The destiny of Semele has attracted representatives of many artistic and literary movements, from the seventeenth century down to our own time. But it was in the Baroque era that the expression of the love, the manifestation of the desire, and the excess of ambition of this alluring heroine met their ideal partner in music. For was not an age that saw so many artistic and social upheavals ideally suited to portraying in music the charms exerted by the seductive Semele?
Among these works, we have selected three masterpieces, all named after the eponymous heroine: Sémélé, the final tragédie lyrique of Marin Marais, on an excellent libretto by Antoine Houdar de La Motte, premiered in 1709; the secular cantata by André Cardinal Destouches, published in 1709; and the opera in English by George Frideric Handel, presented in oratorio form in 1744. Through this repertoire, several generations of performers have brought the Greek myth back to life. But no one had hitherto placed these works in a perspective revealing their shared inspiration.
1-5 Marin Marais (1656-1728)
Tragédie sur un livret de Antoine Houdar de La Motte
6-11 André Cardinal Destouches (1672-1749)
Cantate à voix seule avec symphonie sur un texte de Antoine Houdar de La Motte
12-14 Georg Friedrich Handel (1685-1759)
Concerto grosso en fa majeur opus 3 no.4 (HWV 315)
15 Semele (1743)
Opéra sur un livret de William Congreve
16 L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato (1740)
17-23 Tra le fiamme (Il consiglio) (1707)
Cantate sur un texte de Benedetto Pamphili
24-28 Semele (1743)
29-30 Theodora (1750)
Oratorio sur un livret de Thomas Morell
Chantal Santon-Jeffery, soprano
Mélodie Ruvio, alt
Ensemble ”Les Ombres”,
Margaux Blanchard, Sylvain Sartre.
Recorded at the Espace Culturel Joseph Bonnet, Jujurieux, France, June 2013.
Зеркало от Виталия Кассиса (Cassis):
FLAC + booklet