12 Concerti grossi, Op.6 - The Avison Ensemble - Linn CKD 362 (three discs, hybrid SACD)

Boyd Neel was perhaps first (1936) to bring authenticity to Handel’s Op.6 – Karajan (very late ’60s) being ‘last of the dinosaurs’. Period instruments are pretty well the only choice today, Pavlo Beznosiuk’s group proving eminently stylish, with good tempi, good balance and imaginative detail. Continuo is harpsichord; and Handel’s added wind parts for Nos.1, 2, 5 and 6 are eschewed. Specialist reviewers have given unstinted praise – what deters me are the insistent ‘swells’ on long notes, an effect akin to sucking sliced lemon! The acoustic is very resonant too. Trevor Pinnock on Archiv would be my recommendation.

Sound Quality: 65%