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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Purcell Dido & Aeneas
Stunning playing and singing. No more to add you should also check out the Mozart operas conducted by Rene Jacobs
Published 16 months ago by keith

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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Promising performance marred by histrionics
Almost every recorded performance of Purcell's opera has yielded to the temptation to add colour to the witches' scenes by means of exaggerated cackles and squawks. If you think that that is the correct way to approach the piece, you may enjoy this recording (although it still has one major drawback - keep reading). Certainly, Dominique Visse goes over the top with more...
Published on 1 May 2001 by O. G. M. Morgan


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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Promising performance marred by histrionics, 1 May 2001
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O. G. M. Morgan (Hants, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Purcell - Dido & Aeneas (Audio CD)
Almost every recorded performance of Purcell's opera has yielded to the temptation to add colour to the witches' scenes by means of exaggerated cackles and squawks. If you think that that is the correct way to approach the piece, you may enjoy this recording (although it still has one major drawback - keep reading). Certainly, Dominique Visse goes over the top with more abandon than any of his rivals. Nevertheless, this way of performing Purcell's music renders his music more or less irrelevant for a large proportion of the total work, even though that very music, in fact, contains all of the malevolence and mischief required, as Purcell wrote it. The good points of this recording are a strong cast, an expert orchestra and pin-sharp recording. If Rene Jacobs deserves censure for his handling of the witches' scenes (and he does), he should receive corresponding praise for his solution to the ending of Act Two. This usually terminates very abruptly, because the music written for the ending is lost. Mr. Jacobs has selected pieces from The Fairy Queen to provide musical balance. While they are inevitably inauthentic, they are no more so than leaving a jarring gap, and they are undoubtedly well chosen. Unfortunately, after this success, the opening of Act Three is the real disappointment of this recording. After more cackling from the witches, the chorus, "Destruction's our delight", and the "Witches' Dance", immediately following, never achieve a constant tempo, but are dragged about in all directions. Actually performing a dance against such a ceaselessly varying tempo would be completely impossible. Confronted with the sublime music with which Purcell concluded his opera, few conductors dare to do other than play it completely straight; Mr. Jacobs is no exception. Lynne Dawson sings Dido's final recitative and the famous Lament very beautifully. Overall, this recording can be recommended only in parts. At its best, it is the equal of any performance on record, but its faults are as substantial as its merits.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Purcell Dido & Aeneas, 20 Aug 2013
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This review is from: Purcell - Dido & Aeneas (Audio CD)
Stunning playing and singing. No more to add you should also check out the Mozart operas conducted by Rene Jacobs
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Purcell - Dido & Aeneas
Purcell - Dido & Aeneas by Stephen Wallace (Audio CD - 2001)
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