Freiburger Barockorchester / Gottfried von der Goltz / Petra Müllejans Handel: Concerti a Due Cori – AllMusic Review by James Manheim

These Concerti a due cori -- concertos for two choirs (of instruments) -- have occasionally received good recordings; Trevor Pinnock led one some years ago. But they're not common items despite coming from the years in the late 1740s when Handel was revered. Their neglect may result from the fact that the music in them was "recycled": Handel conceived of the concertos as interpolations in operas or oratorios that would let him advertise other works. Most of the movements of the three concertos are based on vocal pieces, some of them very famous (sample the second movement of the Concerto a due cori in B flat major, HWV 332, for an idea). But none of this means the music is anything less than original. The basic concept of taking Italianate melodies and superimposing antiphonal arrangement onto them is novel, and the touches of orchestration Handel applies are consistently absorbing. Horns and winds pick up the vocal lines, resulting in ......

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