Handel - Sarabande

Handel took the controversial dance form of the sarabande (banned for its obscenity in some countries) and turned it into one of the baroque period's most popular pieces.

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A sarabande is a dance that originated in Central America back in the sixteenth century. It became popular in the Spanish colonies before making its way to Europe. At first, it was regarded as being rather scandalous, even being banned in Spain for its obscenity. Baroque composers, such as Handel, adopted the sarabande as one of the movements for the suites they were writing at the time.

It was left in obscurity since its composition in the early 1700s, until the director Stanley Kubrick took a shine to it for his 1970s film, Barry Lyndon. At that point, it was as if someone had lit a blue touch paper and retired as film and television directors the world over proclaimed themselves fans. Its most celebrated outing was in a wall-crunching advert for Levi Jeans, which has seen the piece taken on by a new legion of appreciators.

Video: Handel's Sarabande

Handel