Purcell: Dido and Aeneas

A
a
-
Composer(s):
Purcell
Works:
Dido and Aeneas
Performer:
Ann Murray, Rachel Yakar, Anton Scharinger, Trudeliese SchmidtArnold Schoenberg Choir, Concentus Musicus Wien/Nikolaus Harnoncourt
Label:
Teldec
Catalogue Number:
0630-13814-2Reissue
Performance:
starstarstarnostarnostar
Sound:
starstarstarstarnostar
3
Reviewer:
BBC Music Magazine
Yet more versions of Purcell’s opera Dido and Aeneas arrive as a post scriptum to the 1995 Purcell anniversary year. One of them, directed by Martin Pearlman, is a newcomer to the lists while the other, directed by Nikolaus Harnoncourt, was recorded 13 years ago and has previously been reissued. Both performances show a lively awareness of Baroque convention and a feeling for the subtle inflections of Purcell’s little dramatic masterpiece. On balance Pearlman’s is the less mannered of the two and the more sharply defined in respect of rhythm and declamation. Harnoncourt, as so often, introduces a more personal note which some listeners may accept with greater willingness than others. For me, the portentous gestures of the Overture are realised with chilling menace by Harnoncourt, drawing us into Dido’s tragic destiny right from the start. Pearlman is more restrained but, though his direction is more in tune with current orthodoxy than that of his rival, the drama comes across as more of a misfortune than a tragedy. Ann Murray (Harnoncourt) and Nancy Maultsby (Pearlman) are, in their different ways, eloquent and pathetic Didos, Murray providing the stronger characterisation of the two. In short, Harnoncourt’s performance, though less even than the other, is the more dramatically compelling. Nicholas Anderson
Zipoli/Schmid/Anon
previous review Article
Mozart: Piano Sonata in F, K533; Piano Sonata in B flat, K570; Piano Sonata in D, K576; Rondo in A, K511
next review Article
We use cookies to improve your experience of our website. Cookies perform functions like recognising you each time you visit and delivering advertising messages that are relevant to you. Read more here