Handel: Organ Concertos, Opp. 4 4 7/1, 2, 3, 4

Our rating 
5.0 out of 5 star rating 5.0

WORKS: Organ Concertos, Opp. 4 4 7/1, 2, 3, 4
PERFORMER: Simon Preston (organ); Menuhin Festival Orchestra/Yehudi Menuhin
CATALOGUE NO: CZS 5 72676 2 ADD Reissue (1968-71)
There is a wonderfully invigorating, out-of-doors quality to these vintage performances by Simon Preston. The sense of enjoyment he clearly feels when playing these concertos leaps out from the recordings, made all the more pleasurable by Yehudi Menuhin and his Festival Orchestra’s stylish, light-footed accompaniment. Preston’s brilliant articulation, which in recent years has often taken the focus away from the music, here serves it well, highlighting moments of counterpoint between soloist and orchestra with irresistible verve. By present-day standards, Menuhin’s orchestra sounds huge and those brought up on later recordings of these works might well be taken aback at the forthright approach he adopts. Nevertheless, splendid performances from all. Stephen Haylett