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Handel: Semele [Box set]

George Frideric Handel , Christian Curnyn , Orchestra of Early Opera Company , Rosemary Joshua , Richard Croft , Stephen Wallace , Brindley Sherratt , Gail Pearson Audio CD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

Price: $24.90 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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MP3 Music, 77 Songs, 2007 $27.99  
Audio CD, Box set, 2008 $24.90  

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         


Disc 1:

Samples
Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Semele, HWV 58: Overture: ( - ) - 2:33$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Semele, HWV 58: Overture: Allegro - Adagio - 3:41$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Semele, HWV 58: Overture: Gavotte 1:29$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Semele, HWV 58: Act I Scene 1: Behold! Auspicious flashes rise! (Cadmus) 1:23$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Semele, HWV 58: Act I Scene 1: Lucky omens bless our rites (Chorus) 3:14$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Semele, HWV 58: Act I Scene 1: Daughter, obey (Cadmus)0:55$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Semele, HWV 58: Act I Scene 1: Ah me! What refuge now is left me? (Semele) 2:42$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Semele, HWV 58: Act I Scene 1: The morning lark to mine accords his note (Semele) 7:25$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Semele, HWV 58: Act I Scene 1: See, she blushing turns her eyes (Athamus)0:16$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. Semele, HWV 58: Act I Scene 1: Hymen, haste, thy torch prepare (Athamus) 4:45$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. Semele, HWV 58: Act I Scene 1: Alas! she yields (Ino)0:42$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen12. Semele, HWV 58: Act I Scene 1: Why dost thou thus untimely grieve (Cadmus) 3:03$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen13. Semele, HWV 58: Act I Scene 1: Avert these omens, all ye pow'rs! (Chorus) 2:00$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen14. Semele, HWV 58: Act I Scene 1: Again auspicious flashes rise (Cadmus)0:38$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen15. Semele, HWV 58: Act I Scene 1: Thy aid, pronubial Juno, Athamas implores (Athamus)0:13$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen16. Semele, HWV 58: Act I Scene 1: Cease, cease your vows, 'tis impious to proceed (Chorus)0:32$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen17. Semele, HWV 58: Act I Scene 2: O Athamus, what torture hast thou borne! (Athamus)0:28$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen18. Semele, HWV 58: Act I Scene 2: Turn, hopeless lover, turn thy eyes (Ino) 8:01Album Only
listen19. Semele, HWV 58: Act I Scene 2: She weeps! The gentle maid, in tender pity (Athamus)0:17$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen20. Semele, HWV 58: Act I Scene 2: Your tuneful voice my tale would tell (Athamus) 3:50$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen21. Semele, HWV 58: Act I Scene 2: Too well I see (Ino)0:42$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen22. Semele, HWV 58: Act I Scene 2: You've undone me (Ino) 2:26$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen23. Semele, HWV 58: Act I Scene 3: Ah, wretched Prince, doom'd to disastrous love! - Scene 4: See, see, Jove's Priests and holy Augurs come (Cadmus) 2:08$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen24. Semele, HWV 58: Act I Scene 4: Hail, Cadmus, hail! Jove salutes the Theban King (Chorus) 1:29$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen25. Semele, HWV 58: Act I Scene 4: Endless pleasure, endless love (Semele) 4:53$0.99  Buy MP3 


Disc 2:

Samples
Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Semele, HWV 58: Act II: Sinfonia: Presto 1:35$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Semele, HWV 58: Act II Scene 1: Iris, impatient of thy stay (Juno)0:47$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Semele, HWV 58: Act II Scene 1: There, from mortal cares retiring (Iris) 3:39$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Semele, HWV 58: Act II Scene 1: No more, I'll hear no more! (Juno) 2:04$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Semele, HWV 58: Act II Scene 1: Hence, Iris, hence away (Juno) 3:50$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Semele, HWV 58: Act II Scene 2: O sleep, why dost thou leave me? (Semele) 2:54$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Semele, HWV 58: Act II Scene 3: Let me not another moment (Semele)0:19$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Semele, HWV 58: Act II Scene 3: Lay your doubts and fears aside (Jupiter) 3:06$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Semele, HWV 58: Act II Scene 3: You are mortal, and require time to rest (Jupiter)0:17$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. Semele, HWV 58: Act II Scene 3: Aria: With fond desiring (Semele) 3:21$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. Semele, HWV 58: Act II Scene 3: How engaging, how endearing (Chorus) 3:03$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen12. Semele, HWV 58: Act II Scene 3: Ah me! (Semele) - Why sighs my Semele? (Jupiter) 1:07$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen13. Semele, HWV 58: Act II Scene 3: I must with speed amuse her (Jupiter) 3:56$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen14. Semele, HWV 58: Act II Scene 3: Now Love that everlasting boy invites (Chorus) 2:21$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen15. Semele, HWV 58: Act II Scene 3: By my command (Jupiter) 1:03$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen16. Semele, HWV 58: Act II Scene 3: Where'er you walk, cool gales shall fan the glade (Jupiter) 4:55$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen17. Semele, HWV 58: Act II Scene 4: Dear sister, how was your passage hither? (Semele)0:39$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen18. Semele, HWV 58: Act II Scene 4: But hark! the heav'nly sphere turns round (Ino) 2:25$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen19. Semele, HWV 58: Act II Scene 4: Prepare then, ye immortal choir! (Ino, Semele) 1:56$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen20. Semele, HWV 58: Act II Scene 4: Bless the glad earth with heav'nly lays (Chorus) 2:45$0.99  Buy MP3 


Disc 3:

Samples
Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Semele, HWV 58: Act III: Sinfonia: Larghetto e piano per tutto 1:28$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Semele, HWV 58: Act III Scene 1: Somnus, awake! Ease thy reclining head! (Juno)0:31$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Semele, HWV 58: Act III Scene 1: Leave me, loathsome light (Somnus) 3:25$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Semele, HWV 58: Act III Scene 1: Dull God, canst thou attend the water's fall (Iris)0:30$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Semele, HWV 58: Act III Scene 1: More sweet is that name (Somnus) 2:26$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Semele, HWV 58: Act III Scene 1: My will obey (Juno) 1:14$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Semele, HWV 58: Act III Scene 1: Obey my will, thy rod resign (Juno) 1:58$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Semele, HWV 58: Act III Scene 2: My racking thoughts by no kind slumbers freed (Semele) 2:41$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Semele, HWV 58: Act III Scene 3: Thus shap'd like Ino (Juno) 1:25$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. Semele, HWV 58: Act III Scene 3: Myself I shall adore (Semele) 7:16$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. Semele, HWV 58: Act III Scene 3: Be wise, as you are beautiful (Juno) 1:47$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen12. Semele, HWV 58: Act III Scene 3: Thus let my thanks be paid (Semele) 2:19$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen13. Semele, HWV 58: Act III Scene 3: Rich odours fill the fragrant air (Juno)0:22$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen14. Semele, HWV 58: Act III Scene 4: Come to my arms, my lovely fair (Jupiter) 2:50$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen15. Semele, HWV 58: Act III Scene 4: O Semele (Jupiter)0:06$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen16. Semele, HWV 58: Act III Scene 4: I ever am granting (Semele) 1:34$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen17. Semele, HWV 58: Act III Scene 4: Speak, speak your desire (Jupiter)0:36$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen18. Semele, HWV 58: Act III Scene 4: You'll grant what I require (Semele)0:09$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen19. Semele, HWV 58: Act III Scene 4: Then cast off this human shape which you wear (Semele)0:16$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen20. Semele, HWV 58: Act III Scene 4: Ah, take heed what you press (Jupiter) 1:14$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen21. Semele, HWV 58: Act III Scene 4: No, no! I'll take no less (Semele) 5:12$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen22. Semele, HWV 58: Act III Scene 5: Ah! whither is she gone! unhappy fair! (Jupiter) 3:05$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen23. Semele, HWV 58: Act III Scene 6: Above measure (Juno) 2:23$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen24. Semele, HWV 58: Act III Scene 7: Ah me! too late I now repent (Semele) 3:07$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen25. Semele, HWV 58: Act III Scene 8: Of my ill-boding dream (Ino)0:11$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen26. Semele, HWV 58: Act III Scene 8: Oh, terror and astonishment! (Chorus) 4:00$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen27. Semele, HWV 58: Act III Scene 8: How I was hence remov'd (Ino)0:41$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen28. Semele, HWV 58: Act III Scene 8: Despair no more shall wound me (Athamus) 5:07$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen29. Semele, HWV 58: Act III Scene 8: See from above the bellying clouds descend (Cadmus)0:13$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen30. Semele, HWV 58: Act III Scene 9: Sinfonia 1:19$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen31. Semele, HWV 58: Act III Scene 9: Apollo comes, to relieve your care (Apollo)0:43$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen32. Semele, HWV 58: Act III Scene 9: Happy, happy shall we be (All) 3:06$0.99  Buy MP3 



Product Details

  • Performer: Rosemary Joshua, Richard Croft, Stephen Wallace, Brindley Sherratt, Gail Pearson
  • Orchestra: Orchestra of Early Opera Company
  • Conductor: Christian Curnyn
  • Composer: George Frideric Handel
  • Audio CD (January 8, 2008)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 3
  • Format: Box set
  • Note on Boxed Sets: During shipping, discs in boxed sets occasionally become dislodged without damage. Please examine and play these discs. If you are not completely satisfied, we'll refund or replace your purchase.
  • Label: Chandos Chaconne
  • ASIN: B000WZ7HWW
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #342,929 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Endless Pleasure . . . February 6, 2008
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
First I must disagree with the review offering only two stars. In these matters it becomes something of a matter of personal taste. Reviews have been split on this recording, but a the bulk of major and respectable journals (i.e,., Gramophone, The Guardian, The Times (London), Music and Vision) and a number of others have praised this recording, some bestowing awards upon it - while several other journals of equal repute, have found some flaws. Again, it's a matter of personal taste.

I was surprised to happen upon this fairly recent recording of Semele which I'd
been unaware of entirely up until a few weeks ago. I've been listening to it a
great deal this past week and couldn't be more pleased with this set, and for a
number of good reasons. In addition to being virtually note complete, it is also
the first complete original instrument recording to make it into the market. Oh,
and it's also beautifully performed.

If a little less ripe of voice than I prefer, Rosemary Joshua nonetheless offers a
ravishingly sung, and completely inhabited take on the role, handling all of the
difficulties head on, with pristine coloratura and gleaming tone. Semele's first
great aria, "The morning lark . . . " is sung about as perfectly as one could
want. Some of the reviews have stated Joshua has sacrificed drama for
musical clarity but I wouldn't agree with that at all. To see what I mean,
listen to "O sleep why dost thou leave me," to hear a nearly perfect example
of fusion between emotion, musical intelligence and ability.

Richard Croft has been my favorite Jupiter (and favorite singers) for the better
part of two decades and how thrilling it is to finally have him commit the role
to disc.
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14 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sixth recording of this opera/secular drama- January 12, 2008
Format:Audio CD
This Semele is by the same group that did such a great job with Partenope a couple of years ago (Early Opera Company, conductor Christian Curnyn, soprano Rosemary Joshua, contralto Hilary Summers). Joshua also sang Angelica in Orlando with Les Arts Florissants, and was wonderful in the Venus & Adonis of John Blow from several years ago. I have a special fondness for anything that Norma Burrowes sang, and the old Erato recording by Gardiner and Burrowes as the heroine won't be replaced by this new version. Nevertheless, I'm glad to have this and its probably going to be welcomed by all reviewers, and by Handelians, the hardcore of which don't mind adding to their collections with multiple recordings of the same works. I like this set a lot, Joshua's voice reminds me of Sylvia McNair with her dark tone, and I hope this Early Opera Company considers a couple of other Handel operas that are due for another recording: Amadigi da Gaula & Berenice. Maybe Silla or the pastiche Alessandro ? Highly recommended for Baroque fans and a must-have for Handel lovers.
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10 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars a voice teacher and early music fan March 3, 2008
Format:Audio CD
NOT REALLY VERY WELL-DONE! THERE'S BETTER TO BE HAD!
This oratorio was written at the peak of Handel's powers. It is crammed with his most sparkling music: spectacular orchestral numbers and powerful choruses combine with heart-stopping arias.

Expanding a libretto by William Congreve, Handel's Semele tells of the beautiful mortal, whose short but glorious love affair with Jupiter, King of the Gods, comes to a terrifying end in consequence of both her own vanity and the machinations of Jupiter's instensely jealous wife Juno.

Rosemary Joshua, who sings 'Semele', though rending her music with efficiency and some finesse, does not display the sparkle and emotional depth one should hear in this role. Although the character of 'Semele' is complex for she experiences varying degrees of desperation, yearning, joy and fear throughout the oratorio, the singer must comply. For example her delivery of the aria 'Myself I shall adore.' which should be performed in a zesty and egocentric manner does not come across to the listener. It does not convey the fact that Semele is in love with her own image.

However, there is more character in the performance from the rest of the cast with very fine contributions from Stephen Wallace (countertenor) who plays 'Athamas' and Brindley Sherratt who sings the roles of Cadmus and Somnus (bass). Hillary Summers, as Ino and Juno, has a voice with a somewhat peculiar and annoying quality. In fact, it reminds me of a male falsetto rather than a true contralto, and this makes for disconcerting listening. Richard Croft as Jupiter is adequate, but his voice, while having a pleasing sound in the lower range, is thinner higher up. His famous solo 'Where'er You Walk' was really not memorable.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars My New Favorite March 12, 2008
Format:Audio CD
This new Semele bests the available competition in two areas in particular - the excellence of Rosemary Joshua's voicing of the title role and the use of Handel's complete 1744 text. John Eliot Gardiner's Erato effort of 25 years ago was significantly cut (as was Somary's old Vanguard version). Nelson, on DG employs a more complete text, but with a couple of exceptions, is bested by the new Chandos offering.

As mentioned earlier, Joshua is a very fine Semele. Of the competitors, Norma Burrowes is too much the nymphet and Kathleen Battle too much the diva. Joshua's lovely tone and good technique (a few sketchy trills aside) make the character very appealing. Hilary Summers, also in very good voice is a scheming Juno who tears into the music with relish. As Ino, a doubling that is authentically Handelian, she demonstrates her chops as a vocal actress by offering a portrait of Semele's lovestruck sister that is completely different from the goddess. She does not efface memories of the wonderful Marilyn Horne's work in the competing DG set, but this is a very fine piece of singing.

Richard Croft brings a dark tone to the role of Jupiter and sings with good coloratura technique. His singing is sensitive to the text. Listen, for example, to his touching utterances of regret in "Tis past recall; she must a victim fall." Brindley Sherrat is a sturdy voiced Cadmus and doubles as an appropriately somnolent Somnus.

I don't care much for Stephen Wallace's pallid countertenor as Athamus. Michael Chance is much better for Nelson. The chorus sings lustily and the period instrument orchestra is colorful and technically adept. After all these years of hearing Handel on period instruments, Nelson's admittedly excellent modern band is missing the last measure of color.
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