Notes and Editorial Reviews
ATMA presents the world premier recording of Sémélé, a recently rediscovered masterpiece by Marin Marais. Gérard Geay of the Centre for Baroque Music at Versailles has reconstructed a performing edition from the original manuscripts, which allowed the world premier performance of the instrumental music from the opera at the Montréal Baroque Festival this June. This internationally acclaimed Festival is held each year in Old Montréal under the direction of gambist Susie Napper. This year's event celebrated double 'M' anniversaries: Mozart 250 and Marais 350. The instrumental suite from Sémélé is presented on a Hybrid SACD, including high-resolution stereo and SACD Surround Sound. Weiland Kuijken follows his collaboration with Les Voix humaines on Marais pieces for three violas da gamba [l'ange Marais - ACD2 237] with his ATMA conducting debut, leading Montreal Baroque in a performance that is at the same time balanced and flamboyant. Marais's opera recounts the story of Sémélé, daughter of King Cadmus, who shares a love with Jupiter. The jealous Junon suggests that Sémélé ask her lover to prove that he really is Jupiter by demonstrating that he is «armed with its thunder », which no mortal can withstand. The resulting earthquake, thunder, and fire strikes down Sémélé and destroys Cadmus' palace.