- Dido and Aeneas, opera, Z. 626 - Henry Purcell - Susan Bickley - Robin Blaze - Clare College Choir, Cambridge - Lynne Dawson - Gerald Finley - René Jacobs - Rosemary Joshua - Maria Cristina Kiehr - Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment - Dominique Visse - Stephen Wallace - Samacchini Orazio
Purcell: Dido & Aeneasby René Jacobs
René Jacobs leads the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment in a brisk and dynamic interpretation of Henry Purcell's perennially favorite opera, Dido and Aeneas. This version addresses a compositional problem that has bewitched many prior efforts: A verse in Dido's extant libretto makes clear that a witches' scene and dance originally capped the second act, yet surviving scores omit the music that would have accompanied this text. In the unorthodox but effective solution heard on this recording, Jacobs borrows music from Purcell's other dramatic masterpiece, The Fairy Queen, and sets it to the forgotten poetry. The result is a fuller and more balanced work, one that smoothes over the dramatic gap left by the musical lacuna. Jacobs capitalizes on this newfound coherence with his signature precision and expressive range, while the tragi-comic nature of the opera provides ample opportunity for his group of top-notch singers to show off their wares. In wonderfully schizophrenic juxtapositions, supple arias cede ground to cackling witches, while bawdy sailors set the stage for Dido's famous Lament, performed with intelligence and beauty by Lynne Dawson. Many recordings of Dido and Aeneas exist, but Jacobs's cleverly provides a unique perspective that others lack.
- Release Date:
- Harmonia Mundi Fr.
Performance CreditsRené Jacobs Primary Artist
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