HANDEL: Organ Concertos, opus 4 – Matthew Halls, organ/ Sonnerie: Monica Hugget, director & violin – AVIE

by | Sep 20, 2005 | Classical CD Reviews | 0 comments

HANDEL: Organ Concertos, opus 4 – Matthew Halls, organ/
Sonnerie: Monica Hugget, director & violin – AVIE AV2055, 72:25 ****:

This is a terrific performance of Handel’s Opus 4 Organ Concertos, in
outstanding sound. Not only are the tempos spot on, but the style is
bright and witty. The performers seem to be thoroughly enjoying
themselves.

I compared it with the Pinnock/ Standage performance on Archive. The
latter still holds its own both sonically and musically, but the
Huggett / Halls is superior. Take, for example, the second movement of
the second concerto. There’s a lot of humorous interplay between the
organ and orchestra. Huggett / Halls play it to the hilt; Pinnock /
Standage almost completely miss it.

Acoustically, you’re sitting relatively close to the organ, with the
orchestra deployed to either side. This is a more “intimate” recording
than the Pinnock / Standage. There isn’t much else to say about a
recording that’s so easy to recommend for both performances and sound.
Now, where are the Opus 7 concertos?

[There’s a terrific set for both completists and hi-res surround fans
on four Pentatone SACDs with organist Daniel Chorzempa and Jaap
Schröder conducting – all of Op. 4 and 7 plus Concertos Nos. 13 thru
16. We reviewed them previously…Ed.]

– William Sommerwerck

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