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Dido & Aeneas, opera (London, 1689)

Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, René Jacobs
1 CD
    • Apple Music

    The masterpiece of English opera.
    It was probably in 1684-85, a year or two after the first performance of John Blow’s Venus and Adonis which was clearly his model, that Purcell composed Dido and Aeneas, now recognised as one of the great monuments of opera. The sudden death of Charles II, for whose court it was commissioned, may have meant it was not actually produced until the performance given in a girls’ school in Chelsea in 1689, long thought to have been the occasion for which it was written. The skilful construction of Dido and Aeneas, with that rich mixture of comic and tragic elements so characteristic of 17th century English theatre, perfectly illustrates Purcell’s extraordinary dramatic sense.

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    • Clare College Chapel Choir
    • Lynne Dawson
    • Rosemary Joshua
    • Gerald Finley
    • The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment
    • Conductor


    HENRY PURCELL [1659-1695]
    · Overture (2'36)
    · ACT I
    Belinda. 'Shake the cloud' (0'59)
    · Dido. 'Ah! Belinda, I am prest' (3'49)
    · Belinda. 'Grief increase by concealing' (0'36)
    · Chorus. 'When monarchs unite' (0'14)
    · Dido. 'Whence could so much virtue spring?' (1'39)
    · Belinda, Second Woman. 'Fear no danger to ensue' (1'25)
    · Belinda. 'See, your Royal Guest appears' (0'47)
    · Chorus. 'Cupid only throws the dart' (0'51)
    · Aeneas. 'If not for mine' (0'23)
    · Belinda. 'Pursue thy conquest' (0'46)
    · Chorus. 'To the hills and the vales' (1'13)
    · The Triumphing Dance (1'10)
    · ACT II
    Prelude for the Witches (2'05)
    · Chorus. 'Harm's our delight' (0'29)
    · Sorceress. 'The Queen of Carthage' (0'30)
    · Chorus. 'Ho ho ho, ho ho ho!' (1'20)
    · Two Witches. 'But ere we this perform' (1'14)
    · Chorus. 'In our deep vaulted cell' (1'34)
    · Echo Dance of Furies (1'03)
    · Ritornelle (0'53)
    · Belinda. 'Thanks to these lovesome vales' (2'43)
    · Second Woman. 'Oft she visits this lov'd moutain' (2'18)
    · Aeneas. 'Behold, upon my bending spear' (0'31)
    · Belinda. 'Haste, haste to town' (0'43)
    · Spirit. 'Stay, Prince and hear great Jove's command' (2'37)
    · Chorus. 'Then since our Charmes have Sped' (0'35)
    · The Grove's Dance (0'56)
    · ACT III
    Prelude (1'33)
    · Chorus. 'Come away, fellow sailors' (0'57)
    · Sorceress. 'See the flags and streamers curling' (0'55)
    · Sorceress. 'Our next Motion' (0'56)
    · Chorus. 'Destruction's our delight' (1'03)
    · The Witches' Dance (2'30)
    · Dido. 'Your counsel all is urged in vain' (3'46)
    · Chorus. 'Great minds against themselves conspire' (1'22)
    · Dido. 'Thy hand, Belinda' (0'51)
    · Dido. 'When I am laid in earth' (4'03)
    · Chorus. 'With dropping wings ye Cupids come' (5'19)

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