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CHAN 0745M
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CHAN 0745
(multiple CD Set)

Handel: Semele

The Classical Shop
release date: November 2007

Recorded in 24 Bit / 96Khz
album available as a Studio Master
Originally recorded in 2007


Early Opera Company

Christian Curnyn

Brindley Sherratt

bass - Cadmus

Brindley Sherratt

bass - Somnus

Hilary Summers

contralto - Ino

Hilary Summers

contralto - Juno

Stephen Wallace

counter-tenor - Athamus

Gail Pearson

soprano - Iris

Rosemary Joshua

soprano - Semele

Richard Croft

tenor - Apollo

Richard Croft

tenor - Jupiter

Chorus of Early Opera Company

Chorus of Loves and Zephyrs; Chorus of Nymphs and Swains; Attendants

Chorus of Early Opera Company

Chorus of Priests and Augurs


All Saints Church, East Finchley, London


Nicholas Anderson


Jonathan Cooper

Paul Quilter


Record Label



Total Time - 169:13
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Handel: Semele

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Semele, HWV 58

  first complete recording on period instruments  
  A musical theatrical entertainment in three acts  
  Based on a libretto by William Congreve  
  Edited by Clifford Bartlett  
1 No. 1. Ouverture. [ ] 2:32
2 Allegro - Adagio - 3:41
3 Gavotte 1:30
  Act I  
  Scene 1  
4 No. 2. Cadmus: 'Behold! auspicious flashes rise!' 1:23
5 No. 3. Chorus: 'Lucky omens bless our rites' 3:15
6 No. 4. Cadmus: 'Daughter, obey' 0:55
7 No. 5. Semele: 'Ah me! What refuge now is left me?' 2:43
8 No. 6. Semele: 'The morning lark to mine accords his note' 7:25
9 No. 7. Athamus: 'See, she blushing turns her eyes' 0:16
10 No. 8. Athamus: 'Hymen, haste, thy torch prepare' 4:46
11 No. 9. Ino: 'Alas! she yields' 0:42
12 No. 10. Cadmus: 'Why does thou thus untimely grieve' 3:02
13 No. 11. Chorus: 'Avert those omens, all ye pow'rs!' 2:00
14 No. 12. Cadmus: 'Again auspicious flashes rise' 0:38
15 No. 13. Athamus: 'Thy aid, pronubial Juno, Athamus implores' 0:14
16 No. 14. Chorus: 'Cease, cease your vows, 'tis impious to proceed' 0:32
  Scene 2  
17 No. 15. Athamus: 'O Athamus, what torture hast thou borne!' 0:29
18 No. 16. Ino: 'Turn, hopeless lover, turn thy eyes' 8:01
19 No. 17. Athamus: 'She weeps! The gentle maid, in tender pity' 0:18
20 No. 18. Athamus: 'Your tuneful voice my tale would tell' 3:50
21 No. 19. Ino: 'Too well I see' 0:43
22 No. 20. Ino: 'You've undone me' 2:26
  Scene 3  
23 No. 21. Cadmus: 'Ah, wretched Prince, doom'd to disastrous love!' - 2:08
  Scene 4  
  Cadmus: 'See, see, Jove's Priests and holy Augurs come'  
24 No. 22. Chorus: 'Hail, Cadmus, hail! Jove salutes the Theban King' 1:30
25 No. 23. Semele: 'Endless pleasure, endless love' 4:50
  Act II  
26 No. 24. Sinfonia. Presto 1:34
  Scene 1  
27 No. 25. June: 'Iris, impatient of thy stay' 0:47
28 No. 26. Iris: 'There, from mortal cares retiring' 3:39
29 No. 27. Juno: 'No more - I'll hear no more' 2:04
30 No. 28. Juno: 'Hence, Iris, hence away' 3:50
  Scene 2  
31 No. 30. Semele: 'O sleep, why dost thou leave me?' 2:54
  Scene 3  
32 No. 31. Semele: 'Let me not another moment' 0:19
33 No. 32. Jupiter: 'Lay your doubts and fears aside' 3:06
34 No. 33. Jupiter: 'You are mortal, and require' 0:17
35 No. 34. Semele: 'With fond desiring' 3:21
36 No. 35. Chorus: 'How engaging, how endearing' 3:04
37 No. 36. Semele: 'Ah me!' - 1:07
  Jupiter: 'Why sighs my Semele?'  
38 No. 37. Jupiter: 'I must with speed amuse her' 3:56
39 No. 38. Chorus: 'Now Love that everlasting boy invites' 2:21
40 No. 39. Jupiter: 'By my command' 1:03
41 No. 40. Jupiter: 'Where'er you walk, cool gales shall fan the glade' 4:56
  Scene 4  
42 No. 41. Semele: 'Dear sister, how was your passage hither?' 0:39
43 No. 42. Ino: 'But hark! the heav'nly sphere turns round' 2:26
44 No. 43. Ino and Semele: 'Prepare then, ye immortal choir' 1:57
45 No. 44. Chorus: 'Bless the glad earth with heav'nly lays' 2:42
  Act III  
46 No. 45. [Sinfonia.] Larghetto e piano per tutto 1:28
  Scene 1  
47 No. 46. Juno: 'Somnus, awake' 0:31
48 No. 47. Somnus: 'Leave me, loathsome light' 3:26
49 No. 48. Iris: 'Dull God, canst thou attend the water's fall' 0:29
50 No. 49. Somnus: 'More sweet is that name' 2:27
51 No. 50. Juno: 'My will obey' 1:14
52 No. 51. Juno: 'Obey my will, thy rod resign' 1:59
  Scene 2  
53 No. 52. Semele: 'My racking thoughts by no kind slumbers freed' 2:42
  Scene 3  
54 No. 53. Juno: 'Thus shap'd like Ino' 1:26
55 No. 54. Semele: 'Myself I shall adore' 7:16
56 No. 55. Juno: 'Be wise, as you are beautiful' 1:48
57 No. 56. Semele: 'Thus let my tanks be paid' 2:20
58 No. 57. Juno: 'Rich odours fill the fragrant air' 0:22
  Scene 4  
59 No. 58. Jupiter: 'Come to my arms, my lovely fair' 2:51
60 No. 59. Jupiter: 'O Semele' 0:06
61 No. 60. Semele: 'I ever am granting' 1:35
62 No. 61. Jupiter: 'Speak, speak your desire' 0:37
63 No. 62. Semele: 'You'll grant what I require' 0:10
64 No. 63. Semele: 'Then cast off this human shape which you wear' 0:16
65 No. 64. Jupiter: 'Ah, take heed what you press' 1:14
66 No. 65. Semele: 'No, no! I'll take no less' 5:12
  Scene 5  
67 No. 66. Jupiter: 'Ah! whither is she gone! unhappy fair!' 3:06
  Scene 6  
68 No. 67. Juno: 'Above measure' 2:22
  Scene 7  
69 No. 68. Semele: 'Ah me! too late I now repent' 3:07
  Scene 8  
70 No. 69. Ino: 'Of my ill-boding dream' 0:12
71 No. 70. Chorus: 'O terror and astonishment!' 4:00
72 No. 71. Ino: 'How I was hence remov'd' 0:41
73 No. 72. Athamus: 'Despair no more shall wound me' 5:07
74 No. 73. Cadmus: 'See from above the bellying clouds descend' 0:14
  Scene 9  
75 No. 74. Sinfonia. [ ] 1:19
76 No. 75. Apollo: 'Apollo comes to relieve your care' 0:43
77 No. 76. All: 'Happy, happy shall we be' 3:02
 Rosemary Joshua soprano - Semele
 Hilary Summers contralto - Ino
 Brindley Sherratt bass - Cadmus
 Stephen Wallace counter-tenor - Athamus
 Richard Croft tenor - Jupiter
 Hilary Summers contralto - Juno
 Gail Pearson soprano - Iris
 Brindley Sherratt bass - Somnus
 Richard Croft tenor - Apollo
 Christian Curnyn
  16-20 April 2007  
No Notes Found.
With Rosemary Joshua’s enchantingly ditzy heroine, Richard Croft’s romantic Jupiter and Hilary Summers as Ino/Juno, this is the most complete and idiomatically sung account on disc of Handel’s closet English Opera
Sunday Times ‘Disc of the Year 2007’

In the title role, soprano Rosemary Joshua applies light and graceful tone and conveys Smemle’s willful, pleasure-seeking nature. As her immortal lover Jupiter, tenor Richard Croft is equally lucid and nimble.
BBC Music Magazine

Chandos’s new entrant is the first early-instrument Semele to be recorded absolutely complete… Thanks no doubt to stage experience as Semele, Rosemary Joshua brings irresistible unforced charm to her every scene. There is character in even the smallest phrases…Chandos provides clear, natural sound.
International Record Review

Christian Curnyn understands the unique tinta of this gorgeous score, and directs his spruce period band with a nice blend of nonchalant elegance and dramatic energy. Tempi are shrewdly judged, rhythms light and supple, and recitatives tumble inevitably into arias…. As at the English National opera, rosemary Joshua, radiant of tone, dazzling coloratura, makes Semele far more than an over-sexed airhead… this becomes a clear first choice for an ever enticing work.


It is superbly sung by the tenor Robert Croft, easily the most sensuous of all recorded Jupiters, while Rosemary Joshua is captivating as Semele – her diamaninte tone and dazzling coloratura technique making nimble work of her gorgeous arias… A must for Handelians, and anyone who doesn’t know one of his most life-enhancing masterpieces.
The Sunday Times

Rosemary Joshua has established herself as one of the foremost interpreters of the role of Semele, the charming, dizzy-headed mortal who falls in love with the king of the gods. She excels at the fearsome coloratura, the warm lyricism, and the sheer fizz of the role. All this comes across in conductor Christian Curnyn’s recording, and there‘s some beautiful support from Richard Croft as Jupiter and counter tenor Stephen Wallce as Semele’s financé Athamus
Classic FM

An obligatory set for Handelians
Goldberg 50

…this new recording becomes the prime recommendation for Handel’s hedonistic masterpiece.
Telegraph Classical CD of the Week

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