Album: Handel, Royal Fireworks / Due Cori, Zefiro / Bernardini, (D. Harmonia Mundi)

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The Independent Culture

This isn't the loudest or most lavish Musick for the Royal Fireworks but Zefiro's intimately scaled performance has bags of charm.

Instead of the 24 oboes, 12 bassoons, nine trumpets and nine horns that Handel specified, we have three trumpets, oboes and horns, two bassoons and saucily swung notes inégales from the strings. What makes the disc into a must-hear is the pairing with the three Concerto a due cori, Handel's last, ebullient recycling of "greatest hits" from his operas and Italian cantatas.