This recording uses a chamber-music setting with only four singers that are named (five are needed.) and there are eight instrumentalists. However the recording has a good atmosphere with the intimacy of a small-scale performance, with one player to a part. The chorus is made from the principals. And the performers show that they are experts in the Handel style.
Kym Amps makes a gentle, vulnerable Galatea, with a beautiful tone to her voice. She has excellent phrasing and ornamentation. There is a ripe but tastefully handled bass of David van Asch in Polyphemus, Damon, originally a tenor role, is sung here by a countertenor. And it is done sensitively.
The performance might have been better with more shaping to some parts and perhaps the harpsichord could be more prominent and better intergrated into the sound texture. But the product is very good and still stands up as a good version of this Handel classic.
This is an evergreen and lovely composition and this recording offers a good insight into the magic of the score.
Clearly there are faults in the handling of the score, but it is still an excellent release. A good budget price programme of Handel magic
on 4 December 2011
This is a well-performed versions of this piece, though where other versions use soprani and alti, this one uses a counter-tenor, which may affect your choice, if you do or don't like c-tenors. Very enjoyable