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Anthony Lewis

Handel: Semele (2CD)

A pioneering Handel recording of the 1950s in a new digital remastering, released on Decca CD for the first time.

Listeners who have grown up with period-instrument recordings may find themselves surprised and, like Gramophone’s first reviewer, ‘delighted’ by the sure sense of Handelian style exhibited by both singers and players, guided as they are by the sure and lively hand of Lewis. Ultimately, though, this is Vyvyan’s recording, from the haunting unease she brings to her opening ‘O Jove, in pity teach me’ with its wide, dissonant leaps, to Semele’s sublime death scene, to which Vyvyan brings that directness and emotional truth which was a hallmark of all that she sang.

Semele, HWV 58
(Edited by Julian Herbage)

Jupiter, William Herbert
Cadmus, George Prangnell
Semele, Jennifer Vyvyan
Athamas, John Whitworth
Ino, Helen Watts
Somnus, George James
Apollo, Robert Ellis
Juno, Anna Pollak
Iris, Brenda Griffith

Chorus of priests, augurs, loves, zephyrs, nymphs, swains and attendants
Saint Anthony Singers
New Symphony Orchestra of London
Thurston Dart, harpsichord continuo
Anthony Lewis