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Handel: Concerti Grossi, Op. 3; Sonata a 5

4.8 out of 5 stars 7 ratings

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Audio CD, Import, Feb. 13 2007
CDN$ 36.51
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Product details

  • Product Dimensions : 12.7 x 14.61 x 1.27 cm; 113.68 Grams
  • Manufacturer : Harmonia Mundi Fr.
  • Manufacturer reference : HMU907415
  • SPARS Code : DDD
  • Label : Harmonia Mundi Fr.
  • ASIN : B000MG2LLS
  • Number of discs : 1
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.8 out of 5 stars 7 ratings

1. I (No. 1 in B-flat Major/G minor)
2. II
3. III
4. I Vivace (No. 2 in B-flat Major)
5. II Largo
6. III Allegro
7. IV
8. V
9. I Largo e staccato- Allegro (No. 3 in G major)
10. II Adagio
11. III Allegro
12. I (No. 4 in F major)
13. II Andante
14. III Allegro
15. IV Allegro
16. I (No. 5 in D minor)
17. II Fuga, Allegro
18. III Adagio
19. IV Allegro, ma non troppo
20. V Allegro

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4.8 out of 5 stars
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5.0 out of 5 stars exceptional
Reviewed in the United States on July 10, 2007
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5.0 out of 5 stars Handel for a New Generation of Listeners
Reviewed in the United States on August 1, 2007
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5.0 out of 5 stars Handel for a New Generation of Listeners
Reviewed in the United States on August 1, 2007
Richard Egarr's new recording of Handel's Concerti Grossi opus 3 with the Academy of Ancient Music is a welcome addition to the existing catalog of Handel performances. We are told that Egarr and the AAM are in the process of be releasing additional new Handel recordings, and if this example is representative of the one's to come, we can only look forward to these with the greatest of expectations.

Handel is greatly known for his famous "Messiah," and is perhaps most revered as an outstanding oratorio writer, but to explore his orchestral works - as few of these as there may be - can be a true joy. It is rumored that Beethoven viewed Handel as the world's greatest composer, particularly being impressed with Handel's ability to do a lot musically with a very small set of instruments. While the Concerti Grossi don't necessarily fit into the description of "small" in terms of their instrumental support, Handel's creative genius bursts forth in both the opus 3 (and even more so in the magnum opus 6). To know these pieces is probably to love them, and one can find oneself endlessly despaired that Handel did not develop more of these extraordinary pieces.

The Academy of Ancient Music, along with its memorable association with Christopher Hogwood, brought the world to understand anew the meaning of "original instruments" beginning in the 1980's. Scores and scores of these works were released by Hogwood and the AAM, most to critical acclaim. There is no question that this effort revolutionized our understanding of classical music, because it helped us to understand and differentiate what we hear in today's modern orchestral "sound" from what the composers heard (and intended) when they originally wrote their pieces. One criticism of the movement, however, has been that some of these performances could sound shrill, and perhaps a touch harsh, and that if restoring the original instrument format resulted in such characteristics, perhaps we should just keep quiet and enjoy the fuller sonority and richness of the modern instrument format. Egarr's and the AAM's recent Handel entry completely dashes this concern. The music is full, rich, and not harsh. We can enjoy Handel's music in a way that Handel intended, but still have a "smooth" (for lack of a better, more technical, term) sound that is akin to the smoothest of modern instrument performances.

This is why one should look forward to the new recordings promised to come out in this series. It is an exciting thing to see this new focus on Handel's great music, and this is a disc that the Handel listener should richly enjoy. The price is quite steep, but if one considers this is the price we pay for opening up a whole new line of inquiry into the world of Handel, it really can be justified, and perhaps, encouraged. Congratulations both to Egarr and the Academy of Ancient Music for this great new Handel entry.
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Puff Dotty
5.0 out of 5 stars Concerti Grossi Heaven!
Reviewed in the United States on April 27, 2011
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R. Robbins
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb Handel
Reviewed in the United States on May 7, 2007
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6 people found this helpful
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Charles Noel Gendrot
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Reviewed in the United States on August 10, 2017
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