Bernhard Forck / Akademie für Alte Musik, Berlin

Handel: Concerti grossi Op. 6 (7-12)

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The center of gravity of the historical performance movement has shifted south to Italy and west to the Netherlands since the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin came on the scene in 1982, but the group's silvery sound, even when recorded in what to these ears is an over-reverberant Nikodemuskirche in Berlin, still has plenty of fans. This release, one of a series of three devoted to Handel's Concerti Grossi, shows why. The group, by the standards of 2020, is large, but the ensemble is precise and quite impressive in the fugues and the other contrapuntal movements in which Handel attempted to outdo Corelli, his model in these works. They follow the sonata da camera model of a sequence of dances rather than the three-movement Vivaldian concerto grosso form, and to an extent, these pieces are to Corelli what Bach's Brandenburg Concertos are to Vivaldi: dense yet brilliant takes of the form. This all plays to the strengths of the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin and its machine-like sheen. Buyers have their choice of Handel instrumental music recordings that follow the current manner, with smaller ensembles, sharper attacks, and a more dramatic approach shaped by opera, but these performances succeed on their own terms, and there is still plenty of life in this approach.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
Concerto grosso in B-flat Major Op. 6, No. 7 (HWV 325)
1 01:04 Amazon
2 02:41 Amazon
3 02:45 Amazon
4 03:32 Amazon
5 03:18 Amazon
Concerto grosso in C Minor Op. 6, No. 8 (HWV 326)
6 04:30 Amazon
7 01:31 Amazon
8 01:48 Amazon
9 01:15 Amazon
10 02:59 Amazon
11 01:16 Amazon
Concerto grosso in F Major Op. 6, No. 9 (HWV 327)
12 01:29 Amazon
13 03:37 Amazon
14 02:51 Amazon
15 01:53 Amazon
16 01:23 Amazon
17 01:57 Amazon
Concerto grosso in D Minor Op. 6, No. 10 (HWV 328)
18 03:48 Amazon
19 02:48 Amazon
20 02:08 Amazon
21 02:54 Amazon
22 01:37 Amazon
Concerto grosso in A Major Op. 6, No. 11 (HWV 329)
23 04:17 Amazon
24 01:34 Amazon
25 00:44 Amazon
26 03:54 Amazon
27 05:45 Amazon
Concerto grosso in B Minor Op. 6, No. 12 (HWV 330)
28 01:49 Amazon
29 03:18 Amazon
30 02:48 Amazon
31 00:35 Amazon
32 02:10 Amazon
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