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CONCERTO GROSSO Op.6, No. 6 in G minor
GEORGE FRIEDRICH HANDEL (1685-1759)
Although considered by many scholars to be the great master of vocal style Handel is also regarded a master of instrumental style in his sonatas, organ concerti, harpsichord suites and of course his concerti grossi. Whereas Corelli who was thirty years older than Handel and Bach, and is considered together with Stradelli and Torelli as the originator of this genre of orchestral writing the precise date of Corelli�s concerti grossi has never been discovered, but most of Handel�s works are still left to us in the autographs and we know with some certainty that the twelve concerti grossi, op.6, were composed in London in 1739 and were completed in less than a month. He scored the works for solo violins and cello the �concertino obbligato� accompanied by string orchestra and oboes with continuo the �ripieno�. Compared with concertos of a later date the solo instruments have understated bravura passages. As Sonata form evolved and developed the Concerto Grosso was gradually replaced by the Concerto of Mozart�s time, but made a return in the neo-classic forms of the 20th Century when Ernest Bloch and Arnold Schonberg both composed Concerti Grossi.
Better known for his dramatic oratorios, e.g. the Messiah, his instrumental music is no less inspired. The set of Concerti Grossi, Op.6, was written in September and October 1739, all 12 being completed in less than a month�s time. Remarkably, there is no sign of hasty work. Indeed, it is said that Handel�s Concerti Grossi number among the most powerful and important works of their kind in the entire Baroque era. The concertante instruments are two violins and a cello.
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Reviews of HANDEL, G.F. - Concerto Grosso Op, 6 No.6 in G minor - arr. for String Quartet by Gerald Manning
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