Concerto No 1 is scored for two recorders, two oboes, two bassoons, strings (with divided violas) and continuo. It is probably the earliest concerto in the set, although the oldest surviving manuscript score is circa 1724. The imaginative recorder parts in the Largo would probably have been played by one oboist and one bassoonist, who would otherwise be tacet. The disproportionate length of this movement, and the fact that the short final Allegro (featuring the two bassoons) does not return to the home key of B flat major, would suggest that this work may not represent Handel’s final intentions.
from notes by Roy Goodman © 1992