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CD Review

George Frideric Handel

Water Music

  • Water Music, HWV 348-350
  • Organ Concerto #15 in D minor, HWV 304
  • Organ Concerto #13 in F Major "The Cuckoo and the Nightngale", HWV 295
Herbert Tachezi, organ
Concentus Musicus Wein/Nikolaus Harnoncourt
Teldec Das Alte Werk 2564-69259-4 72m ADD/DDD
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[ Reissue of Teldec 93668-2: Amazon - UK - Germany - Canada - France - Japan ]

Being something of a Handel buff of late, I was greatly excited at the prospect of listening to Teldec's reissue of the recording of the Water Music Suites by Harnoncourt. It would be safe to say that I was not in any way disappointed with swift, breakneck tempi and a fantastic sense of occasion being the order throughout.

Although I still retain great affection for Fritz Lehmann's wonderful mono recording on Archiv, Harnoncourt's gallant style is also a wonderful alternative which puts previous ponderous versions to shame. The excerpts such as Hornpipe and Air (Bourrée) come alive in the brash interpretations of the Concentus Musicus Wien who understand their conductor's intentions absolutely to the letter.

The two organ concertos recorded here are also quite winningly done with the prolific Herbert Tachezi playing them with fine panache and vigour, rather similar to Peter Hurford on Decca. As expected, Teldec's recording is excellent on all counts with judicious balance between solo instruments and the full orchestra. Unhesitatingly recommended.

Copyright © 2010, Gerald Fenech