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Purcell - Dido and Aeneas / von Otter · Varcoe · Dawson · Rogers · The English Concert & Choir · Pinnock
Henry Purcell, Trevor Pinnock, The English Concert & Choir
Purcell - Dido and Aeneas / von Otter Varcoe Dawson Rogers The English Concert & Choir Pinnock
Genre: Classical
 
  •  Track Listings (22) - Disc #1

Trevor Pinnock's Dido, the most glamorously cast of the period-instrument recordings, was the first to offer a version following 17th-century casting and theatrical conventions. Anne-Sofie Von Otter, always a superb artist...  more »

     
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Trevor Pinnock's Dido, the most glamorously cast of the period-instrument recordings, was the first to offer a version following 17th-century casting and theatrical conventions. Anne-Sofie Von Otter, always a superb artist, is a regal, moving Dido--her singing is almost too "operatic," but rarely crosses over into excess. Lynne Dawson is a spectacular Belinda, gracefully tossing off her airs at high velocity and combining youthful giddiness with enough maturity to be a credible confidante. Steven Varcoe's light baritone makes Aeneas seem more tender lover than burly soldier, but he sings beautifully. In Purcell's era, men often played witches or old women: here Nigel Rogers sings the Sorceress with plenty of verve and a minimum of camp. --Matthew Westphal

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CD Reviews

Get this for comparison - but there are better....
Concert Music | Alpharetta, GA USA | 08/24/2001
(3 out of 5 stars)

"I listened to this disc immediately after I had been thoroughly stunned by Lynne Dawson's performance of Dido on a Harmonia Mundi disc with Rene Jacobs directing - and what a difference I discovered! IMHO, von Otter's voice is not suited to Baroque opera. On the other hand, Lynne Dawson, who does a marvelous job with Belinda on this recording, IS perfectly suited to this opera. The definitive aria of this work, Dido's Lament, left me feeling cold and grossly disappointed - Trevor Pinnock took it easily twice as fast as Rene Jacobs, and what a waste of a great aria it was! The two parts of this recording that were outstanding, in addition to Dawson's Belinda (but could not make up for von Otter's performance) were Stephen Varcoe's lovely interpretation of Aeneas and the playing of the English Concert (even though the pace was too fast for my taste). Instead of continuing to pan this recording, I urge you to read my review of the Jacobs recording with Dawson as Dido."
A Concise Masterpiece
R. Albin | Ann Arbor, Michigan United States | 02/12/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)

"This short opera is perhaps Purcell's finest work. Beautiful music, and unlike Purcell's semi-operas, Dido and Aeneas has a dramatic integrity that gives the work real direction. This is one of Purcell's last works. This is a fine performance with excellent orchestral and vocal work. My only reservation is that while Von Otter sings Dido very well, her singing lacks the fire of Lorraine Hunt's performances. Purcell died in his mid-30s. A real pity. He was already a master of traditonal Baroque forms and apparently beginning to change his style under the influence of Italian derived innovations. Another decade or two of life might have resulted in more works like Dido. A nice bonus of this recording are the particularly good liner notes describing the sources of Dido, its interesting early performance history, and the fact that it was probably intended in part as an allegorical warning to King William."
An excellent performance of "Dido and Aeneas"
Sungu Okan | Istanbul, Istanbul Turkey | 08/12/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This opera, perhaps, one of the most beatiful works by Henry Purcell. Also, this opera was written when, mythological operas were to be the vogue. However, this opera is short than other operas (about 52 minutes) and be formed in three acts.And this recording, perhaps, one of the most succesful Purcell recordings. In 3rd act, (finale scene), at the last aria of the Dido, Anne Sofie von Otter displayed, her one of the best performance. And, in music for only orchestra (ex. Overture, Triumph Dance [track 7]), Trevor Pinnock and his orchestra, The English Concert are excellent. Also this CD includes a very fine booklet about list of all musicians, synopsis, libretto (in 4 languages).Highly recommended for all Purcell fans."