Johann Mattheson: 12 Suites for Harpsichord


Catalogue No: ATH 23301
EAN/UPC: 809730330124
Release Date: June 2017
Discs: 3
Total Playing Time: 171:48

Gilbert Rowland is one of Europe’s most senior and accomplished exponents of the harpsichord. Following his critically acclaimed 6-CD series of the Harpischord Suites of Handel for Divine Art, he presents the equally fine but lesser known Suites by Mattheson, written in 1714. For this album he moves to the Athene imprint specialising now in baroque music and ‘period’ instruments.

This 3-CD set presents the 12 Suites in full, uncut and with repeats observed. The tempi have not been speeded up in order to fit the program on two discs as has happened elsewhere.

Mattheson was a prodigious composer, conductor and was a friend of Handel, though the two did come to blows in the midst of an opera performance. His work follows the traditional ‘dance suite’ format with small variations and is a fine example of excellent baroque music which was not perhaps promoted enough in its own time and is only now once again being rediscovered and appreciated.

Track Listing

    Johann Mattheson:
    Suite No. 1 in D Minor

  1. I. Prelude
  2. II. Allemande & Double
  3. III. Courante & Double
  4. IV. Sarabande
  5. V. Gigue
  6. Suite No. 2 in A Major

  7. I. Tocatine
  8. II. Allemande
  9. III. Courante
  10. IV. Gigue
  11. V. Air
  12. Suite No. 3 in D Major

  13. I. Allemande
  14. II. Courante
  15. III. Sarabande & Double
  16. IV. Gigue
  17. Suite No. 4 in G Minor

  18. I. Allemande
  19. II. Courante
  20. III. Courante à la Fran
  21. IV. Sarabande
  22. V. Gigue
  23. VI. Menuet
  24. Suite No. 5 in C Minor

  25. I. Fantasie
  26. II. Allemande & Double
  27. III. Courante
  28. IV. Air & 2 Doubles
  29. V. Menuet
  30. Suite No. 6 in E Flat Major

  31. I. Prelude
  32. II. Allemande
  33. III. Courante
  34. IV. Air & Double
  35. V.Gigue
  36. VI. Menuet
  37. Suite No. 7 in B Flat Major

  38. I. Prelude
  39. II. Allemande
  40. III. Courante
  41. IV. Gigue
  42. V. Menuet
  43. Suite No. 8 in D Minor

  44. I. Allemande & Double
  45. II. Courante and double
  46. III. Sarabande
  47. IV. Gigue
  48. Suite No. 9 in G Minor

  49. I. Boutade
  50. II. Allemande
  51. III.Courantes I & II
  52. IV. Air
  53. V. Loure
  54. VI. Gigue
  55. Suite No. 10 in E Minor

  56. I. Symphonie
  57. II. Allemande
  58. III. Courante
  59. IV. Sarabande
  60. V. Gigue
  61. Suite No. 11 in C Major

  62. I. Fugue
  63. II. Ouverture
  64. III. Allemande
  65. IV. Courante
  66. V. Sarabande
  67. VI. Menuet
  68. Suite No. 12 in F Minor

  69. I. Ouverture
  70. II. Allemande
  71. III. Courante
  72. IV.Sarabande & 3 Doubles
  73. V. Gigue
  74. VI. Menuets I & II



Rowland makes an excellent argument for Mattheson’s harpsichord suites, which he rightly describes as “of a consistently high quality.” So are his stylistically informed performances. Warmly recommended.

” —Barry Brenesal

Rowland is a top-notch interpreter here, executing every phrase with consummate taste and skill and convincing rhetoric. His detailed booklet notes on each movement of each suite provide sure-footed guidance to the listener, and he is ideally captured by Athene’s recorded sound. Lovers of harpsichord repertoire need not hesitate in making this a major new acquisition to their collections; strongly recommended.

” —James A. Altena

These are, to say the least, wonderful works. Mattheson was an adept and original composer, whose style reflects a thorough knowledge of composition and the concurrent trends of the day. Harpsichordist Gilbert Rowland provides a sensitive and focused interpretation. The sound is clear and airy. In short, this is a must-have disc.

” —Bertil van Boer
The Whole Note

A valuable document shedding some light on the music of a hitherto obscure composer. They are well-conceived mature works written in the French dance suite style.

” —Alex Baran
Gapplegate Classical Modern Music

The “12 Suites” establish for us Mattheson’s idiomatic immersion in the baroque of his time but also a definite originality. The music comes alive thanks to Gilbert Rowland’s apposite and enthusiastic performances. The set will appeal to anyone who revels in baroque harpsichord. I for one am glad to hear and in the future re-hear these unknown gems!

” —Grego Edwards
American Record Guide

The suites are mostly of medium difficulty and moderate inventiveness… Rowland does well to embellish the music, taking it far beyond the notation.

” —Bradley Lehmann
The Chronicle

A triple CD of music for harpsichord in a nice presentation case and well played. Fans of keyboards need know no more. The playing is certainly fine and the music stands up well to Handel’s own harpsichord music… three hours of quality music.

” —Jeremy Condliffe
New Classics

Certainly very musical and original, the Suites deserve to be considered on a level with those of Handel at the very least. These are masterful performances by Rowland, one of Europe’s most senior and accomplished harpsichord experts. Highly recommended.

” —John Pitt

[The Suites] turn out to be worth reviving. Skilfully made and loosely varied in form and texture…, I found them growing on me as Mattheson’s personality became more apparent. Gilbert Rowland’s playing is assured, robust and reliable.

” —Lindsay Kemp
Rafael Music Notes

[Rowland’s] playing is nothing short of excellent, restrained when sobriety is needed, brilliant when brightness is in order, always elegant and technically dazzling. As usual with anything issued by Divine Art, the production by Stephen Sutton and the boxed packaging are first class, the engineering by John Taylor is splendid, the multi-lingual liner notes by Gilbert Rowland himself scholarly yet entertaining. For the inveterate collector this set is well-worth acquiring.

” —Rafael de Acha