Album: Al Ayre Español Handel's Memories: A Selection from Grand Concertos Op 6 (Challenge Classics)


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The Independent Culture

Handel composed his Grand Concertos Op 6 in affectionate emulation of Corelli's Concerti Grossi Op 6 from a quarter-century earlier; and, astonishingly, completed all 12 within a single month, thanks to liberal quoting from his previous work.

GC No 8 in C minor, for instance, contains echoes of earlier operatic successes such as Agrippina. The opening GC No 1 in G major establishes the character of these interpretations by Eduardo López Banzo's ensemble Al Ayre Español: the perfectly poised gait of the opening movement, with bounteous viols offering a richly textured timbre that sustains through the galloping Allegro into the tenderly wrought harpsichord part of the Adagio. 

Download: Grand Concerto No 1 in G major; Grand Concerto No 8 in C minor