Anthony Lewis - Handel: Sosarme (CD DOUBLE (SLIMLINE CASE))

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Anthony Lewis
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Anthony Lewis - Handel: Sosarme (CD DOUBLE (SLIMLINE CASE)) Alfred Deller's only complete recording of a Handel opera. First staged at the King's Theatre in London in February 1732 and revived two years later, Sosarmewas not heard again in full (if not entirely complete) until a BBC broadcast in January 1955, conducted by Anthony Lewis. Conductor and performers thenmade this recording a month later under the aegis of Louise Hanson-Dyer and her L'Oiseau-Lyre label. 'Though not the best exemplar of Handel's skills as a musical dramatist,' according to the Handel scholar Anthony Hicks, 'Sosarmeconsistently illustrates his greatness as a composer.' The greatest riches of the score are found in the exquisite arias for Sosarmeand Elmira, and above all in their two duets, the first of which ('Per le portedel tormento' in Act 2) transcends its context with music of piercing radiance. It was this recording of Sosarmethat introduced many listeners to Alfred Deller (1912 1979), and to countertenors in general. Deller's unmistakable instrument embodied, by its seeming effortlessness, the art that conceals art. When the harpsichordist and conductor Gustav Leonhardt was once asked whetherhe had ever allowed anyone to tell him how to perform anything, he replied, 'only Deller'.Deller was joined by a cast of British singers who made, with Lewis, several other recordings for L'Oiseau-Lyre that cast both well-known and unfamiliar music in a new and historically informed light. Several have been reissued by Eloquence: among them Semele(4827449), The Fairy Queen(4825063) and sacred works by Couperin (4828542) and Mozart (4825041). 'Some of the finest Handel singing and playing on disc Listen, for instance, to Anthony Lewis's handling of the Allegro of theoverture for an ideal blend of impetus and inner power, to Margaret Ritchie's 'Rendi'lciglio' for exemplary control and expression, to Alfred Deller's 'In milledolcimodi' for exquisite ravishment. And of course, to that famous rendering of the duet 'Per le portedel tormento' in which the talents of all three combine in a perfect realization of its unearthly serenity.' The Musical Times, July 1972 'Sosarmeshould cause a good deal of excitement L'Oiseau-Lyre has assembled a brilliant cast.' New York Times Tracklistings: GEORGE FRIDERIC HANDEL Sosarme Sosarme-Alfred Deller Haliate-William Herbert Erenice-Nancy Evans Elmira -Margaret Ritchie Argone-John Kentish Melo -Helen Watts Altomaro-Ian Wallace St. Anthony Singers The Saint Cecilia Orchestra Terence Weil, cello Thurston Dart,harpsichord (harpsichord by Thomas Goff) Anthony Lewis FIRST CD RELEASE ON DECCA


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