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Cat. No. CHAN 3147 Price: £9 No. of discs: 1
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CHAN 3147 - Handel: Acis and Galatea
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Available From: 01 November 2007
Chandos is very pleased to present Handel’s Acis and Galatea in a newly remastered version of the classic Decca recording with the much admired Sir Peter Pears and Dame Joan Sutherland in the title roles. The Philomusica of London is conducted by Sir Adrian Boult. Sir Peter Moores, a long standing devotee of this recording, persuaded Decca to license the master to Chandos for release on the Opera in English label. He has invited Dame Joan Sutherland to come to England to help publicise the release.

Originally released on LP by Decca in 1960, this vintage recording, representing a rare collaboration of Peter Pears and Joan Sutherland, has been out of the catalogue for many years and is sure to make a renewed impact in all its remastered glory. Currently there are no fewer than nine recordings available of the work in one version or another; however; the late Alan Blyth hailed this recorded edition as being as close to definitive as one gets. In particular, Blyth writes that ‘the great strength of this version is Peter Pears whose singing of the Acis aria “Love in her eyes sits playing” is an object lesson in style and beautiful phrasing, perfectly articulated, and with a charming, almost sensuous lilt to its rhythm’.

The CD is sure to be welcomed both by lovers of this infinitely delightful work and of course by fans of Joan Sutherland and Peter Pears.
Reviews

Fans of this style of Baroque music-making will definitely cherish this release, as will those who enjoy its featured singers. With libretto included, and an excellent disc length, you certainly get your money’s worth.
Fanfare

The re-release, in excellent sound, of this 1959 performance of the opera is most welcome. Other performances have come and gone, but none has the glowing personal stamp that Sir Adrian Boult puts on the music, and three of the four soloists have probably never been bettered… At the performance’s centre is Joan Sutherland, young and unadulterated, her diction admirable, her tone almost unbearably beautiful… In the same class is Peter Pears’s Acis.
International Record Review

Commemorating great singers of the past is the chief reason for Chandos’ reissue of a fascinating 1957 performance conducted by Sir Adrian Boult, never available on CD before… Peter Pear’s delivery of Acis’s death scene is movingly delivered.. Joan Sutherland’s best singing here is silvery, limpid, more convincing than any of her other Handel performances on disc.
Gramophone

A massive feather in the cap for Chandos’s Opera in English series, recorded in excellent stereo sound in 1959 and crowned by the great Joan Sutherland’s beguiling performance. Recommended.
Classic FM

The buffed up sound is crystal clear. Losing none of the atmosphere. It is a recording that more than pays revisiting, not least in light of performances since. Adrian Boult conjures perky pastoral elegance from the Philomusica of London. Sutherland is an exquisite feisty Galatea, while Pears’s Acis is divine and immaculately phrased. Marvellous, too, is a reacquaintance with Owen Brannigan’s outsized party-pooper Polyphemus, his superb ‘O ruddier than the cherry’ wonderfully inventive and witty.
The Times

 

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