Scholars tend to agree that there is a core of operas which represent handel at the height of his powers. Rodelinda, Giulio Cesare, and Alcina are almost always rated among this select group - but Alcina probably has the most audience appeal. This is a lovely recording of a live performance and it captures the excitement and fizz of a long, and complex, but fabulous performance. harteros is somewhat bland of tone, but forges her way through a formidable role and builds cummulatively to the final scenes with distinction. Kasarova is mis-cast, lacking vocal integrity. I believe the most distinguished achievement of this set must be the conductor, Ivor Bolton, who brings pace, dash, taste and style to the proceedings. Under him, the orchestra brings excitement and tremendous energy. A lovely recording which renews respect for a genius composer and a masterpiece of an opera.