Gary Karr, Elmira Darvarova & Harmon Lewis Play Handel & Barthélémon

The two composers on this disc lived and worked in London. Rather than performing a servile role in the aristocratic courts of Europe or working as music directors in churches, they joined many of Europe’s finest musicians in London, where they were offered independence and respect. One composer is in the pantheon of greats. The other has unjustifiably become an historical footnote, and the man who is arguably the world’s greatest virtuoso double bassist is out to right this wrong!

Double bassist Gary Karr, one of the greatest living string virtuosos, presents the world premiere recordings of trios by late Baroque composer François-Hippolyte Barthélemon, coupled with his edition of string trios by Barthélemon’s friend and colleague Georg Frideric Handel. Karr is joined by his longtime keyboard collaborator Harmon Lewis and MET orchestra past concertmaster Elmira Darvarova. A must-have recording for fans of double bass, baroque music, and just plain terrific music-making!

George Frideric Handel: Sonata in g minor, Op. 2 No. 8
I. Andante • II. Allegro [energico] • III. Largo • IV. Allegro [con fermezza]

François-Hippolyte Barthélemon: Duetto I in C Major
I. Allegro moderato • II. Andante con variazioni • III. Allegretto

Barthélemon: Duetto II in A Major
I. Allegro moderato • II. Adagio • III. Rondeau. Allegretto

Handel: Sonata in E Major, Op. 2 No. 9
I. Adagio • II. Allegro • III. Adagio • IV. Allegro

Gary Karr, double bass
Elmira Darvarova, violin
Harmon Lewis, continuo

Produced by Gary Karr

Urlicht AudioVisual UAV-5993

CD release date: July 16, 2013

Legendary Double Bassist Gary Karr on Urlicht

Gary Karr is the world’s leading double bass soloist — a phenomenal musician and pedagogue whose playing and teaching have revolutionized the way in which the lowest instrument in the string family is heard.

Urlicht AudioVisual is pleased to announce its first release with Gary Karr, joined by his longtime artistic collaborator Harmon Lewis and the first woman concertmaster of the MET Orchestra, Elmira Darvarova. The disc showcases the music of two European Baroque masters who reached their artistic zenith outside of their native countries in London: Georg Frideric Handel, a giant among Baroque composers, and François-Hippolyte Barthélemon, a French violinist of the generation after Handel who counted Haydn among his friends and colleagues.

Karr. Darvarova, and Lewis eschew the trends of scholarly, so-called “authentic” performance practice, bringing warm cantabile playing and robust energy to Handel’s Trio Sonatas Op. 2 Nos. 8 and 9, and puckish playfulness alternating with beautiful contrapuntal melodies in Barthélemon’s unjustly neglected Duettos.

Handel • Barthélemon | European Baroque Masters in London is scheduled for release in July 2013 and will be distributed in the US and Canada through E One Entertainment.