Handel's Acis & Galatea - Dunedin Consort - McAlister Matheson Music

New from the Dunedin Consort and Players this month is their second Handel recording, a more-than-worthy successor to their award-winning Messiah. This performance of Acis and Galatea, using the Original Cannons Performing Version from 1718, is scored for the somewhat unusual vocal complement of soprano, three tenors and bass. It combines wonderfully characterised solos and exquisitely balanced chorus singing. Susan Hamilton portrays the nymph Galatea in the purest tones; Matthew Brook's comically repulsive, lecherous giant Polyphemus could not be more of a contrast. His attempt at wooing Galatea (O ruddier than the cherry) puts Bryn Terfel's version firmly in the shade. The tenor roles are equally well taken, the more energetic arias receiving virtuoso performances. John Butt's notes give detailed insight into the historical preparation for this recording, and a full libretto is provided. This pastoral ‘entertainment', recorded in Greyfriars Kirk earlier this year, is one of the freshest and most vibrant recordings I have heard.

McAlister Matheson
06 November 2008