Purcell: Dido and Aeneas

COMPOSERS: Purcell
LABELS: Erato
WORKS: Dido and Aeneas
PERFORMER: Véronique Gens, Nathan Berg; Les Arts Florissants/William Christie
CATALOGUE NO: 4509-98477-2 DDD
Recent theory suggests that Dido was intended not for school but for court entertainment. Christie responds with vivid colours and extreme characterisation. Horrid, nasal witches border on farce; recorder and oboe, not specified by Purcell, temper a band of single strings. Liberties with tempo highlight drama, at some cost to musical continuity. Much is inventive without distracting – delicate vocal ornaments, Christie’s own harpsichord playing, and French-inspired rhythmic springiness. George Pratt

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