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Handel: Aci Galatea E Polifemo Import

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 10 2003)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Erato
  • ASIN: B00008LNSV
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
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Disc: 1
1. Andante - Allegro - Andante
2. Allegro
3. Duetto: Sorge il dì (Galatea)
4. Recitativo: Vanti, o cara, il ruscello (Aci/Galatea)
5. Aria: Sforzano a piangere con più dolor (Galatea)
6. Recitativo: E qual nuova sventura (Aci/Galatea)
7. Aria: Che non può la gelosia (Aci)
8. Recitativo accompagnato: Ma qual orrido suono (Galatea/Aci)
9. Recitativo: Ahi! che da l'ombre eterne (Galatea/Aci)
10. Aria: Sibilar l'angui d'Aletto (Polifemo)
See all 22 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Recitativo: Ingrata, se mi nieghi (Polifemo/Galatea/Aci)
2. Aria: Fra l'ombre e gl'orrori (Polifemo)
3. Recitativo: Ma che? non andrà inulta (Polifemo)
4. Aria: Qui l'augel da pianta in pianta (Aci)
5. Recitativo: Giunsi al fin mio tesoro (Galatea/Aci)
6. Aria: Se m'ami, o caro (Galatea)
7. Recitativo: Quì su l'alto del monte (Polifemo/Aci/Galatea)
8. Terzetto: Delce amico amplesso (Aci/Galatea/Polifemo)
9. Recitativo: Or poichè sordi sono (Polifemo/Aci)
10. Aria: Verso già l'alma col sangue (Aci)
See all 18 tracks on this disc

Product Description


Handel’s Aci, Galatea e Polifemo is a product of his early years in Italy, not to be confused with the pastorale Acis and Galatea, written a decade later to an English text. The Italian Aci is a cantata for three voices, really a chamber opera chock-full of gorgeous melodies, many of which Handel lifted for later works. It tells the story of the lovers Aci and Galatea and the jealous giant Polifemo, whose unrequited love for Galatea drives the tragedy. The music ranges from the idyllic to deep, dark arias vividly depicting the characters’ dilemmas.

It demands top-flight singers and gets them here. Piau’s lyric soprano sails lightly through coloratura passages and darkens when the plot turns grim. Mingardo is superb, singing with tremendous feeling in a voice whose richness and ease throughout its range make her depiction of Galatea truly memorable. Naouri’s role may be the most demanding,; requiring a cruelly wide range, from treble A to low D. Just getting those notes would be enough to earn respect, but he not only nails them but sings with feeling, making a real character out of the stage giant. His "Fra l’ombre e gl’orrori" is one of the set's many highlights. The period instruments of Le Concert d'Astrée play with verve and conductor Emmanuelle Haïm paces the work well. A first-rate performance of a neglected Handel masterpiece. --Dan Davis

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0xa80ba4e0) out of 5 stars 3 reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa80e0858) out of 5 stars Exciting young singers, temperamental orchestra Nov. 8 2004
By Leslie Richford - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This all-French production from the year 2002 is one of those recordings that I, as a Handel and early music fan, can without further ado wax enthusiastic about. The music, originally performed in Naples in 1708, is already typically Handelian and sounds just like one would expect one of his operas or oratorios to sound, and, indeed, Handel later plundered many of the numbers for his stage and sacred works; also, there are many striking similarities to 'La Resurrezione', another work Handel produced during his stay in Italy as a young man. The story is, apparently, based on an old Sicilian legend, and is probably better known in the English-language version that Handel composed many years later in London; this Italian version is, however, completely different, with regard both to the music and the text.

On this recording you get to hear three of today's most exciting young Handel singers and an orchestra (Le Concert d'Astrée) which, although I had never heard the name before, seems to have Handel in its blood, so accurately, so temperamentally does it produce the most delightful Handelian tones. Harpsichordist/director Emanuelle Haim demonstrates her mastery at every step, while her singers (Sandrine Piau, soprano; Sara Mingardo, alto; Laurent Naouri, bass) seem to have a natural gifting for this kind of music which flows and warbles as though Handel had had exactly these voices in mind. Laurent Naouri, in particular, has an incredibly difficult part to master, with an enormous range, but in the end one has the feeling that he was scarcely challenged; just listen to Track 2 on CD 2, the aria 'Fra l'ombre e gl'orrori', it is balm for the ears (despite reaching down to D below the bass stave) and gives even this murderous, lustful giant a pensive side that blocks any black-and-white thinking that may occur. But the two female singers are equally wonderful; I found that Sara Mingardo's performance grew on me the more often I listened to these discs, whereas Sandrine Piau's convinced me right from the word 'go'.

The recording quality is A 1, and I have not had any problems with the discs being copy-controlled; I tried them out on my car's CD player and they worked there perfectly well (although this delightful music is really too beautiful to be heard with traffic noise in the background; I recommend a quiet evening at home in front of top-class speakers). The accompanying booklet contains the usual essay, the sung text in four languages and black and white photographs of the singers and Ms. Haim; unfortunately there is no further information about the participants and no details are given as to the instruments played. However, this is absolute five-star material.
HASH(0xa80e0b88) out of 5 stars this is the best performance of this opera available for purchase Dec 29 2014
By Greg Smith - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
In my opinion, this is the best performance of this opera available for purchase. Piau, Mingardo, Naouri, and Le Concert d'Astree, are just an unbeatable combination. Beautiful music, enchantingly sung.
5 of 9 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa80e56a8) out of 5 stars Aci Galatea e Polifemo Aug. 12 2005
By Audrey Sawyer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This is one of Handel's earlier works, written 10 years before Acis & Galatea. The singing is excellent throughout and I enjoyed the whole work tremendously. I withheld the fifth star only because I had recently heard a live broadcast on BBC 3, with Charbel Mattar singing the bass part, which to me was better. There is a wonderful bass aria towards the end of the work - Fra l'ombre e gl'orrori - encompassing a range of two and a half octaves - which is the highlight of the work.