Handel - Apollo e Dafne | Linn CKD543

Handel - Apollo e Dafne


Usually available for despatch within 2-3 working days

Label: Linn

Cat No: CKD543

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 1

Release Date: 23rd September 2016



Mhairi Lawson (soprano)
Callum Thorpe (bass)
Ensemble Marsyas


Peter Whelan


Handel, George Frideric

Air in F major, HWV410
Air in F major, HWV411
Apollo e Dafne, HWV122
Il Pastor Fido (The Faithful Shepherd), HWV8a (1712 version)
» Overture


Mhairi Lawson (soprano)
Callum Thorpe (bass)
Ensemble Marsyas


Peter Whelan


Apollo e Dafne is one of Handel's most ambitious cantatas, giving an early indication of what was to be a brilliant operatic career in the next thirty years of his life. Having established a fine reputation as an instrumental ensemble with critically acclaimed recordings of music by Zelenka and Fasch, this is the first foray into vocal music for Ensemble Marsyas.

Due to the original overture not surviving, Ensemble Marsyas has substituted Handel’s overture to Il pastor fido; its pastoral nature is perfectly juxtaposed with the more dramatic cantata which follows. Il pastor fido was described by 18th-century music historian Charles Burney as ‘one of the most masterly and pleasing of the kind’.

Joining Ensemble Marsyas for Apollo e Dafne are soprano Mhairi Lawson (Paul McCreesh’s Gabrieli Consort) and bass Callum Thorpe (William Christie’s Les Jardins de Voix).

Fans of Ensemble Marsyas’s instrumental performances will also be pleased to see the inclusion of two recital pieces for wind band, which gives the core members a chance to shine. The Edinburgh based chamber group comprises the best of a new generation of musicians specialising in early music across Europe. Ensemble Marsyas has appeared at the Göttingen Handel Festival, the East Neuk and Lammermuir Festivals, the Great Music in Irish Houses Festival and the Zelenka Festival in Prague.

Both Ensemble Marsyas’ previous recordings were named ‘Chamber Choice’ by BBC Music Magazine and received several 5-star reviews.

Peter Whelan is the founder and Artistic Director of Ensemble Marsyas; directing from the harpsichord, this album marks his conducting debut. Equally at home on modern and historical instruments, Peter Whelan has a diverse repertoire spanning over four centuries and is in constant demand as a soloist, chamber musician and director.


There are cocky arias for Apollo (the rich and weighty voice of Callum Thorpe) and gorgeous passages for the nymph Daphne, sung with finesse if some pointy edges by Mhairi Lawson. But it’s the instrumental playing that stands out: pert, shapely, spicy, full of drama.  Kate Molleson
The Guardian 9 September 2016

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