HANDEL Concerti Grossi, Op 3

</s>Mortensen directs the Handel/Walsh concoction</p>

Record and Artist Details

Composer or Director: George Frideric Handel

Genre:

Orchestral

Label: CPO

Media Format: CD or Download

Mastering:

Stereo
DDD

Catalogue Number: CPO7774882

Tracks:

Composition Artist Credit
(6) Concerti grossi George Frideric Handel Composer
Concerto Copenhagen
Lars Ulrik Mortensen
The London music-seller John Walsh published Op 3 in 1734. Experts agree that Walsh probably constructed six concertos from numerous old orchestral compositions (most of them not actually concerti grossi) without Handel’s involvement or authority. Even if overshadowed in critical acclaim by the extraordinary Op 6 collection that Handel composed five years later as a coherent set, Op 3 contains some of his most attractive and diverse orchestral music.

Concerto Copenhagen’s performances ooze abundantly with charm, wisdom and warmth. Passages for recorders, oboes and bassoon during the Largo of Concerto No 1 in B flat are played exquisitely. Courtly rhythms spring disarmingly in the Vivace of Concerto No 2 in B flat; the following Largo is paced a fraction quicker than one often hears it but Lars Ulrik Mortensen’s harpsichord continuo is imaginative in its support for the intimate dialogue between two cellos and Frank de Bruine’s beautifully judged oboe solo. Katy Bircher’s subtle contributions to Concerto No 3 in G major bring to mind the common Baroque opera aria simile of the soft, sweet singing of a nightingale. The Minuet that concludes Concerto No 4 in F major is correctly an elegant dance, the Vivace that begins Concerto No 6 in D major has a surprisingly understated airiness, and Mortensen’s fluent playing of the tricky quick organ solos in the concluding Allegro are articulated flawlessly. Such classy moments make this one of the most endearing artistic interpretations of Op 3 in recent years, which ranks alongside other special recordings such as those by Tafelmusik and the Brandenburg Consort.

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