Many thanks to our benefactor from Michigan Lake area.
Gardiner’s 1978 recording with his newly founded English Baroque Soloists shows few signs of its age. Rolfe Johnson’s mellifluous Acis is still the best on disc.
Composer: Georg-Friedrich Händel
Performer: Willard White, Norma Burrowes, Anthony Rolfe Johnson, Martyn Hill
Orchestra: The English Baroque Soloists
Conductor: John Eliot Gardiner
Number of discs: 2
DR-Analysis: DR 16
Size: 3.66 GB
Composed in 1718, Händel’s Acis & Galatea is based on a Greek love story retold in Ovid’s Metamorphoses. Acis loves Galatea, a sea nymph, incurring the wrath of a powerful rival, the Cyclops Polyphemus. Polyphemus kills Acis and the young man is turned into a river.What makes this particular performance interesting is the effort to attain the elusive ideal of authenticity.
As Stanley Sadie pointed out in the liner notes, conductor John Eliot Gardiner has come quite close to this ideal, for he not only creates the original instrumental sound, but also used the five vocal soloists for ensembles, just as Händel would have done since additional singers were not available. Despite its tragic undertones, Acis & Galatea is a musical version of a pastoral, and the opening sinfonia beautifully conjures up the atmosphere of a pastoral world. While there is much charm in Händel’s music, the listeners may discern a spirit of elegant, deliberate restraint, reflected in the pleasing transparence of the music.
Like many Baroque renditions of mythological narratives, Händel’s music is highly stylized, almost to the point of artificiality, and Gardiner’s lightness of touch seems quite appropriate to the composer’s fundamental musical conception of the story. Furthermore, while his clearly articulated tempos imbue the entire performance with an unmistakable structural clarity, Gardiner never fails to adapt his tempos to the narrative requirements of dramatic action. This flexibility is exemplified by Galatea’s aria “Hush, Ye Pretty Warbling Quire!” — in which the delicate accompaniment provides a generous context for the heroine’s bittersweet song of love and longing.
A similar sensitivity to dramatic context is evident in the performance of the chorus “Wretched Lovers! Fate Has Past,” a delicate stylistic synthesis of opulent polyphonic writing, dramatic tension, and expressive balance.
Analyzed folder: /192k Haendel – Acis And Galatea
DR Peak RMS Filename
DR16 -2.85 dB -22.90 dB cleanA.aif
DR16 -2.25 dB -24.38 dB cleanB.aif
DR16 -2.01 dB -22.25 dB cleanC.aif
DR15 -2.17 dB -22.61 dB cleanD.aif
Number of files: 4
Official DR value: DR16
- RCM: Okki Nokki (L’art du son, Clearaudio’s Diamond Cleaner)
- TT: Vintage (1982) Yamaha PX-3
- Cartridge: Sumiko Black Bird
Cartridge: ZYX 50R Bloom
- Phono amp: Audio Research SP15 own tube phono section
- ADC/DAC: RME Fireface UC
- Pre Amp: Audio Research SP15
- Finals: Opera Consonance 9.9 Mono (Tube)
- Speakers: Dali Helikon 400
- Connections: MIT Terminator, Audioquest Emerald, Audioquest Quartz
- Software: iZotope RX 4 Advanced, Adobe Audition CS 5.5, Twisted Wave 1.9
- Super light de-clicking with iZotope, significant clicks manually removing, no de-noising
- DR-Analisys before converting to Flac
- Converting Wave -> Flac: Twisted Wave 1.9
- Artwork: Sony Alpha 350, Epson Perfection V750 Pro, Photoshop CS 5.5
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