The Hype About HIP!

An 18th-century Recording of Handel’s Recorder Sonata No. 4 in F Major

A recording of an 18th-century barrel organ version of a familiar recorder sonata by Handel (1685–1759), also known from an organ concerto, is, in effect, the nearest thing we have to an 18th-century recording. The “pining” of the Langshaw barrel organ was done by John Langshaw (1717–1798), an organist and mechanic,  but the music itself was arranged by John Christopher Smith Jr (1712–1795), the son of Handel’s principal copyist and later his amanuensis. Smith Jr was himself an opera and theatre composer of some skill. Strange to tell, the only recording of the recorder sonata making use of this seemingly authentic information that I know of is on a 1973 LP featuring David Munrow, namely The Amorous Flute. So much for all the hype about HIP!

You will find audio (MP3) files of all four movements of the Handel played on the Langshaw barrel organ and a transcription of sorts as follows:

Printable Transcription

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Recording by David Munrow

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