I found these performances generally to be quite unpleasant listening. It is easy to tell that these are musicians of the highest order: They play, in terms of skill and feeling, wonderfully. But the way they have chosen to play, to make Handel sound like an Italian composer of the era, is wrongheaded at least, and might even be described, with less kindness, as perverse.
The fact that Handel spent time, in his youth, studying in Italy; and that he wrote so many operas in Italian -- do not make him an Italian composer. The attempt, as it seems to me, to force him to sound like a Vivaldi wannabe, simply backfires for me. It is full of forced and mannered accents, now loud, raw, and harsh; now gentle, low, and sweet -- all alternating without rhyme or reason -- and pretty much without musical-energetic merit. The influence of beautifully singing Italianate melody, during Handel's early education, was quite sufficient to nurture his art...in the opinion of a non-musician.
But, I would give the results three stars anyway for the excellence of the musicians as players. Unfortunately, I can recommend this recording only as a kind of lark, and an exploration into the unusual. But as one who loves so much of Handel, and frankly, so little of the "authentic instrument" movement, I see no way to brighten my judgment of the matter.
Was it the conductor who put them up to it or was the "experiment" done this way by mutual consent? I have no idea. But the results, I regret writing, speak for themselves.