George Frideric Handel (1685-1759): Acis and Galatea
Lucy Crowe, Allan Clayton, Benjamin Hulett, Neal Davies, Bass-baritone, Early Opera Company,Christian Curnyn
The Sunday Times “A must-have for Handelians. Crowe is predictably delicious as Galatea…She is well partnered by Allan Clayton’s heroic Acis…Benjamin Hulett’s Damon supplies the set’s most exquisite singing in Consider, Fond Shepherd… “
Gramophone “… this new one by the Early Opera Company has the edge.”
BBC Music Magazine “Lucy Crowe as Galatyea excels especially in turning words, and word- pictures into sound… Buzzing around the singers are obbligato woodwinds that echo, cut off or extend what the singers are expressing. This is, altogether, a benchmark that will be hard to beat.
Curnyn has hit on a secret that eluded previous interpreters of this work: it was conceived specifically to showcase the beauty of the English language…Channelling Handel’s enthusiasm, Curnyn and his fellow artists forge a musical rhetoric powered by native sonorities…Lucy Crowe as Galatea excels especially in turning words, and word-pictures, into sound…This is, altogether, a benchmark that will be hard to beat.”
Opera magazine, September 2018 “Lucy Crowe’s Galatea is appealing, her singing bright and characterful, attaining tragic dignity after the death of Acis; her ‘Heart, the seat of soft delight’ has a touching, fragile beauty. The orchestral playing is excellent, with particular plaudits going to the oboists.”
Music Web International “The recording at St Jude-on-the-hill is lovely and spacious. Producer Rachel Smith and engineers Jonathan Cooper and Rosanna Fish are to be congratulated.”
Chandos Chaconne SACD CHSA0404-2 2-CD set @ £11 plus P&P
About the CD ….. The award-winning Early Opera Company under the direction of founder Christian Curnyn celebrates the 300th anniversary of the premiere of one of Handel’s most sublime creations: Acis and Galatea.
This unique interpretation is performed as Handel himself specified in the manuscript: supported by fourteen period instruments, the outstanding cast of singers takes on the solo parts as well as the magnificent choruses. This is Handel writing at his highest levels of intimacy and intensity; the music superbly supports the libretto’s evocative portrayal of the story, simultaneously restrained, economical, and deeply moving.
It is exquisite music, and has been the Early Opera Company’s most frequently requested and played performance over the last few years. With the addition of Baroque experts Lucy Crowe and Benjamin Hulett, previously featured on the awardwinning Chandos recording of Serse, this album in surround sound is not only an extraordinary achievement for the company but a must-have for all early music lovers.