Handel: Concerti grossi Op. 6, Nos. 1-6 (SACD)

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Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, Bernhard Forck

The Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin kickstarts their Handel trilogy with this recording of the first six concerti grossi op. 6. Originally designed as attractive interludes to English oratorio performances, Handel’s concerti grossi soon gained fame as the most appealing orchestral music of the baroque era. Written in London in 1739, towards the end of his career, Handel paid tribute to the immensely popular concerti grossi of Corelli while simultaneously proving his mastery incorporating all musical styles of his times. Led by their concertmaster Bernhard Forck, the players of the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin demonstrate why many consider them the best baroque ensemble of today. This first installment will be followed by the last six concerti grossi op. 6, as well as a recording of the concerti grossi op. 3. The ensemble’s first PENTATONE album, Cantata (2018) with countertenor Bejun Mehta, won a Diapason d’or.

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Handel Concerto grosso in G Major, Op. 6, No.1 (HWV 319)
1 I. A tempo giusto
2 II. Allegro
3 III. Adagio
4 IV. Allegro
5 V. Allegro

Handel Concerto grosso in F Major, Op. 6, No. 2 (HWV 320)
6 I. Andante larghetto
7 II. Allegro 
8 III. Largo 
9 IV. Allegro, ma non troppo

Handel Concerto grosso in E Minor, Op. 6, No. 3 (HWV 321)
10 I. Larghetto
11 II. Andante
12 III. Allegro
13 IV. Polonaise. Andante
14 V. Allegro, ma non troppo

Handel Concerto grosso in A Minor, Op. 6, No. 4 (HWV 322)
15 I. Larghetto affettuoso
16 II. Allegro
17 III. Largo e piano
18 IV. Allegro

Handel Concerto grosso in D Major, Op. 6, No. 5 (HWV 323)
19 I. Larghetto e staccato 
20 II. Allegro
21 III. Presto
22 IV. Largo
23 V. Allegro
24 VI. Menuet. Un poco larghetto

Handel Concerto grosso in G Minor, Op. 6, No. 6 (HWV 324)
25 I. Largo affettuoso
26 II. A tempo giusto
27 III. Musette. Larghetto
28 IV. Allegro
29 V. Allegro