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George Frideric Handel: Semele - Edgar Fleet (tenor); Felicity Palmer (mezzo-soprano); Harold Lester (organ); Harold Lester (harpsichord);...
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  1. Semele, oratorio, HWV 58
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The genre of Semele has always been somewhat ambiguous. Handel used an opera libretto by William Congreve for his text, but at its premiere he presented it as an oratorio. Its secular, dramatic story is certainly operatic, but its music includes stylistic elements of both Handel's English sacred oratorios and his Italian operas, so it's understandable why the original audiences didn't easily embrace the work, since it failed to fully satisfy the preferences of devotees of either genre. Audiences today aren't likely to be ...