Handel's Acis & Galatea - Dunedin Consort - Sunday Herald
The Dunedin Consort follows its award-winning recordings of Messiah and the Matthew Passion with Handel's exquisite pastoral, Acis & Galatea. Artistic director John Butt has chosen the original performing version dating from 1718, which uses just five solo singers - soprano, three tenors and a bass, who double as a chorus - and a period-instrument ensemble of 12 players. As a narrative, the piece is remarkably static. Handel's score abounds with remarkable beauty, however, and this performance radiates life and personality. The excellent instrumental playing is wonderfully engaging, and particularly enjoyable performances are those of Matthew Brook as an occasionally over-the-top, monstrous Polyphemus, and the very impressive interpretations of young tenor Thomas Hobbs as Damon. Susan Hamilton's Galatea has a girlish quality which is quite endearing if a little on the limp side from time to time, while Nicholas Mulroy is a stylish Acis.