'Semiramide has more than its share of grandness, and in the trumpet-crowned procession as the Queen of Babylon prepares to announce her choice of king you can't help but hear a pre-echo of Verdi's Aida, still nearly 50 years in the future.
'Elder always has an ear for the lightness in such episodes, and they sound hearty but never bombastic. The Opera Rara Chorus sings some tough music thrillingly well.'
Albina Shagimuratova, Daniela Barcellona, Mirco Palazzi, Barry Banks, Gianluca Buratto, Susana Gaspar, David Butt Philip, James Platt (voices); Opera Rara Chorus; Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment/Sir Mark Elder
Opera Rara ORC57 231.03 mins (4 discs)
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