Notes and Editorial Reviews
The Akademie fur 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 fur 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.
Whether you know or have never before heard these seminal 18th-century concertos, you will be rewarded by hearing one of the world’s finest baroque bands deliver its best, well-considered readings–articulate, fast-moving, and stylish, exemplified in instances such as the lively, buoyant Allegro of the A minor concerto HWV 322.
The sound, from the Nikodemuskirche, Berlin, is excellent, adding to the confirmed distinction of this well-managed, competently presented project.
– ClassicsToday.com (David Vernier)