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CONCERTO GROSSO Op.6, No. 7 in B flat Major
Largo, Allegro, Largo e piano, Andante, Hornpipe
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�. The Andante of this 7th Concerto is especially remarkable with its many re-echoed passages of extra-ordinary charm. 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.
The present Concerti grossi in these arrangements appear absolutely in their original form where the autographs show few tempi markings and dynamics, consequently this is reflected in the scores, and where these have been added are wholly editorial.
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