Various Artists

Best Handel 50

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Virgin Classics' 2011 compilation Best Handel 50 is a generous triple-disc package that provides a broad sampling of the works of George Frederick Handel, one of the titans of Baroque music. Each disc represents a different aspect of Handel's prodigious output: disc 1 presents arias from the Italian operas, which brought Handel his first fortune and fame in England; disc 2 draws on his orchestral and instrumental works, including the Water Music and the Music for the Royal Fireworks; and disc 3 offers vocal and choral excerpts from the sacred oratorios and anthems, masterpieces of his later career that brought him lasting popularity. The 50 tracks are drawn from the extensive EMI catalog, and include many historically informed interpretations by prominent period ensembles and choirs, among more traditional readings. For the most part, the recordings are all-digital, except for two analog selections, which have been digitally mastered, so the sound quality is clean and clear throughout. This set is not essential for listeners who already have good coverage of Handel's major works in their collections, though beginners and casual classical listeners may find this collection a helpful survey, as well as pleasant background music.

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 3:23
Water Music Suite No. 1 in F
2 3:25
3 2:09
4 2:34
5
Air
2:32
6 2:13
7 2:38
8 3:08
Water Music Suite No. 2 in D
9 4:02
10 1:13
Water Music Suite No. 3 in G
11 1:24
12 1:15
Music for the Royal Fireworks
13 2:20
14 2:48
15 2:46
Concerto Grosso, Op. 3/2
16 2:05
17 2:35
18 2:24
Concerto Grosso, Op. 3/4
19 2:39
20 1:40
Concerto Grosso, Op. 6/4
21 2:43
22 2:37
23 2:24
24 2:37
Trio Sonata, Op. 5/4
25 3:58
Solomon
26 2:47
Suite for Keyboard No. 5
27 4:36
blue highlight denotes track pick