This recording, made on period instruments, is sheer delight. The double CD set runs for just over two and a half hours, so is very good value at around £10. It is hard to imagine that it took Handel only a month to compose the complete set. The slower movements are elegantly played and the faster ones full of vitality. The recording quality is first-rate, so I have no hesitation in giving this CD a firm recommendation. It makes a very good companion to the Corelli Concerti Grossi.
These stylish and vibrant performances of Handel's twelve Opus 6 Concerti Grossi directed by Christopher Hogwood are a joy from start to finish, and at a real bargain price for a double CD. Handel's Opus 6 are amongst his most inventive and attractive works, as impressive and important in a way as Bach's Brandenburg Concertos, though entirely string based. Wonderful recordings!
This set of the Opus 6 Concerti Grossi is well worth the price. This was an immediate attraction to me as I am a student, but this aspect really is quite insignificant. I was also attracted by the name of Christopher Hogwood, and although I have never encountered this ensemble before, I was much impressed. The sound is clear, without being harsh and the feeling given by the performance is one of lively enjoyment. The sound is well balanced and well controlled. This makes for real excitement as some passages carry a lot strength which the controlled bite of the orchestra emphasises beautifully. The tempi are well chosen and though often extremely quick for the Faster movements, never inappropriately so, and the clarity of the music remains intact throughout. This is aided by excellent recording. The music itself is most enjoyable, :I would certainly recommend it to people, no matter what there experience of music: the vitality of these performances really make listening worth while.
For me, these discs show Baroque playing at its best - original instrument clarity and character without the 'acid-drop' tone, quirky speeds or interpretive oddities adopted by some.
I have not heard these pieces since my student days and that is my great loss, for these have to be among the greatest purely instrumental works to come from the Baroque era; they are certainly up there with the Bach Brandenburg Concertos, but without the wind parts. It is testimony to Handel’s genius that he is able to sustain so much interest writing for strings & harpsichord alone, although originally the concertos would not have been played in sequence such as we might listen to a CD today.
There is a reason why this set has so many good reviews. If you want a reasonably priced, beautifully played and decent recording of these marvellous works, this is the one for you.