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Handel: Acis & Galatea SACD
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Handel: Acis and Galatea
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
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
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.
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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