There's a beautiful elegance about this recording. The playing and singing is both dramatic and nonchalant, as required. And, crucially, this is the first recording of Semele to adhere accurately to the text of the first performance version. This gives the whole a well-judged pace - particularly in Act II with the fiery Juno plotting the downfall of Semele and ravishing arias for the lovers: Juipter and Semele.
The interpretation by the cast is alluring too. Rosemary Joshua's Semele is radiant of tone, dazzling in coloratura, and makes Semele far more than an over-sexed airhead. She is imploring and fiery by turns in her exchanges with Jupiter, and brings real pathos to the haunting "Thus let my thanks be paid" and her sublime death scene. As Jupiter, Richard Croft fields a honeyed, sensuous tone (heard to advantage in a seductive "Where're you walk") and formidable agility, though he could learn a thing or two about diction from Gardiner's Anthony Rolfe-Johnson.
There are enough recordings to choose one that fits your own personal choice (and taste in music style); but this is the one for me.