I think Mr Davidson has got it right, though Athalia, a fair bit of the music of which was recycled in this serenata, isn't a work I know very well. If you look at the libretto first you will expect the music to be formulaic and worthy, full of unimpeachable sentiment. and obviously tailored to an occasion. (Hyperion are, however, to be congratulated on using Oldmixon's contemporary original translation, which isn't singable, but is "authentic"). So the best thing to do is to ignore the libretto and let the music speak. Rather unfortunately it speaks, in this performance, with a pronounced English accent which wouldn't have been there in Handel's time - he used some of the best Italian woman singers of his day, and he clearly expected total and fiery commitment to its sentiments. But you get used to it remarkably quickly, because the music itself is so good, and Carolyn Sampson, Diana Moore and their colleagues do it more than justice, in a cool, elegant way which opens an interesting angle on the piece. Naturally, too, such a neglected Handel work as this still is didn't escape the burgling activities of Sir Thomas Beecham entirely - did anyone else even read the score in his lifetime? What he did to his swag was also, in its way, totally committed, so that occasionally, recognising a familiar arrangement, you expect things to happen which don't exactly come about. What does come across is Handel's sure sense of musical and dramatic structure, and his inexhaustible ability to surprise with the simplest of means and the most apparently conventional of techniques in which, suddenly, the bass goes where you are not expecting it to, a solo line becomes a ravishing duet, inexplicably, and chorus voices begin to interweave in a completely unfamiliar and beautiful pattern. "Parnasso in Festa" doesn't deserve its neglect. This set won't disappoint.