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English Baroque Soloists - Handel: Semele, HWV 58 (Live)

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Handel: Semele, HWV 58 (Live)

English Baroque Soloists, Hugo Hymas, Louise Alder, John Eliot Gardiner

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Opera or oratorio? The question has remained unanswered since the disastrous creation of Semele in Covent Garden in 1744. Attacked by both opera critics and devotees, both parties accusing him of turning theatres into temples by playing his oratorios, Handel was no longer popular in the British capital. In doing so, he reconnected with Greek mythology through Ovid and his librettists in a work intended to satisfy both sides.


Semele contains several large passages, including a splendid quartet in the first act, which was extremely rare at the time. But it was a complete failure and the new work was on display only for four short evenings. John Eliot Gardiner first recorded Semele at the beginning of the 80s for Erato Records, to varying degrees of success. He revisited the work in 2019 for a series of concerts given in Paris, Barcelona, Milan (La Scala), Rome and London, where the new version was recorded on 2nd May 2019.


Gardiner sets the record straight in a way with this recording that does full justice to this hybrid work thanks to excellent soloists, starting with soprano Louise Alder in the title role. His great sensitivity, the rich palette of vocal colours and the touching expressiveness are all incredibly admirable. The protagonists surrounding him, mezzo-soprano Lucile Richardot, tenor Hugo Hymas, countertenor Carlo Vistoli, bass Gianluca Buratto and a few soloists from the choir, complete a coherent and flawless cast. As an untiring discoverer of new voices, Sir John Eliot Gardiner gives a beautiful impetus to this work. The Monteverdi Choir and the English Baroque Soloists are as sparkling as ever. © François Hudry/Qobuz

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Handel: Semele, HWV 58 (Live)

English Baroque Soloists

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Semele, HWV 58 (Georg Friedrich Händel)

1
Overture (Live)
English Baroque Soloists
00:04:55

George Frideric Handel, Composer - John Eliot Gardiner, Conductor - English Baroque Soloists, Orchestra, MainArtist

(C) 2020 SDG (P) 2020 SDG

Semele, HWV 58, Act I (Georg Friedrich Händel)

2
Gavotte (Live)
English Baroque Soloists
00:01:43

George Frideric Handel, Composer - John Eliot Gardiner, Conductor - English Baroque Soloists, Orchestra, MainArtist

(C) 2020 SDG (P) 2020 SDG

Semele, HWV 58, Act I Scene 1 (Georg Friedrich Händel)

3
Behold! Auspicious Flashes Rise (Live)
Dan D’Souza
00:01:31

George Frideric Handel, Composer - John Eliot Gardiner, Conductor - English Baroque Soloists, Orchestra - Dan D’Souza, Artist, MainArtist

(C) 2020 SDG (P) 2020 SDG

4
Lucky Omens Bless Our Rites (Live)
English Baroque Soloists
00:03:14

George Frideric Handel, Composer - John Eliot Gardiner, Conductor - English Baroque Soloists, Orchestra, MainArtist - Monteverdi Choir, Choir

(C) 2020 SDG (P) 2020 SDG

5
Daughter, Obey (Live)
Carlo Vistoli
00:01:01

George Frideric Handel, Composer - John Eliot Gardiner, Conductor - English Baroque Soloists, Orchestra - Gianluca Buratto, Artist - Carlo Vistoli, Artist, MainArtist

(C) 2020 SDG (P) 2020 SDG

6
Ah Me! (Live)
Louise Alder
00:01:00

George Frideric Handel, Composer - John Eliot Gardiner, Conductor - English Baroque Soloists, Orchestra - Louise Alder, Artist, MainArtist

(C) 2020 SDG (P) 2020 SDG

7
O Jove! In Pity Teach Me Which to Choose (Live)
Louise Alder
00:01:57

George Frideric Handel, Composer - John Eliot Gardiner, Conductor - English Baroque Soloists, Orchestra - Louise Alder, Artist, MainArtist

(C) 2020 SDG (P) 2020 SDG

8
Alas! She Yields (Live)
Lucile Richardot
00:00:44

George Frideric Handel, Composer - John Eliot Gardiner, Conductor - English Baroque Soloists, Orchestra - Lucile Richardot, Artist, MainArtist - Carlo Vistoli, Artist

(C) 2020 SDG (P) 2020 SDG

9
Why Dost Thou Thus Untimely Grieve (Live)
Gianluca Buratto
00:02:59

George Frideric Handel, Composer - John Eliot Gardiner, Conductor - English Baroque Soloists, Orchestra - Gianluca Buratto, Artist, MainArtist - Lucile Richardot, Artist - Carlo Vistoli, Artist - Louise Alder, Artist

(C) 2020 SDG (P) 2020 SDG

10
Avert These Omens, All Ye Pow'rs (Live)
English Baroque Soloists
00:02:01

George Frideric Handel, Composer - John Eliot Gardiner, Conductor - English Baroque Soloists, Orchestra, MainArtist - Monteverdi Choir, Choir

(C) 2020 SDG (P) 2020 SDG

11
Again Auspicious Flashes Rise (Live)
Gianluca Buratto
00:00:59

George Frideric Handel, Composer - John Eliot Gardiner, Conductor - English Baroque Soloists, Orchestra - Gianluca Buratto, Artist, MainArtist - Carlo Vistoli, Artist - Louise Alder, Artist

(C) 2020 SDG (P) 2020 SDG

12
Cease, Cease Your Vows, 'Tis Impious to Proceed (Live)
English Baroque Soloists
00:00:33

George Frideric Handel, Composer - John Eliot Gardiner, Conductor - English Baroque Soloists, Orchestra, MainArtist - Monteverdi Choir, Choir

(C) 2020 SDG (P) 2020 SDG

Semele, HWV 58, Act I Scene 2 (Georg Friedrich Händel)

13
Turn, Hopeless Lover, Turn Thy Eyes (Live)
Lucile Richardot
00:00:44

George Frideric Handel, Composer - John Eliot Gardiner, Conductor - English Baroque Soloists, Orchestra - Lucile Richardot, Artist, MainArtist - Carlo Vistoli, Artist

(C) 2020 SDG (P) 2020 SDG

14
Your Tuneful Voice My Tale Would Tell (Live)
Carlo Vistoli
00:04:41

George Frideric Handel, Composer - John Eliot Gardiner, Conductor - English Baroque Soloists, Orchestra - Carlo Vistoli, Artist, MainArtist

(C) 2020 SDG (P) 2020 SDG

15
Too Well I See (Live)
Lucile Richardot
00:00:47

George Frideric Handel, Composer - John Eliot Gardiner, Conductor - English Baroque Soloists, Orchestra - Lucile Richardot, Artist, MainArtist - Carlo Vistoli, Artist

(C) 2020 SDG (P) 2020 SDG

16
You've Undone Me (Live)
Lucile Richardot
00:02:36

George Frideric Handel, Composer - John Eliot Gardiner, Conductor - English Baroque Soloists, Orchestra - Lucile Richardot, Artist, MainArtist - Carlo Vistoli, Artist

(C) 2020 SDG (P) 2020 SDG

Semele, HWV 58, Act I Scene 3 (Georg Friedrich Händel)

17
Ah! Wretched Prince (Live)
Gianluca Buratto
00:00:34

George Frideric Handel, Composer - John Eliot Gardiner, Conductor - English Baroque Soloists, Orchestra - Gianluca Buratto, Artist, MainArtist - Carlo Vistoli, Artist

(C) 2020 SDG (P) 2020 SDG

Semele, HWV 58, Act I Scene 4 (Georg Friedrich Händel)

18
Hail Cadmus, Hail! (Live)
English Baroque Soloists
00:01:23

George Frideric Handel, Composer - John Eliot Gardiner, Conductor - English Baroque Soloists, Orchestra, MainArtist - Monteverdi Choir, Choir

(C) 2020 SDG (P) 2020 SDG

19
Endless Pleasure, Endless Love (Live)
Angharad Rowlands
00:05:34

George Frideric Handel, Composer - John Eliot Gardiner, Conductor - English Baroque Soloists, Orchestra - Monteverdi Choir, Choir - Angharad Rowlands, Artist, MainArtist

(C) 2020 SDG (P) 2020 SDG

DISC 2

Semele, HWV 58, Act II (Georg Friedrich Händel)

1
Sinfonia (Live)
English Baroque Soloists
00:01:31

George Frideric Handel, Composer - John Eliot Gardiner, Conductor - English Baroque Soloists, Orchestra, MainArtist

(C) 2020 SDG (P) 2020 SDG

Semele, HWV 58, Act II Scene 1 (Georg Friedrich Händel)

2
Iris, Impatient of Thy Stay (Live)
Lucile Richardot
00:00:46

George Frideric Handel, Composer - John Eliot Gardiner, Conductor - English Baroque Soloists, Orchestra - Lucile Richardot, Artist, MainArtist - Emily Owen, Artist

(C) 2020 SDG (P) 2020 SDG

3
There, from Mortal Cares Retiring (Live)
Emily Owen
00:02:54

George Frideric Handel, Composer - John Eliot Gardiner, Conductor - English Baroque Soloists, Orchestra - Lucile Richardot, Artist - Emily Owen, Artist, MainArtist

(C) 2020 SDG (P) 2020 SDG

4
Awake, Saturnia, from Thy Lethargy! (Live)
Lucile Richardot
00:01:48

George Frideric Handel, Composer - John Eliot Gardiner, Conductor - English Baroque Soloists, Orchestra - Lucile Richardot, Artist, MainArtist - Emily Owen, Artist

(C) 2020 SDG (P) 2020 SDG

5
Hence, Iris, Hence Away (Live)
Lucile Richardot
00:03:34

George Frideric Handel, Composer - John Eliot Gardiner, Conductor - English Baroque Soloists, Orchestra - Lucile Richardot, Artist, MainArtist

(C) 2020 SDG (P) 2020 SDG

Semele, HWV 58, Act II Scene 2 (Georg Friedrich Händel)

6
Come, Zephyrs, Come, While Cupid Sings (Live)
Angela Hicks
00:05:40

George Frideric Handel, Composer - John Eliot Gardiner, Conductor - English Baroque Soloists, Orchestra - Angela Hicks, Artist, MainArtist

(C) 2020 SDG (P) 2020 SDG

7
O Sleep, Why Dost Thou Leave Me (Live)
Louise Alder
00:03:22

George Frideric Handel, Composer - John Eliot Gardiner, Conductor - English Baroque Soloists, Orchestra - Louise Alder, Artist, MainArtist

(C) 2020 SDG (P) 2020 SDG

Semele, HWV 58, Act II Scene 3 (Georg Friedrich Händel)

8
Let Me Not Another Moment (Live)
Louise Alder
00:00:17

George Frideric Handel, Composer - John Eliot Gardiner, Conductor - English Baroque Soloists, Orchestra - Louise Alder, Artist, MainArtist

(C) 2020 SDG (P) 2020 SDG

9
Lay Your Doubts and Fears Aside (Live)
Hugo Hymas
00:03:09

George Frideric Handel, Composer - John Eliot Gardiner, Conductor - English Baroque Soloists, Orchestra - Hugo Hymas, Artist, MainArtist

(C) 2020 SDG (P) 2020 SDG

10
You Are Mortal and Require (Live)
Hugo Hymas
00:00:25

George Frideric Handel, Composer - John Eliot Gardiner, Conductor - English Baroque Soloists, Orchestra - Hugo Hymas, Artist, MainArtist

(C) 2020 SDG (P) 2020 SDG

11
With Fond Desiring (Live)
Louise Alder
00:02:55

George Frideric Handel, Composer - John Eliot Gardiner, Conductor - English Baroque Soloists, Orchestra - Louise Alder, Artist, MainArtist

(C) 2020 SDG (P) 2020 SDG

12
How Engaging, How Endearing (Live)
English Baroque Soloists
00:02:49

George Frideric Handel, Composer - John Eliot Gardiner, Conductor - English Baroque Soloists, Orchestra, MainArtist - Monteverdi Choir, Choir

(C) 2020 SDG (P) 2020 SDG

13
Ah, Me! (Live)
Louise Alder
00:01:09

George Frideric Handel, Composer - John Eliot Gardiner, Conductor - English Baroque Soloists, Orchestra - Hugo Hymas, Artist - Louise Alder, Artist, MainArtist

(C) 2020 SDG (P) 2020 SDG

14
I Must with Speed Amuse Her (Live)
Hugo Hymas
00:03:47

George Frideric Handel, Composer - John Eliot Gardiner, Conductor - English Baroque Soloists, Orchestra - Hugo Hymas, Artist, MainArtist

(C) 2020 SDG (P) 2020 SDG

15
Now Love That Everlasting Boy Invites (Live)
English Baroque Soloists
00:02:18

George Frideric Handel, Composer - John Eliot Gardiner, Conductor - English Baroque Soloists, Orchestra, MainArtist - Monteverdi Choir, Choir

(C) 2020 SDG (P) 2020 SDG

16
By My Command (Live)
Hugo Hymas
00:01:14

George Frideric Handel, Composer - John Eliot Gardiner, Conductor - English Baroque Soloists, Orchestra - Hugo Hymas, Artist, MainArtist - Louise Alder, Artist

(C) 2020 SDG (P) 2020 SDG

17
Where'er You Walk, Cool Gales Shall Fan the Glade (Live)
Hugo Hymas
00:05:24

George Frideric Handel, Composer - John Eliot Gardiner, Conductor - English Baroque Soloists, Orchestra - Hugo Hymas, Artist, MainArtist

(C) 2020 SDG (P) 2020 SDG

Semele, HWV 58, Act II Scene 4 (Georg Friedrich Händel)

18
Dear Sister, How Was Your Passage Hither? (Live)
Louise Alder
00:00:53

George Frideric Handel, Composer - John Eliot Gardiner, Conductor - English Baroque Soloists, Orchestra - Lucile Richardot, Artist - Louise Alder, Artist, MainArtist

(C) 2020 SDG (P) 2020 SDG

19
But Hark! The Heav'nly Sphere Turns Round (Live)
Lucile Richardot
00:01:53

George Frideric Handel, Composer - John Eliot Gardiner, Conductor - English Baroque Soloists, Orchestra - Lucile Richardot, Artist, MainArtist

(C) 2020 SDG (P) 2020 SDG

20
Prepare Then, Ye Immortal Choir (Live)
Louise Alder
00:02:09

George Frideric Handel, Composer - John Eliot Gardiner, Conductor - English Baroque Soloists, Orchestra - Lucile Richardot, Artist - Louise Alder, Artist, MainArtist

(C) 2020 SDG (P) 2020 SDG

21
Bless the Glad Earth with Heav'nly Lays (Live)
English Baroque Soloists
00:02:46

George Frideric Handel, Composer - John Eliot Gardiner, Conductor - English Baroque Soloists, Orchestra, MainArtist - Monteverdi Choir, Choir

(C) 2020 SDG (P) 2020 SDG

DISC 3

Semele, HWV 58, Act III (Georg Friedrich Händel)

1
Sinfonia (Live)
English Baroque Soloists
00:01:37

George Frideric Handel, Composer - John Eliot Gardiner, Conductor - English Baroque Soloists, Orchestra, MainArtist

(C) 2020 SDG (P) 2020 SDG

Semele, HWV 58, Act III Scene 1 (Georg Friedrich Händel)

2
Somnus, Awake (Live)
Lucile Richardot
00:00:30

George Frideric Handel, Composer - John Eliot Gardiner, Conductor - English Baroque Soloists, Orchestra - Lucile Richardot, Artist, MainArtist - Emily Owen, Artist

(C) 2020 SDG (P) 2020 SDG

3
Leave Me, Loathsome Light (Live)
Gianluca Buratto
00:03:38

George Frideric Handel, Composer - John Eliot Gardiner, Conductor - English Baroque Soloists, Orchestra - Gianluca Buratto, Artist, MainArtist

(C) 2020 SDG (P) 2020 SDG

4
Dull God, Canst Thou Attend the Water's Fall (Live)
Emily Owen
00:00:33

George Frideric Handel, Composer - John Eliot Gardiner, Conductor - English Baroque Soloists, Orchestra - Lucile Richardot, Artist - Emily Owen, Artist, MainArtist

(C) 2020 SDG (P) 2020 SDG

5
More Sweet Is That Name (Live)
Gianluca Buratto
00:02:28

George Frideric Handel, Composer - John Eliot Gardiner, Conductor - English Baroque Soloists, Orchestra - Gianluca Buratto, Artist, MainArtist

(C) 2020 SDG (P) 2020 SDG

6
My Will Obey (Live)
Lucile Richardot
00:01:21

George Frideric Handel, Composer - John Eliot Gardiner, Conductor - English Baroque Soloists, Orchestra - Gianluca Buratto, Artist - Lucile Richardot, Artist, MainArtist

(C) 2020 SDG (P) 2020 SDG

7
Obey My Will, Thy Rod Resign (Live)
Lucile Richardot
00:02:03

George Frideric Handel, Composer - John Eliot Gardiner, Conductor - English Baroque Soloists, Orchestra - Gianluca Buratto, Artist - Lucile Richardot, Artist, MainArtist

(C) 2020 SDG (P) 2020 SDG

Semele, HWV 58, Act III Scene 2 (Georg Friedrich Händel)

8
My Racking Thoughts by No Kind Slumbers Freed (Live)
Louise Alder
00:03:11

George Frideric Handel, Composer - John Eliot Gardiner, Conductor - English Baroque Soloists, Orchestra - Louise Alder, Artist, MainArtist

(C) 2020 SDG (P) 2020 SDG

Semele, HWV 58, Act III Scene 3 (Georg Friedrich Händel)

9
Thus Shap'd Like Ino (Live)
Lucile Richardot
00:01:32

George Frideric Handel, Composer - John Eliot Gardiner, Conductor - English Baroque Soloists, Orchestra - Lucile Richardot, Artist, MainArtist - Louise Alder, Artist

(C) 2020 SDG (P) 2020 SDG

10
Myself I Shall Adore (Live)
Louise Alder
00:06:39

George Frideric Handel, Composer - John Eliot Gardiner, Conductor - English Baroque Soloists, Orchestra - Louise Alder, Artist, MainArtist

(C) 2020 SDG (P) 2020 SDG

Album Description

Opera or oratorio? The question has remained unanswered since the disastrous creation of Semele in Covent Garden in 1744. Attacked by both opera critics and devotees, both parties accusing him of turning theatres into temples by playing his oratorios, Handel was no longer popular in the British capital. In doing so, he reconnected with Greek mythology through Ovid and his librettists in a work intended to satisfy both sides.


Semele contains several large passages, including a splendid quartet in the first act, which was extremely rare at the time. But it was a complete failure and the new work was on display only for four short evenings. John Eliot Gardiner first recorded Semele at the beginning of the 80s for Erato Records, to varying degrees of success. He revisited the work in 2019 for a series of concerts given in Paris, Barcelona, Milan (La Scala), Rome and London, where the new version was recorded on 2nd May 2019.


Gardiner sets the record straight in a way with this recording that does full justice to this hybrid work thanks to excellent soloists, starting with soprano Louise Alder in the title role. His great sensitivity, the rich palette of vocal colours and the touching expressiveness are all incredibly admirable. The protagonists surrounding him, mezzo-soprano Lucile Richardot, tenor Hugo Hymas, countertenor Carlo Vistoli, bass Gianluca Buratto and a few soloists from the choir, complete a coherent and flawless cast. As an untiring discoverer of new voices, Sir John Eliot Gardiner gives a beautiful impetus to this work. The Monteverdi Choir and the English Baroque Soloists are as sparkling as ever. © François Hudry/Qobuz

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