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Handel in Ireland
Bridget Cunningham

Research on Handel's visit to Dublin

Rose Street Records RSR002

This for me is an important departure from most academic publications. We had enjoyed hearing Bridget Cunningham at the Greenwich Early Music Festival 2004.

The CD's notes set out part of Cunningham's detailed researches on a scholarship to study Early Baroque Irish Music, exploring 18 C social histories of Ireland & Dublin and many related topics illustrated by the tracks on this disc.

The music is varied and full of energy, well played and recorded on two harpsichords, copies by Goble & Wooderson of double manual originals by Ruckers & Blanchet.

It has some spectacular operatic eleborations by William Babell, and quite a few surprises along the way.

There are thirteen full pages of Cunningham's own notes. It's all so different from the common releases of early music, with information cut & pasted from books etc by musicologists who may well not even have heard the performances they are annotating when writing...

My sole cavill is the inappropriate cover photo for which I have substituted one of Bridget actually playing one of the instruments featured (those glamorised studio photos of female musicians surely don't sell recordings any longer ?).

This project should give thought to other specialist musicians and groups.

Peter Grahame Woolf