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Mozart - Serenades and Handel Acis & Galatea

Mozart Colloredo Serenade K.203 and Divertimento K.251

Scottish Chamber Orchestra
Alexander Janiczek - director / violin

Linn CKD 320


G.F. Handel Acis & Galatea HWV 49a
(Original Cannons Performing Version 1718)

Dunedin Consort & Players/John Butt

Susan Hamilton - Galatea
Nicholas Mulroy - Acis
Thomas Hobbs - Damon
Nicholas Hurndall Smith - Coridon
Matthew Brook - Polyphemus

Linn CKD 3219

Two sensationally good CDs from Linn, with all the care of presentation and excellence of recording one has grown to expect from this source.

The Mozart disc is one of entertainment music at its best. The two works are of his late 'teens and date from 1772 & 1774 respectively, the earlier and grander having an embedded violin concerto. We heard them over breakfast on two consecutive days, surely the right way?

There are other accounts of the Serenades you may already have, but for Acis & Galatea ("a masque, a serenata or a miniature opera?" The Observer) there is no competition for this superb realisation of how it went at Cannons (near Edgware) c. 1718, with small chamber forces and the soloists - soprano, three tenors and bass - doubling as chorus.

I should declare an interest. I became very familiar with Acis & Galatea (a masque, a serenata or a miniature opera)during the 50s and 60s, having played sopranino recorder to Polyphemus' bass in one performance and been involved again when my small son was talent-spotted as Damon in Eltham and rocketed to fame by Joan Sutherland at the Festival Hall, launching his brief career as a boy soloist on stage, radio and LPs (see Simon Woolf on Musical Pointers).

I had not heard Acis & Galatea again since those days, so my pleasure on re-aquaintance with this gem of a compact little opera was redoubled.

An important Handel release, it is an absolute must for those who have acquired the Dunedin/Butt Dublin version of Messiah (and vice versa).

Peter Grahame Woolf