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Classical - Released January 1, 1955 | Universal Music Australia Pty. Ltd.
Let us indulge our elders for a moment. This recording of Handel’s Sosarme in London in 1954 (and in dreadful Italian) gives witness to the sound of the beginning of a great surge in baroque-era interpretations. Such a surge called into question how interpretations of baroque, and all other Western classical periods, have varied up until Stravinksi’s Sacre du printemps on period instruments. While it is difficult to listen to Anthony Lewis’ recording with its voiceless contemporary harpsichords, its cumbersome orchestra and its disorientated singers in unfamiliar territory, there remains the gracious performances of countertenor Alfred Deller in the title role, Nancy Evans’ Erenice and Helen Watts’ Melo. There’s not a lot, but what is there is precious. Anthony Lewis (1915-1983) was a musicologist, conductor, composer and professor of English music who worked strenuously for the rediscovery of music by Handel, Purcell and John Blow by publishing critical texts on their works. As an interpreter, Lewis was most strongly associated with the Oiseau-Lyre label from its creation. Together, they resuscitated a great number of works that were but names to those in the know, most notably the operas by Purcell, Handel, Monteverdi and Rameau. Like a true pioneer, he dedicated his whole life to reviving Baroque music and it’s with this in mind that we should re-listen to his work today. © François Hudry/Qobuz