Gluck/Handel: Don Juan

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COMPOSERS: Gluck/Handel
LABELS: Decca Serenata
WORKS: Don Juan
PERFORMER: Academy of St Martin in the Fields/Neville Marriner
CATALOGUE NO: 433 732-2 ADD (1968/72)
This is a disc to prove that period-instrument performances cannot completely supplant those on modern instruments. Strings inevitably sound fuller, but there is plenty of bright and breezy playing from the Academy of St Martin in the Fields. Gluck’s colourful and dramatic ballet score culminates in a suitably fiery consignment of the philanderer to hell, while the orchestral excerpts from Handel’s operas, although more pastoral in mood, are tackled no less wholeheartedly. Matthew Rye