Chandos’ new recording of Handel’s comic opera Serse features no less than four Askonas Holt artists and is one of the Editor’s Choice Recordings in Gramophone Magazine’s September issue.
This much anticipated recording of the work is the latest in Christian Curnyn’s Handel series for Chandos with his orchestra the Early Opera Company. Existing titles include critically acclaimed recordings of Partenope, Semele and Flavio, all of which also include many of Askonas Holt’s artists. In Serse David Daniels is Arsemene – a role he has sung on stage to great acclaim – and Richard Wigmore, reviewing the recording for Gramophone writes that he “colours his tone sensitively in the grief-laden ‘Non so se sia la speme’ and relishes the indignant coloratura brilliance of his one bravura aria, ‘Sì, la voglio’”. He goes on to say that “As the heroine Romilda, Rosemary Joshua far eclipses her counterparts on rival recordings, singing with sweet, sensuous tone and characterising deftly. She can be blithe, as in her Act 2 aria ‘Se l’idol mio’, but brings a fiery intensity to her agonised central aria, ‘È gelosia’ [and] Joélle Harvey catches the flighty grace, as well as the hints of deeper feelings, in Handel’s delicious arias for Atalanta”. He also praises “Brindley Sherratt, oakily sonorous of tone as the worthy-but-dim general Ariodate”.
Bravo all !