Bruno Reinhard – of a replica of a superb recorder made by an Englishman who was Handel’s contemporary.
Violaine Cochard, harpsichordist and co-founder of Ensemble Amarillis, was given the opportunity to play on a remarkable English Longman and Broderip harpsichord lent by Paris's Musée de la Musique. It inspired us to offer audiences these trio sonatas paired with pieces for solo harpsichord, some of which we have arranged for the instruments in our group.
Next, we wished to create two Imaginary Suites in the spirit of the dance suite. The order of the dances is simply what struck our fancy. We especially enjoy the variety of instrumental colors and forms.
Finally, we asked a contemporary composer, Erik Desimpelaere, to set the pieces at the end of each suite – an Aria with variations and a Chaconne – for trio with basso continuo.
To play a wordless melody in its most personal expression : this is the challenge issued by Handel, a composer whose universal spirit encompassed a passion for painting and who portrayed the whole spectrum of human emotion in his music.
Recorded at La Cité de la Musique-Philharmonie de Paris, in the Cité de la Musique building designed by architect Christian de Portzamparc, on two instruments from the Musée National de la Musique: a single- manual Longman and Broderip harpsichord (London, late 18th century) and a replica of the alto recorder in F by Thomas Stanesby, Jr. (London, between 1725 and 1750) made by Bruno Reinhard en 2017.