Martin Gester / Arte dei Suonatori

Handel: Twelve Grand Concertos

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Is the world a smaller place in the twenty first century than it was in the eighteenth century? Consider first that this three-disc set on the Swedish BIS label features the Polish period-instrument ensemble Arte dei Suonatori led by French conductor Martin Gester. Then consider that the music they are performing is the Concerto Grossi, Op. 6, of the German-born, Italian-trained, and English-based composer George Frederick Handel. But though half a dozen European countries are thus represented here, the final impression is of unfettered and unblinkered music-making of the highest order. Gester's conducting is light and lively with clear textures, buoyant tempos, and lucid counterpoint. Arte dei Suonatori's playing is crisp and colorful with a tight ensemble plus brilliant soloists. Together, the French conductor and the Polish orchestra turn in infectious performances of these popular works that rival the best period-instrument performances of the digital era for polish, style, and sheer beauty, and the Swedish label grants them clear, bright, and deep super audio digital sound.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
Concerto Grosso in G major, Op.6/1, HWV 319
1
1:36
2
1:45
3
2:28
4
2:29
5
3:11
Concerto Grosso in F major, Op.6/2, HWV 320
6
4:19
7
2:21
8
2:45
9
2:38
Concerto Grosso in E minor, Op.6/3, HWV 321
10
1:16
11
1:58
12
2:27
13
4:31
14
1:36
Concerto Grosso in A minor, Op.6/4, HWV 322
15
2:59
16
3:15
17
2:27
18
2:59
Concerto Grosso in D major, Op.6/5, HWV 323
19
1:36
20
2:09
21
3:24
22
2:18
23
2:30
24
3:23

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
Concerto Grosso in G minor, Op.6/6, HWV 324
1
3:20
2
1:42
3
5:07
4
3:03
5
2:17
Concerto Grosso in B flat major, Op.6/7, HWV 325
6
1:05
7
2:50
8
2:56
9
3:41
10
3:16
Concerto Grosso in C minor, Op.6/8, HWV 326
11
6:27
12
1:46
13
1:46
14
1:09
15
2:53
16
1:16
Concerto Grosso in F major, Op.6/9, HWV 327
17
1:33
18
3:39
19
2:25
20
1:56
21
1:16
22
1:59
Concerto Grosso in D minor, Op.6/10, HWV 328
23
3:48
24
3:27
25
2:13
26
2:44
27
2:12
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