Purcell - Dido and Aeneas | Challenge Classics CC72737

Purcell - Dido and Aeneas

£12.56

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Label: Challenge Classics

Cat No: CC72737

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 1

Genre: Opera

Release Date: 18th November 2016

Contents

Artists

Raffaella Milanesi
Richard Helm
Stefanie True
Iason Marmaras
Michela Antenucci
Anna Bessi
Coro Constanzo Porta
La Risonanza

Conductor

Fabio Bonizzoni

Works

Multiple composers

The Loves of Mars and Venus (John Eccles, Godfrey Finger)
» Prologue

Purcell, Henry

Dido and Aeneas

Artists

Raffaella Milanesi
Richard Helm
Stefanie True
Iason Marmaras
Michela Antenucci
Anna Bessi
Coro Constanzo Porta
La Risonanza

Conductor

Fabio Bonizzoni

About

Fabio Bonizzoni, one of the leading Baroque music conductors of our time, and his group La Risonanza make their debut on Challenge Classics with Dido and Aeneas, Purcellís operatic masterpiece. It is coupled with The Loves of Mars and Venus by John Eccles and Gottfried Finger, Purcellís near contemporaries.

Henry Purcellís Dido and Aeneas, composed in the 1680s, is arguably the most beloved and best-known opera in English. Bonizzoni says: ďThe charm of this opera is in that it contains everything, like Cervantesí Don Quixote: any life experience is within it. Love, hate, death, dream, despair, the innocent and the wicked play. Purcellís awareness in portraying such opposite feelings is amazing.Ē La Risonanza and Fabio Bonizzoni offer a version of Dido and Aeneas that provides a sense of how Purcellís famous work may first have been heard by London theatre-goers in 1704. Italian soprano Raffaella Milanesi and Austrian baritone Richard Helm take the title roles.

Mars and Venus was composed by Purcellís near contemporaries, John Eccles and Godfrey Finger, to a text by Peter Anthony Motteux. The songs were published in 1697 and the play text, providing a clear guide to exactly what was performed, in 1696. With these sources, Bonizzoni has reconstructed the Prologue of Mars and Venus by using the published songs, instrumental music by Finger or Eccles from other works, adapting where necessary.

One of the leading Italian harpsichordists and organists of his generation, Fabio Bonizzoni studied with Ton Koopman at the Royal Conservatorium in The Hague. After playing for several years with Amsterdam Baroque, Le Concert des Nations and Europa Galante, since 2004 he has exclusively been a soloist and director, in particular of his own orchestra La Risonanza. He is also harpsichord professor at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague and in Italy at the Conservatory of Novara. With La Risonanza he completed the award-winning recording of all of Handelís Italian Cantatas with instruments in 2010.

Cast:
- Dido: Raffaella Milanesi
- Aeneas: Richard Helm
- Belinda: Stefanie True
- Sorceress: Iason Marmaras
- First Witch, Sailor: Michela Antenucci
- Second Witch, Spirit: Anna Bessi

Reviews

Using scores prepared for a 1704 London performance, Fabio Bonizzoni recasts the Sorceress as a bass and the Sailor as a soprano. Why? Because the opera was staged with the prologue from Mars and Venus by John Eccles and Godfrey Finger Ė also heard here Ė and the vocal parts correlate. ... And an imaginative reappraisal of original pronunciation makes us listen afresh to the familiar libretto. Recommended.  Stephen Pritchard
The Observer 10 November 2016

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