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Handel: Acis & Galatea SACD


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Amazon.com: 8 reviews
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
More Good Handel from Linn! Dec 10 2008
By Neaklaus - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Once again Linn Records, John Butt, and the Dunedin Consort have delivered
a wonderful Hybrid SACD set of Baroque music. The soloists who are veterins of both the Handel Messiah and Bach St. Matthew Passion recordings which also come highly recommended, bring the characters of this Handelian Masque to brilliant life. The musicians really play the dickens out of the music. John Butt leads the whole thing with good taste and while showing plenty of scholarship, also shows plenty of heart too. A great performance and a great recording from the Consort and Linn
Records.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
happy handel Sept. 22 2009
By Ivor E. Zetler - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I had great pleasure revisiting this delightful Handel composition. Tightly constructed with a succession of delightful arias, this pastoral opera is a treat from start to finish.

This release in the Linn label is the "Original Cannons Performing Version (1718). Although I am sure there are differences to be found here and there, I suspect the average listener (myself included) would not notice any great variations compared to other recorded editions.

As to the performance, I found it highly satisfactory. The orchestral playing under the direction of John [..]is alert, bright and breezy. The singing is also highly accomplished, with the exception of Nicholas Mulroy's Acis. His voice has a somewhat jarring tone which, though not bad, requires some getting used to.

The SACD sound, while on the dry side, has admirable clarity and transparency.
I would chose this issue in preferance to the well performed but less clearly recorded Gardiner version.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Softly, gently, lovely Jan. 24 2013
By George Goldberg - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
A side of Handel uncommonly encountered - not the pyrotechnics of his Italian operas with their strutting castrati and feuding sopranos, nor the majesty of his great choruses, but a lilting, sweet, joyful pastoral, one of his first settings of an English text. Excellent, idiomatic performance with a small ensemble of period instruments and pleasing voices. Lovely.
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Handel's original "Acis" superbly done Dec 30 2008
By Nicholas A. Deutsch - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Handel's "Acis & Galatea," his first major English-language dramatic work, is superb music from start to finish, and is superbly served by this splendid new recording from the enterprising Scottish ensemble the Dunedin Consort & Players under director John Butt. While there have been other fine versions of Handel's original (and preferable) chamber version - only 5 singers (soprano, 3 tenors, bass) and a small group of instruments - Butt has thought anew about the evidence of the manuscript sources and the expressive possibilities of such intimate forces. And while there are no major textual changes - the most important is the restoration of the character of "Coridon" (Tenor 3) who is assigned "Would you gain the tender creature" - every number shows signs of fresh thought, both musical and dramatic, and the results are lovely. This extends to the casting: soprano Susan Hamilton's light, pure voice gives Galatea a poised and innocent, almost adolescent quality, and contrasts sharply (though blending well) with Nicholas Mulroy's virile, more overtly passionate Acis; thus the ultimate incapatibility of immortal sea-nymph and mortal shepherd (think Rusalka or Andersen's Little Mermaid) is highlighted. Matthew Brooks's giant Polyphemus is rightly semi-comic, beautifully sung and fully of witty inflections. Both supporting tenors are excellent. But it's the overall sense of real teamwork (the choruses are gloriously done) and Butt's well-judged leadership, not least in how one numbers leads into the next, plus the fine instrumental work, that make this so satisfying. I think this will be a version of "Acis" to live with.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Great May 26 2015
By Arnout Koeneman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Great performance, excellent singers, although it won't replace Christie's wonderful account on Erato. Tempi can drag at times and don't always feel natural.
And more important: this recording, ditto with Butt's Messiah is marred by somewhat unnatural miking of the vocals, I get a weird karaoke-vibe, in where the vocalist sings along with a recorded track. The voice sounds a tad dryer than the orchestra and is very upfront. This is not with every aria and I don't always feel this as a short-coming, but I certainly would've liked a bit more distance and more natural reverb.
The overall sound is superior to the Christie recording though, warmer and lusher.


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