I wasn't expecting this kind of reaction at all. I thought, here's another nice little release from ever adventurous Harmonia Mundi dedicated to little known music by even lesser known composers of the Hamburg musical establishment; lovely, but, ultimately, forgettable. Wrong, wrong, wrong. True that, with the exception of Handel and, to a lesser degree, Keiser, these composers won't ring any bells in the minds of even the more knowledgeable classical music lover, but that is of little importance here. On every level, this disc pleases. The music is wonderful in all respects, with catchy melodies, counterpoint, orchestration and abounding with fresh and clever ideas. Akademie fur Alte Musick Berlin's playing is wholly committed and they imbue these works with a sense of musical relevance and merriment that is both admirable and downright infectious and if that weren't enough, the vibrancy and warmth of the recording just bathes the music in splendid colors. Everything sparkles like multifaceted jewels caught in a flood of lights. This release is a MUST HAVE for any lover of baroque music and if what is featured on this disc is any indication of the level artistry common at the Hamburg Opera, I, for one, say bring on the other composers, because these are genuine treats.