Purcell: Dido and Aeneas

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Henry Purcell: Dido and Aeneas

Fleur Barron (Dido), Matthew Brook (Aeneas), Giulia Semenzato (Belinda), Avery Amereau (Sorceress), Tim Mead (Spirit), Nicky Spence (Sailor), Hilary Cronin (Second Woman), Helen Charlston, Martha McLorinan (Witches)

La Nuova Musica, David Bates


La Nuova Musica and its artistic director David Bates present Henry Purcell's most widely admired work Dido and Aeneas. With Nathum Tate's libretto based on Virgil's Aeneid Book IV, Dido and Aeneas is a miniature opera, as well as the only all-sung opera Purcell ever composed.

Constantly juxtaposing different moods, colours, orchestrations, this semi-opera enjoys the popularity for its "tunefulness, evocative power, and [...] its conciseness". The guiding star that David Bates wants to follow for this recording is making sure that Purcell's Italian, French, and English musical influences are all emphasized - by adding a typically Italian harp to the continuo or by doubling the strings with winds in the French tradition. Dido and Aeneas includes one of the most touching operatic laments "When I am laid in earth".

A cast of first-class singers with strong musical personalities offer an eclectic interpretation together with a chorus that creates a visceral and intrinsically dramatic sound vworld. Dido and Aeneas is David Bates and La Nuova Musica's fourth release, after the acclaimed Gluck Orfeo and Euridice (2019) and Handel's Unsung Heroes (2021), as well as Beauteous Softness (2023) where they joined forces with Tim Mead. Counter-tenor Tim Mead previously released Pentatone's Handel Messiah (2020) with Akademie fur Alte Musik Berlin. Star tenor Nicky Spence, Fleur Barron, Matthew Brook, Giulia Semenzato all make their Pentatone debut.


Pentatone CD
PTC 5187032

Released September 2023