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Handel - Concerti Grossi, Op. 6 / Orpheus Chamber Orchestra

4.8 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Audio CD, August 13, 1996
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Editorial Reviews

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Orpheus plays without a conductor, but their performances lack neither precision nor the necessary flexibility. As far as modern instrument versions of these lovely concertos go, these rank with the best. Particularly gratifying is the discreet continuo, played in the background, as it should be. Too many performances turn these pieces into unintentional harpsichord concertos. Best of all, DG offers this set at a special price (three discs for the price of two). --David Hurwitz

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Concerto No. 1 In G Major HWV 319: A tempo giusto
  2. Concerto No. 1 In G Major HWV 319: Allegro e forte
  3. Concerto No. 1 In G Major HWV 319: Adagio
  4. Concerto No. 1 In G Major HWV 319: Allegro
  5. Concerto No. 1 In G Major HWV 319: Allegro
  6. Concerto No. 2 In F Major: Andante larghetto
  7. Concerto No. 2 In F Major: Allegro
  8. Concerto No. 2 In F Major: Largo - Adagio - Larghetto andante, e piano
  9. Concerto No. 2 In F Major: Allegro, ma non troppo
  10. Concerto No. 3 In E Minor: Larghetto
  11. Concerto No. 3 In E Minor: Andante
  12. Concerto No. 3 In E Minor: Allegro
  13. Concerto No. 3 In E Minor: Polonaise: Andante
  14. Concerto No. 3 In E Minor: Allegro, ma non troppo
  15. Concerto No. 4 In A Minor: Larghetto affecttuoso
  16. Concerto No. 4 In A Minor: Allegro
  17. Concerto No. 4 In A Minor: Largo e piano
  18. Concerto No. 4 In A Minor: Allegro

Disc: 2

  1. Concerto No. 5 In D Major: (Larghetto e staccato)
  2. Concerto No. 5 In D Major: Allegro
  3. Concerto No. 5 In D Major: Presto
  4. Concerto No. 5 In D Major: Largo
  5. Concerto No. 5 In D Major: Allegro
  6. Concerto No. 5 In D Major: Menuet: Un poco larghetto
  7. Concerto No. 6 In G Minor: Larghetto affettuoso
  8. Concerto No. 6 In G Minor: A tempo giusto
  9. Concerto No. 6 In G Minor: Musette: Larghetto
  10. Concerto No. 6 In G Minor: Allegro
  11. Concerto No. 6 In G Minor: Allegro
  12. Concerto No. 7 In B Flat Major: Largo
  13. Concerto No. 7 In B Flat Major: Allegro
  14. Concerto No. 7 In B Flat Major: Largo e piano
  15. Concerto No. 7 In B Flat Major: Andante
  16. Concerto No. 7 In B Flat Major: Hornpipe
  17. Concerto No. 8 In C Minor: Allemande
  18. Concerto No. 8 In C Minor: Grave
  19. Concerto No. 8 In C Minor: Andante allegro
  20. Concerto No. 8 In C Minor: Adagio
  21. Concerto No. 8 In C Minor: Siciliana: Andante
  22. Concerto No. 8 In C Minor: Allegro

Disc: 3

  1. Concerto No. 9 In F major: Largo
  2. Concerto No. 9 In F major: Allegro
  3. Concerto No. 9 In F major: Larghetto
  4. Concerto No. 9 In F major: Allegro
  5. Concerto No. 9 In F major: Menuet
  6. Concerto No. 9 In F major: Gigue: Allegro
  7. Concerto No. 10 In D Minor: Ouverture - Allegro
  8. Concerto No. 10 In D Minor: Air: Lentement
  9. Concerto No. 10 In D Minor: Allegro
  10. Concerto No. 10 In D Minor: Allegro
  11. Concerto No. 10 In D Minor: Allegro moderato
  12. Concerto No. 11 In A Major: Andante larghetto e staccato
  13. Concerto No. 11 In A Major: Allegro
  14. Concerto No. 11 In A Major: Largo e staccato
  15. Concerto No. 11 In A Major: Andante
  16. Concerto No. 11 In A Major: Allegro
  17. Concerto No. 12 In B Minor: Largo
  18. Concerto No. 12 In B Minor: Allegro
  19. Concerto No. 12 In B Minor: Aria: Larghetto e piano
  20. Concerto No. 12 In B Minor: Largo
  21. Concerto No. 12 In B Minor: Allegro


Product Details

  • Performer: George Frideric Handel, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra
  • Audio CD (August 13, 1996)
  • Number of Discs: 3
  • Label: Deutsche Grammophon
  • ASIN: B000001GR7
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #126,892 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

The Orpheus Chamber Orchestra (OCO) comes through again with another fine recording, this time of Handel's Op. 6. It's an expensive set (but with 3 discs, it comes out to a little over $.../disc). It's hard to believe that OCO performs without a conductor. Their playing is crisp, clear, and always cohesive. They have never disappointed me, and Handel's great concerti grossi sound fantastic here. Along with his Watermusic, Op. 6 is considered one of Handel's great contributions to the Baroque period. And in the hands of OCO, Handel's massive opus receives the respect it so justly deserves.
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This is a very very good rendition of Handel's Opus 6, made all the more remarkable by the fact that the OCO performs on modern instruments. Certainly, period instruments have become the rage these days, especially when it comes to the baroque period, but (echoing another reviewer) the OCO manages to make this seem irrelevant.
The baroque style is probably the one musical style for which I have the least enthusiasm. If, for example, I never hear Vivaldi's "Four Seasons" ever again, I won't particularly miss it. Probably this is due to the fact that a lot of baroque music just is very badly & ineptly performed, with great frequency. The music looks deceptively simple; many people who have no business recording their performances are given a false sense of confidence, with often wretched results.
Such is definitely not the case here. The tempi & dynamics demonstrate the wonderful discipline & control that the OCO is known for, and the end product is a wonderfully nuanced performance. Any music lover, even one who doesn't care for baroque music, should find this collection to be thoroughly enjoyable. It doesn't hurt that this is a relatively affordable 3-CD set, either.
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This CD keeps me company everywhere: Good perpetual motion for driving and enough contemplative movements for quiet listening, too. It would be excellent for the classical music novice, also.
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Just a note to add my voice to the emerging chorus - this 3 disc set is currently selling under $10 on amazon from a variety of sellers. At this price it's a downright steal!
The Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, plays these chamber masterworks with the supple phrasing and extroverted flair that instills a sense of fun in their playing.

If you're simply looking for "some Handel", or some chamber music if you "don't really like chamber music" as one wag noted above, you'll be more than satisfied.
If you're looking for an exciting musical experience, you'll be enlightened.

Update 7/11 - Since writing this review, I've acquired recordings by Marriner and Leppard. The former is bland, the latter is quite nicely played. But neither conductor matches the elan of the OCE! I stand by my recommendation!
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Good performances though I don't like to use a lute for continuo.
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