Handel's Acis & Galatea - Dunedin Consort - OpusHD (translation)

Handel's Acis and Galatea tells the story of Acis, a young Sicilian shepherd who was the son of Faunus and Symaethis. The love bestowed on him by Galatee is his undoing, for the cyclop Polyphene, also in love with Galatee, "whiter than the privet, more abloom than glistening prairies" will not hear of it. "More finely waisted than the alder, more exhuberantly bosomed than chrystal", Polyphene comes upon the lovers and kills Acis. Galatee then prays to the gods to metamorphose the blood of her lover into a river which still todays floods Etna's base. Along with a group of soloists of the first order; Susan Hamilton (Galatee), Nicholas Mulroy (Acis), Thomas Hobbs (Damon), Nicholas Hurndall Smith (Coridon), Mathew Brook (Polyphemus), John Butt and the Dunedin Consort & Players enchant Handel's pastoral opera from start to finish with intoxicating verve. Far more so than in their recent recording of the Messiah, the group deploys colors that are both suave and sparkling. Conducting forcefully to the last note, but with perfect balance, John Butt brings the best out of not just individual instruments, but also the singers, chorus and orchestra. This is the original version of 1718, which was given in Cannons, England. In pure DSD, the sound on this SACD is just as miraculous, and will make both audiophile and music lover rejoice.

30 March 2009