Concerti grossi op.6
Orfeo • 1 CD • 63min
Order No.: C 831 151 A
G.F. Händel: Concerto grosso G major op. 6 No. 1 HWV 319
G.F. Händel: Concerto grosso g minor op. 6 No. 6 HWV 324
G.F. Händel: Concerto grosso d minor op. 6 No. 10 HWV 328
G.F. Händel: Concerto grosso b minor op. 6 No. 12 HWV 330
G.F. Händel: Concerto grosso C major HWV 318 (Alexander's Feast)
Stuttgarter Kammerorchester (Orchester)
Michael Hofstetter (Dirigent)
Michael Hofstetter has long been one of the most sought-after conductors in the world. He has a broad repertoire stretching over several different epochs, and in 2015 his invitations range from the Styriarte Graz to the Houston Grand Opera. The Baroque is undoubtedly one of Hofstetter’s main areas of expertise – his affinity for the works of George Frideric Handel has been often proven at venues such as the Handel Festival in Karlsruhe and English National Opera in London.
C 831 151 AHofstetter was chief conductor of the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra from 2006 to 2013, and together they have now recorded Handel’s Concerti grossi Nos. 1, 6, 10 and 12 from his Opus 6 collection, along with the concerto grosso Alexander’s Feast. This last concerto, dating from 1736, was composed while Handel was still lord of the operatic world in London. Nevertheless, it already displays many characteristics familiar from his later concertos, with its sparkling allegro opening, its pastoral Largo, the rich counterpoint of its fugue and its dancelike final movement. Handel’s subsequent concerti grossi offer one highpoint of the genre after another – and the masterful, transparent performances of the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra under Michael Hofstetter do full justice to this music, from the Musette of Concerto No. 6 – described by Romain Rolland as “one of the most luminous visions of pastoral happiness” – to the French-influenced forms of overture and air in the tenth concerto or the twelfth concerto with its powerful beginning that opens out into supreme elegance and virtuosity. The concerti grossi op. 6 are justly regarded as the highpoint of Handel’s instrumental oeuvre, on a par with Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier and his Brandenburg Concertos. Handel’s works stand at the end of an era, and he knew how to incorporate aspects of the new “galant” style, moulding highly original works of music out of seemingly incompatible elements and in the process creating an impressive coda to the genre of the Baroque concerto grosso.
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