Acis y Galatea (Literes)

Lola Casariego, Marta Almajano, Xenia Meijer, Maria Luz Álvarez, Marina Pardo, Jordi Ricart, Marisa Roca, Ricard Bordas. Al Ayre Español, dir. Eduardo López Banzo
BMG Classics 05472 77522 2

Exactly contemporary with Handel's famous treatment of the story (1708), Literes' version to a text by Cañizares is very different, less a humanist exploration of pastorale, more a light,elegant allegory fully within the Spanish baroque zarzuela tradition. The gracious music for the lovers is set against the low-comedy of clowns Momo and Tisbe, not to mention the dangerous but ludricrous cyclops Polyfemo, who swiftly murders Acis. The performance by Al ayre español under Banzo is evrey bit as energised and delectable as you'd expect, with Casariego and Almajano outstanding as the doomed lovers. The set cuts much of the original dialogue, but does come with good notes, libretto and translation.