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