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Handel's Acis & Galatea - Dunedin Consort - Sunday Times


23 November 2008
Sunday Times
Hugh Canning

After Messiah, Handel's exquisite pastoral is probably his most popular evening-length English-language work, but it has taken a long time for the original 1718 version to establish itself. It took the early-music revival to realise that Acis & Galatea, as conceived, was a consort rather than choral work, written for five solo singers, soprano, three tenors and bass, who joined forces, as in most of Handel's Italian operas, for the choruses. Butt takes advantage of the most up-to-date scholarship, and his Dunedin Consort comprises three stylish tenors, Nicholas Mulroy (Acis), Thomas Hobbs (Damon) and Nicholas Hurndall Smith (Coridon), and a brilliant bass, Matthew Brook (Polyphemus). Others may enjoy Susan Hamilton's Galatea more than I do, but her contribution to the choruses is as fine as any.


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Acis and Galatea (Original Cannons Performing Version 1718)Acis and Galatea (Original Cannons Performing Version 1718)