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Handel Concerti Grossi - The Avison Ensemble - The Irish Times


23 July 2010
The Irish Times
Michael Dervan

Handel's Music for the Royal Fireworks and Water Music may get the most attention. But the 12 Concerti Grossi, Op 6, which the composer wrote in 1739, are regarded as his true orchestral masterworks, peaks of the musical baroque to be ranked beside Bach's Brandenburg Concertos and the much earlier concerti grossi of Corelli's Op 6. The Twelve Grand Concertos in Seven Parts , as they were titled on their first publication, are given a bright and breezy al fresco energy by the period instruments players of Newcastle's Avison Ensemble under violinist Pavlo Beznosiuk. And the string tone of the 14-player ensemble has a soft-grained texture that adapts readily to the music's more sombre moments.
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