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John Eliot Gardiner - 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)

John Eliot Gardiner

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Semele, HWV 58 (Georg Friedrich Händel)

1
Overture (Live)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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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