- Concerto Grosso in B flat major, Op.3/1, HWV 312
- Concerto Grosso in B flat major, Op.3/2, HWV 313
- Concerto Grosso in G major, Op.3/3, HWV 314
- Concerto Grosso in F major, Op.3/4a, HWV 315
- Concerto Grosso in D minor, Op.3/5, HWV 316
- Concerto Grosso in D major, Op.3/6, HWV 317
Here is a delightful performance of Handel's Opus 3. While not as famous or astonishingly imaginative as his 12 concertos Opus 6, these 6 concertos are still high on the chart of Baroque musical greatness. The jaunty dance that ends the Concerto No. 2 in B-flat would not be out of place in the Water Music, for example, and the Northern Sinfonia play it (on modern instruments) with smiling elegance. Other ensembles may bring more energy to these works, but the Sinfonia, under the direction of Bradley Creswick, imbues these concertos with a lyrical grace, reminding us that Handel was first and foremost a composer of vocal music. Listen to the largo movement of the Concerto No. 1, for example -- an exquisite and poignant aria of intertwining melodies. Cleanly recorded, lovingly performed, with detailed annotations by Naxos's in-house musicologist Keith Anderson, and offered at budget price, this disc is a winner.