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Handel: Semele / Curnyn, Joshua, Summers, et al

Album Summary

>Handel, George Frideric : Semele
Performers Conductor Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

This 3 CD set represents the first complete recording on period insruments of Handel's 'Semele'. Written at the peak of Handel's powers, and derisively described at its premiere by one critic as "no oratorio but a bawdy opera", this theatrical entertainment is crammed with Handel's most sparkling music: spectacular orchestral numbers and powerful choruses combine with heart-stopping arias, including the popular 'Where'er you walk'.

Gramophone Magazine
... Rosemary Joshua, radiant of tone, dazzling in coloratura, makes Semele far more than an over-sexed airhead. ... a clear first choice for an over-enticing work.

BBC Music Magazine
In the title role, soprano Rosemary Joshua applies light and graceful tone and conveys Semele's wilful, pleasure-seeking nature. As her immortal lover Jupiter, tenor Richard Croft is equally lucid and nimble. This is the first Semele... recorded complete with period instruments. But it's not enough to match John Nelson's vividly theatrical version on modern instruments.

Gramophone Magazine
A most satisfying and enjoyable account of Handel's sex-centred oratorio. Rosemary Joshua catches all of Semele's vanity, her sensuality and her ambition while still managing to make her likeable. If the rest of the cast is a notch below her lead, the whole thing has a wonderful freshness and vitality.


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Works Details

>Handel, George Frideric : Semele
  • Performers: Richard Croft; Rosemary Joshua (Soprano); Gail Pearson (Soprano); Brindley Sherratt (Bass); Stephen Wallace (Countertenor)
  • Conductor: Christian Curnyn
  • Ensemble: Early Opera Company
  • Notes: All Saints' Church, East Finchley, London, England (04/16/2007-04/20/2007)
  • Running Time: 151 min. 10 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Form: Cantata/Oratorio
  • Written: 1743