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  Brilliant Classics -
  Handel: Apollo & Dafne - Jed Wentz
  Handel: The Music from "The Alchymist" in B flat major HWV 43, Apollo & Dafne (La Terra e Liberata) HWV 122

Nicola Wemyss (soprano)
Tom Sol (bass)
Michael Borgstede (harpsichord)
Musica ad Rhenum
Jed Wentz (conductor)
Track listing:
  Classical - Opera
Recording type:
Recording info:

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Related titles: 1

Reviews: 1

Review by miguelito54 May 8, 2007 (7 of 8 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
The two works presented here are by a genuine musical genius of but 25 years of age.
The history of "Apollo & Dafne" is rather complicated, and conductor Jed Wentz has researched thoroughly before assembling his own version of the score. It could be seen as a serenata or miniature opera, so it needs an instrumental introduction - Wentz selected Handel's music for Ben Jonson's play "The Alchymist", composed around the same time. Both are played with the same orchestra of 6 violins, 1 viola, 2 celli, 1 bass, 2 oboes, bassoo, flauto traverso, and harpsichord. Composer and conductor get a wonderful sound out of this relatively small band, Wentz' choice of tempos is lively, certainly faster than in previous recordings of these works, but always warm and relaxed. This SACD and Wentz' only other recording of Handel's music, a CD of instrumental works called "The Unknown Handel" (available on Challenge Classics) are a clear sign that this conductor and ensemble are among the best interpreters of Handel on the current scene - more, please! What melodic invention, rhythmic verve! Both singers are perfect: Tom Sol's bass is lithe and agile with a timbre similar to David Thomas', who sang great Handel under Christopher Hogwood's conductorship; Nicola Wemyss is expressive, with a full, round voice, sings with some vibrato, but in a fashion that seems appropriate when compared to contemporary accounts.
The sound (stereo) is not as spectacular and dynamic as one might expect from a DSD recording, but warm, round, and natural, presenting the ensemble as it may sound in a baroque opera house - the focus here is on the music, not the sound.

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Works: 1  

George Frideric Handel - Cantata "Apollo e Dafne (La terra è liberata)", HWV 122