Collegium Musicum 90 is regarded as one of the finest period ensembles today and their many recordings on Chandos are much admired.
Handel’s Opus 6 Concerti grossi represent a high point in baroque orchestal music and are deservedly popular. The combination of vigorous writing, dance movements, imaginative harmonic and melodic invention, and beautiful slow movements, makes for endlessly enjoyable listening.
The greater part of Handel’s Concerti grossi is contained in two sets: Opus 3 (1734) and Opus 6 (1739). The Opus 6 Concerti were composed in a single burst of creative energy, and published in 1740 under the title of ’Twelve Grand Concertos’. It is most probable that Handel’s publisher, John Walsh, provided the stimulus for writing these concertos; perhaps both he and handel had in mind another faous set of Opus 6 Concertos - those of Arcangelo Corelli - which were published in 1714 and still revered for their elegance and purity of style. Handel’s concertos are rich in harmonic and melodic invention, and he employs a wide variety of forms. Many frin the slow movements the crowning glory of these concertos, although the vigorous writing of the fast movements is no less remarkable. In short, these concertos represent a high point in baroque orchestral music where Handel managed to encapsulate all that was best in the Baroque concerto.