Notes and Editorial Reviews
This is a hybrid Super Audio CD playable on both regular and Super Audio CD players.
A magical performance of the fully-realised Cannons Acis
John Butt and his Dunedin Consort are on to something here. Not just here with this recording, I mean, but in their work generally. Having bagged a
Gramophone Award two years ago for their revelatory
Messiah, here they are again with more Handel and another superlative performance.
What makes Butt and his ensemble so special is that they seem to transport us back to the composer's time, indeed to the first performances. They make the works seem once again fresh
and, yes, new. Partly this is a matter of doing their homework. For
Acis & Galatea Butt has gone back to the first version, for a handful of singers and a small orchestra. One is instantly transported back to Cannons in 1718. But it doesn't end there. The Dunedins bring a style, a spontaneity to Handel that makes the works feel like a living entertainment. At the same time the scale here is so intimate, so personal, that Susan Hamilton's wonderful Galatea is genuinely moving.
Butt doesn't do star vehicles and his line-up here isn't the most famous in the world. Yet they're a marvellous team, thinking and singing their way into their roles with utter conviction. As the composer's anniversary year dawns, rival Handel sets will have to special indeed to top, or even to approach, this.
-- Gramophone [1/2009]
Works on This Recording
Acis and Galatea, HWV 49 by George Frideric Handel
Thomas Hobbs (Tenor),
Susan Hamilton (Soprano),
Nicholas Mulroy (Tenor),
Nicholas Hurndall Smith (Tenor),
Matthew Brook (Baritone)
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