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Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin|Handel: Concerti grossi, Op. 3

Handel: Concerti grossi, Op. 3

Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, Georg Kallweit

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The Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin's Handel-shaped debut series for Pentatone is very much keeping up the high standards with this third installment, featuring the Opus 3 collection of concerti grossi.

Published by John Walsh in 1734, but more likely to have been written during the 1710s when Handel was newly arrived in London and hopping between its opera house and the homes of wealthy patrons, this collection looks on paper like quite the hodgepodge: a two-movement concerto here, five movements there, four somewhere else.... And the reason is that they were in fact assembled from operatic overtures - and indeed the concept of an orchestral concerto was still very much in its early days back then. For instance, No. 4 was first performed as a second overture in the opera Amadigi, on the orchestra's benefit night on 20 June 1716. In fact only the final movement of No. 6 would appear to date from the 1730s, so for all these separate entities to have ended up in orchestral concerto form in the 1730s is likely to have been thanks to business savviness on the part of Walsh, tapping into Britain's huge appetite for Corelli's Concerti grossi (which Handel was influenced by), and also its burgeoning amateur music scene.

Unlike Corelli's famous Op. 6 Concerti grossi though, Handel's opera-born Opus 3 collection really shines the spotlight on the woodwind, and you hear that right from the off with No. 1 in B-flat. Most gorgeously so in the central Largo, which opens with duetting recorders supported by bassoon, and which as a whole is delivered with immensely elegant sobriety and a lovely flow. Also to be enjoyed in this concerto is the smooth class and affective shaping with which concertmaster Georg Kallweit dispatches his solos in the joyful opening Allegro; the smoothness of the continuo cello's jumping figures No. 2's Largo; the delicacy of the harpsichord's filigree flourish at the end of No. 2's concluding Vivace; the fabulous neatness and bounce at every turn from the bassoons.

Indeed, as with the previous two volumes, nimble neatness, class and polish are the buzzwords across these performances. Plus, in engineering terms, the same satisfying warmth, balance and blend, and pleasing awareness of the Nikodemuskirche acoustic.
In short, another success notched up. © Charlotte Gardner/Qobuz

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Handel: Concerti grossi, Op. 3

Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin

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1
Concerto grosso No. 1 in B-Flat Major, Op. 3, HWV 312: I. Allegro
00:02:25

George Frideric Handel, Composer - Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, Orchestra, MainArtist - Georg Kallweit, MainArtist - Karel Bruggeman, Producer

2020 Pentatone Music B.V. 2020 Pentatone Music B.V.

2
Concerto grosso No. 1 in B-Flat Major, Op. 3, HWV 312: II. Largo
00:03:53

George Frideric Handel, Composer - Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, Orchestra, MainArtist - Georg Kallweit, MainArtist - Karel Bruggeman, Producer

2020 Pentatone Music B.V. 2020 Pentatone Music B.V.

3
Concerto grosso No. 1 in B-Flat Major, Op. 3, HWV 312: III. Allegro
00:01:26

George Frideric Handel, Composer - Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, Orchestra, MainArtist - Georg Kallweit, MainArtist - Karel Bruggeman, Producer

2020 Pentatone Music B.V. 2020 Pentatone Music B.V.

4
Concerto grosso No. 2 in B-Flat Major, Op. 3, HWV 313: I. Vivace
00:01:37

George Frideric Handel, Composer - Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, Orchestra, MainArtist - Georg Kallweit, MainArtist - Karel Bruggeman, Producer

2020 Pentatone Music B.V. 2020 Pentatone Music B.V.

5
Concerto grosso No. 2 in B-Flat Major, Op. 3, HWV 313: II. Largo
00:02:34

George Frideric Handel, Composer - Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, Orchestra, MainArtist - Georg Kallweit, MainArtist - Karel Bruggeman, Producer

2020 Pentatone Music B.V. 2020 Pentatone Music B.V.

6
Concerto grosso No. 2 in B-Flat Major, Op. 3, HWV 313: III. Allegro
00:01:47

George Frideric Handel, Composer - Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, Orchestra, MainArtist - Georg Kallweit, MainArtist - Karel Bruggeman, Producer

2020 Pentatone Music B.V. 2020 Pentatone Music B.V.

7
Concerto grosso No. 2 in B-Flat Major, Op. 3, HWV 313: IV. Menuet
00:01:18

George Frideric Handel, Composer - Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, Orchestra, MainArtist - Georg Kallweit, MainArtist - Karel Bruggeman, Producer

2020 Pentatone Music B.V. 2020 Pentatone Music B.V.

8
Concerto grosso No. 2 in B-Flat Major, Op. 3, HWV 313: V. Gavotte
00:02:52

George Frideric Handel, Composer - Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, Orchestra, MainArtist - Georg Kallweit, MainArtist - Karel Bruggeman, Producer

2020 Pentatone Music B.V. 2020 Pentatone Music B.V.

9
Concerto grosso No. 3 in G Major, Op. 3, HWV 314: I. Largo e staccato
00:00:36

George Frideric Handel, Composer - Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, Orchestra, MainArtist - Georg Kallweit, MainArtist - Karel Bruggeman, Producer

2020 Pentatone Music B.V. 2020 Pentatone Music B.V.

10
Concerto grosso No. 3 in G Major, Op. 3, HWV 314: II. Allegro
00:02:30

George Frideric Handel, Composer - Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, Orchestra, MainArtist - Georg Kallweit, MainArtist - Karel Bruggeman, Producer

2020 Pentatone Music B.V. 2020 Pentatone Music B.V.

11
Concerto grosso No. 3 in G Major, Op. 3, HWV 314: III. Adagio
00:01:04

George Frideric Handel, Composer - Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, Orchestra, MainArtist - Georg Kallweit, MainArtist - Karel Bruggeman, Producer

2020 Pentatone Music B.V. 2020 Pentatone Music B.V.

12
Concerto grosso No. 3 in G Major, Op. 3, HWV 314: IV. Allegro
00:03:51

George Frideric Handel, Composer - Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, Orchestra, MainArtist - Georg Kallweit, MainArtist - Karel Bruggeman, Producer

2020 Pentatone Music B.V. 2020 Pentatone Music B.V.

13
Concerto grosso No. 4 in F Major, Op. 3, HWV 315 "Orchestra": I. Andante - Allegro - Lentamente
00:05:57

George Frideric Handel, Composer - Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, Orchestra, MainArtist - Georg Kallweit, MainArtist - Karel Bruggeman, Producer

2020 Pentatone Music B.V. 2020 Pentatone Music B.V.

14
Concerto grosso No. 4 in F Major, Op. 3, HWV 315 "Orchestra": II. Andante
00:02:07

George Frideric Handel, Composer - Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, Orchestra, MainArtist - Georg Kallweit, MainArtist - Karel Bruggeman, Producer

2020 Pentatone Music B.V. 2020 Pentatone Music B.V.

15
Concerto grosso No. 4 in F Major, Op. 3, HWV 315 "Orchestra": III. Allegro
00:01:26

George Frideric Handel, Composer - Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, Orchestra, MainArtist - Georg Kallweit, MainArtist - Karel Bruggeman, Producer

2020 Pentatone Music B.V. 2020 Pentatone Music B.V.

16
Concerto grosso No. 4 in F Major, Op. 3, HWV 315 "Orchestra": IV. Minuetto alternativo
00:02:33

George Frideric Handel, Composer - Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, Orchestra, MainArtist - Georg Kallweit, MainArtist - Karel Bruggeman, Producer

2020 Pentatone Music B.V. 2020 Pentatone Music B.V.

17
Concerto grosso in D Minor Op. 3 No. 5, HWV 316: I. Grave
00:01:27

George Frideric Handel, Composer - Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, Orchestra, MainArtist - Georg Kallweit, MainArtist - Karel Bruggeman, Producer

2020 Pentatone Music B.V. 2020 Pentatone Music B.V.

18
Concerto grosso in D Minor Op. 3 No. 5, HWV 316: II. Allegro
00:02:19

George Frideric Handel, Composer - Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, Orchestra, MainArtist - Georg Kallweit, MainArtist - Karel Bruggeman, Producer

2020 Pentatone Music B.V. 2020 Pentatone Music B.V.

19
Concerto grosso in D Minor Op. 3 No. 5, HWV 316: III. Adagio
00:01:40

George Frideric Handel, Composer - Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, Orchestra, MainArtist - Georg Kallweit, MainArtist - Karel Bruggeman, Producer

2020 Pentatone Music B.V. 2020 Pentatone Music B.V.

20
Concerto grosso in D Minor Op. 3 No. 5, HWV 316: IV. Allegro ma non troppo
00:01:30

George Frideric Handel, Composer - Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, Orchestra, MainArtist - Georg Kallweit, MainArtist - Karel Bruggeman, Producer

2020 Pentatone Music B.V. 2020 Pentatone Music B.V.

21
Concerto grosso in D Minor Op. 3 No. 5, HWV 316: V. Allegro
00:02:36

George Frideric Handel, Composer - Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, Orchestra, MainArtist - Georg Kallweit, MainArtist - Karel Bruggeman, Producer

2020 Pentatone Music B.V. 2020 Pentatone Music B.V.

22
Concerto grosso in D Major, Op. 3 No. 6, HWV 317: I. Vivace
00:03:14

George Frideric Handel, Composer - Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, Orchestra, MainArtist - Georg Kallweit, MainArtist - Karel Bruggeman, Producer

2020 Pentatone Music B.V. 2020 Pentatone Music B.V.

23
Concerto grosso in D Major, Op. 3 No. 6, HWV 317: II. Allegro
00:03:16

George Frideric Handel, Composer - Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, Orchestra, MainArtist - Georg Kallweit, MainArtist - Karel Bruggeman, Producer

2020 Pentatone Music B.V. 2020 Pentatone Music B.V.

Album review

The Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin's Handel-shaped debut series for Pentatone is very much keeping up the high standards with this third installment, featuring the Opus 3 collection of concerti grossi.

Published by John Walsh in 1734, but more likely to have been written during the 1710s when Handel was newly arrived in London and hopping between its opera house and the homes of wealthy patrons, this collection looks on paper like quite the hodgepodge: a two-movement concerto here, five movements there, four somewhere else.... And the reason is that they were in fact assembled from operatic overtures - and indeed the concept of an orchestral concerto was still very much in its early days back then. For instance, No. 4 was first performed as a second overture in the opera Amadigi, on the orchestra's benefit night on 20 June 1716. In fact only the final movement of No. 6 would appear to date from the 1730s, so for all these separate entities to have ended up in orchestral concerto form in the 1730s is likely to have been thanks to business savviness on the part of Walsh, tapping into Britain's huge appetite for Corelli's Concerti grossi (which Handel was influenced by), and also its burgeoning amateur music scene.

Unlike Corelli's famous Op. 6 Concerti grossi though, Handel's opera-born Opus 3 collection really shines the spotlight on the woodwind, and you hear that right from the off with No. 1 in B-flat. Most gorgeously so in the central Largo, which opens with duetting recorders supported by bassoon, and which as a whole is delivered with immensely elegant sobriety and a lovely flow. Also to be enjoyed in this concerto is the smooth class and affective shaping with which concertmaster Georg Kallweit dispatches his solos in the joyful opening Allegro; the smoothness of the continuo cello's jumping figures No. 2's Largo; the delicacy of the harpsichord's filigree flourish at the end of No. 2's concluding Vivace; the fabulous neatness and bounce at every turn from the bassoons.

Indeed, as with the previous two volumes, nimble neatness, class and polish are the buzzwords across these performances. Plus, in engineering terms, the same satisfying warmth, balance and blend, and pleasing awareness of the Nikodemuskirche acoustic.
In short, another success notched up. © Charlotte Gardner/Qobuz

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