Texte paru dans: / Appeared in:

BBC Music Magazine (10/2019)
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Appréciation d'ensemble / Overall evaluation :

Reviewer: Nicholas Anderson

Handel composed his masterpieces in concerto form in the autumn of 1739 and, in the following year, they were published as Twelve Grand Concertos, Op. 6. Corelli’s concertos, long popular in England, must have been in Handel’s mind – his concertino group likewise consists of two violins and a cello. These performances furthermore include the surviving oboe parts, and by extension bassoon, which Handel added to four of the concertos.


The Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, under leader Bernhard

Forck, offers a lively and lightly articulated account of the first six of the Op. 6 concertos. Handel’s terms of reference are impressively wide, embracing features of the French overture and dance suite and of both Roman (Corelli) and Venetian (Vivaldi) styles. At every turn we are confronted by a level of musical inspiration equal to Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos.


These players seem effortlessly to reach the heart of the music, evidently aware that great music requires neither attention-seeking tweaks nor any need to play to the gallery. The A minor Concerto admirably displays the expressive tenderness of the players, while the D major piece illustrates the livelier side of Handel’s coin. Concertos

Nos 7-12 are sure to follow, and I greatly look forward to them.



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