Wednesday, 4 June 2008

106. Georg Friedric Handel - Concerti Grossi, op.6 (1739)


Title: Concerti Grossi, Op.6
Performers: Academy Of Ancient Music
Director: Andrew Manze
Year: 1997
Length: 2 hours 20 minutes


Despite all of Handel's musical brilliance nothing in this collection of Concerti Grossi leads me to think that Britain was not a bit of a backwater in musical terms at the time. These Concerti Grossi really show little evolution since the time of Corelli at the beginning of the century.

Handel's individual brilliance is however quite apparent here, but he does nothing much different, He keeps hanging to the old structure of concertos without following the much more current by this time Fast-Slow-Fast Vivaldian structure, but the concertos are saved by his capacity as a composer, there is some very beautiful music here.

Still nothing that will really blow anyone out of the water or which hasn't been done before. Handel is really quite a conservative composer, a brilliant one, but one that sticks to his formulas pretty well. The same can be seen in his operas, after Cesare, the most brilliant of all Opera Serias he goes on to reproduce the same formula less successfully ad infinitum with some slight changes along the way. These Concerti Grossi could easily have been composed 20 years earlier. Pleasant but not amazing.

Final Grade



From Wikipedia:

Handel has generally been accorded high esteem by fellow composers, both in his own time and since. Bach apparently said "[Handel] is the only person I would wish to see before I die, and the only person I would wish to be, were I not Bach." Mozart is reputed to have said of him, "Handel understands effect better than any of us. When he chooses, he strikes like a thunder bolt", and to Beethoven he was "the master of us all". The latter emphasized above all the simplicity and popular appeal of Handel's music when he said, "Go to him to learn how to achieve great effects, by such simple means."

Concerto n.4 Overture:

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Maybe you should listen to Hercules or Theodora and judge if Handel is not an avant garde composer