I began my exploration of classical music in the Baroque (The Four Seasons, the Brandenburg Concertos, Handel's Water Music and Organ Concerti, etc...) and the Baroque has remained a favorite. Like many here, however, I have constructed a collection of music that is quite extensive when it comes to Romanticism and early Modernism... but I recognized that my collection of the Classical era was virtually limited to Mozart, Haydn, Early Beethoven (and a few others) and my Baroque collection was not a whole lot better. As I am more intrigued with the Baroque I am trying to build upon that collection first. My collection of Bach is quite inclusive and considering that he is my favorite composer bar none I am well aware where I need to still plug in a few things. I have begun to expand my collection of Vivaldi... especially his operas and vocal music... but it is Handel I am especially interested in getting more of. I have a good number of his instrumental works. Of his operas and oratorios I have the Messiah, Solomon, Alcina, and Rinaldo as well as several recitals (Lieberson, Russell Oberlin, Kozena, Scholl, etc...). What would you recommend as the best opera and oratorios (and recordings) to add to this?
Beyond Bach, Vivaldi, and Handel (and Domenico Scarlatti... of whom I have a good collection of his keyboard works) what recommendations would you have for Frescobaldi, Schutz, Lully, Charpentier, Biber, Telemann, Purcell, and Rameau... all of whom I have but a single disc (or at most, 2).
I didn't add Monteverdi (who seems to be more Renaissance than Baroque... and besides which I have a good collection of him). I also left out Buxtehude who I am also in the process of building a solid collection on including his organ compositions and vocal works by Ton Koopman.
Again... any recommendations including favored recordings would be appreciated.