CHARLES-SIMON CATEL (1773-1830): Sémiramis.
Catalogue Number: 10O035
Reference: GCD 921625
Description: Catel only got around to opera with this adaptation of Voltaire's play in 1802, after spending the 1790s writing Revolutionary songs and choruses and, later in the decade, chamber music. This was his only tragédie lyrique (nearly a dozen more stage works followed, mostly of the comique variety) and was part of the neo-Classical Gluck revival movement. Concerned more with harmony than melody (there are only six arias in the 41 numbers; duos and ensembles and long recits prevail), Catel uses a full-sized Classical orchestra to provide forward-looking orchestral accompaniment and keeps the proceedings moving at a cracking pace. 2 CDs. French-English libretto. Maria Riccarda Wesseling (mezzo), Gabrielle Philiponet (soprano), Mathias Vidal (tenor), Nicolas Courjal (bass), Choir and Orchestra of the Concert Spirituel; Hervé Niquet.