For consistently amiable, if undemanding entertainment, Albinoni’s concertos, with or without oboe, or oboes, are hard to beat. Christopher Hogwood and the Academy of Ancient Music here perform the 12 concertos contained in the collection published in 1722 as the composer’s Op. 9.
Bob van Asperen's recording of Handel's Organ Concertos Op.7 is the newest addition to the Veritas x2 series. Veritas x2 is a series from Virgin Classics devoted to landmark recordings of early Baroque music. Handel's Organ Concertos contain six organ concertos for organ and orchestra. They were written for performance during Handel's oratorios and contain almost entirely original material. Bob van Asperen leads the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment in this recording.
Monica Huggett and her ensemble Sonnerie scored a hit on Avie with their recording of Handel's Trio Sonatas, Op. 2. They continue their traversal of Handel's chamber works with the Organ Concertos, Op. 4, featuring soloist Matthew Halls, a brilliant young soloist who spins out Handel's endlessly tuneful works with an improvisatory flair that the composer - himself a virtuoso organist - would surely have approved of.
The music of Jean-Joseph de Mondonville, an immediate successor to Rameau and one of the most prominent members of the Parisian musical scene in the middle 18th century, has not been recorded often. He composed in the major genres of the day, including opera, grand motet, and trio sonata, but the odd little sacred motets featured on this album stand aside from all of these.
If Michel Corrette was a little over-enthusiastic in crediting Corelli with the invention of both sonata and concerto form as it was known and understood in the mid-eighteenth century, Roger North had only to judge by the enormous popularity of the Italian master's works in England in the 1720s to deduce that they would be immortal… Monica Huggett…brings a sweetness of tone and a perfection of technical control that cannot but inspire admiration on their own count, but in combination with such unerring musical insight as is to be found here makes these into quite masterly interpretations… The continuo members of Trio Sonnerie are unerringly tasteful in their playing, while Nigel North on theorbo and other plucked instruments is quite stunningly imaginative. North's choice of the baroque guitar and his playing of it in Corelli's Follia Variations is quite inspired.(Tess Knighton)
Antonio Vivaldi was one of the most successful composers of the Baroque era, best known for his iconic set concertos for violin, The Four Seasons. L’Estro Armonico Op.3 is among the most important printed editions of Vivaldi’s concertos; the works immediately met with great acclaim after their publication in 1711, giving way to over 30 reprints in the subsequent 32 years.
Handel’s successful blend of new composition and arrangements of existing pieces in his Op. 4 organ concertos is winningly conveyed by this excellent recording. Van Asperen’s stylish playing and appropriate registration, aided by sensitive orchestral support, emphasise this music’s startling diversity. No. 1’s improvisatory organ solos; the expressive contrast between violin and cello concertino and organ in No. 3, and the enchanting atmosphere of the more delicately scored No. 6 are notable highlights.– Nicholas Rast, BBC Music Magazine