Bach, Telemann, Vivaldi, Albinoni, Marcello, Pachelbel, Purcell, Handel

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COMPOSERS: Albinoni,Bach,Handel,Marcello,Pachelbel,Purcell,Telemann,Vivaldi
LABELS: Teldec Das Alte Werk
ALBUM TITLE: Collection: Musica Barocca
WORKS: Works
PERFORMER: Il Giardino Armonico/Giovanni Antonini
CATALOGUE NO: 8573-85557-2
This is a curious programme in which three mainstream late Baroque works jostle with assorted ‘morçeaux favoris’. Readers may be reassured to know that none of the three Adagios by Albinoni included on the menu is the Adagio, a 20th-century confection which ought, by rights, to crumble into dust beside at least one of the three examples chosen here. Pride of place is given to Bach’s Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D with its celebrated ‘Air’. Il Giardino Armonico plays crisply, but the result is curiously joyless. Vivaldi’s Concerto for flautino in C (RV 443) comes over more successfully, as does Alessandro Marcello’s Oboe Concerto in D minor in the hands of oboist Paolo Grazzi. This is, after all, home ground and, if I do not always enjoy their extravagant gestures and over-emphatic stressing of strong beats, I can respond to their corporate spontaneity. As for the rest, it is, as I have already implied, a somewhat inconsequential pot-pourri which includes a Purcell Chaconne in G minor, the Pachelbel Canon and Gigue, Handel’s sinfonia ‘The Arrival of the Queen of Sheba’ from the third act of his oratorio Solomon, a Grave by Telemann and ‘Greensleeves’, an interloper to an otherwise Baroque bill of fare. Notwithstanding a few strong individual contributions, and notably by Grazzi, this is a disc which affords only intermittent pleasure and which is unlikely to satisfy the ears of discerning connoisseurs. Nicholas Anderson