, January 2009
Roy Goodman, an alert, stylish interpreter of Handel, draws from his baroque orchestra, with its team of international players, a lively reading of this dramatic cantata on a classical theme, written by Handel at the beginning of his career during his stay in Italy. The Overture used here is the Allegro from the Concerto grosso Op. 3, No. 1, with that brisk sequence of brief arias and duets culminating in the longest aria, Cara pianta, with its espansive phrases well sustained by the young baritone, Robert Pomakov. As Dafne, Olga Pasichnyk sounds fresh and girlish. Voices are balanced, forward with the orchestra cleanly focused behind, despite distantly distracting reverberation. But with the attractive suite of incidental music from The Alchemist thrown in for good measure this is a good Naxos bargain.