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Purcell: Dido and Aeneas (Le Concert Spirituel/Niquet)

Le Concert Spirituel , Laura Pudwell , Peter Harvey , Salomé Haller , Henry Purcell , et al. Audio CD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
Price: £10.98 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Product details

  • Conductor: Hervé Niquet
  • Composer: Henry Purcell
  • Audio CD (1 July 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Glossa
  • Other Editions: Audio CD
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 407,910 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Overture - Le Concert Spirituel
2. Shake the Cloud from Off Your Brow
3. Ah! Belinda
4. Whence Could So Much Virtue Spring
5. See, Your Royal Guest Appears
6. If Not for Mine
7. To the Hills and the Vales
8. Prelude for the Witches: Wayward Sisters
9. But Ere We This Perform
10. In Our Deep-vaulted Cell
11. Ritornelle. Thanks to These Lonesome Vales
12. Oft She Visits
13. Behold, Upon My Bending Spear
14. Stay, Prince
15. Prelude. Come Away, Fellow Sailors
16. See the Flags
17. The Witches' Dance
18. Your Counsel All Is Urg'd in Vain
19. Great Minds
20. Thy Hand, Belinda
See all 21 tracks on this disc

Product Description

Product Description

The year 2001 marked the felicitous moment when Hervé Niquet and Le Concert Spirituel joined Glossa, starting a recording collaboration which to date (2013) has yielded twenty-plus titles. The first of all these was this memorable Dido and Aeneas by Henry Purcell, at the time a somewhat unusual offering from an ensemble which had hitherto made of French Baroque music the cornerstone of its activities. Like, however later with King Arthur (both on CD and DVD), and with The Fairy Queen and The Indian Queen (for the time being only in live performances), Niquet infuses this early British (semi-)opera with a subtle touch of Frenchness needless to say historically eminently-justifiable making his version a delightful and different listening experience. It is not by accident that Niquet is increasingly been called upon by opera houses internationally to direct the music of this English genius...


Dido, Belinda and Aeneas all giving lovely dark, passionate performances after Dido sings Your consul all is urg d in vain where Dido is particularly wonderful. There is a lovely choral Great minds against themselves conspire leading so well into Thy Hand Belinda darkness shades me (Dido s Lament), a rich, heart rending performance, nothing of the overly pure, ethereal but real human passion, beautifully finding the heart of this lovely piece. Really quiet affecting. The choir have a lovely controlled sonorous sound in the final With drooping wings ye Cupid s come, superbly done, bringing this fine Dido to a close. With a first rate recording made in May, 2000 in Notre Dame du Liban, Paris, excellent notes and full English texts, surely this is one of the finest Dido s currently available. --The Classical Reviewer, theclassicalreviewer.blogspot.com, 12 August 2013

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Imperfect, but impressive 2 July 2001
Format:Audio CD
Since no "mainstream" recording of Purcell's miniature masterpiece has ever proved altogether satisfactory, the opportunity has always existed for an independent offering to steal the crown. While there are quite a few aspects of this performance which could be improved upon, as a whole it is probably as good as any. Most of the performers are French, which is noticeable, marginally, for the soloists and, rather more prominently, for the choir. It is no problem at all for the orchestra, of course, and the instrumentalists sound entirely at home in Purcell's idiom. Through no fault of theirs, they are arguably a trifle recessed when supporting the singers and brought to the fore artificially when playing alone. My only criticism of the orchestra is that it sounds, on occasion, rather more ponderous than it should. In common with many other recordings of this work, this one falls down in Act Two, when the performers decide to "camp it up" in a big way. Compared to other performances, the distractions in this one are relatively minor, though still irritating. The Sorceress, sung by the same soloist as Dido, places excessive emphasis on the words "flame" and "hate". The word "hate" is one of the most expressive in the English language and barely needs stress; it is almost onomatopoeic. The soloist here is anglophone and should know that. Also in Act Two, the chorus, generally admirable, suddenly sounds as though it has hired Inspector Clouseau as voice coach. One way or another, most recordings of "Dido and Aeneas" make a hash of this chorus ("In our deep-vaulted cell"), but I live in hope of hearing one which does the job properly. In favour of the chorus, I can say that its diction is excellent throughout. Read more ›
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