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Purcell: Dido and Aeneas

Super Audio CD
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Super Jewel Case (SACD)
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Purcell: Dido and Aeneas
Purcell: Dido and Aeneas


Fabio Bonizzoni, one of Baroque music performance leading conductors of our time, and his group La Risonanza make their debut on Challenge Classics with Dido and Aeneas, Purcell's operatic masterpiece. It is coupled with The Love of Mars and Venus by John Eccles and Gottfried Finger, Purcell's near contemporaries. Henry Purcell's Dido and Aeneas, composed in the 1680s, is arguably the most beloved and best-known opera in English. Bonizzoni says: "The charm of this opera is in that it contains everything, like Cervantes' Don Quixote: any life experience is within it. Love, hate, death, dream, despair, the innocent and the wicked play. Purcell's awareness in portraying such opposite feelings is amazing." La Risonanza and Fabio Bonizzoni offer us here a version of Dido and Aeneas that provides a sense of how Purcell's 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 Purcell's 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's 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 Handel's Italian Cantatas with instruments in 2010. Cast: Raffaella Milanesi (Dido), Richard Helm (Aeneas), Stefanie True (Belinda), Iason Marmaras (Sorceress), Michela Antenucci (First witch & Sailor), Anna Bessi (Second witch & Spirit) Personnel: La Risonanza, Coro Constanzo Porta, Fabio Bonizzoni (conductor)


  1. Name
  2. HENRY PURCELL: Dido and Aeneas (1680), Overture
  3. Act I, Shake the cloud
  4. Ah! Belinda, I am prest
  5. Whence could so much
  6. Fear no danger
  7. See, see
  8. If not for mine
  9. To the hills and the vales
  10. The triumphing dance
  11. Act II, Wayward sisters
  12. In our deep vaulted cell
  13. Echo dance of furies
  14. The Grove
  15. Thanks to these Lonesome
  16. Oft she visits
  17. Behold upon my bending
  18. Stay prince and hear
  19. Act III, The ships
  20. The sailors dance
  21. Our next motion
  22. Destruction's our delight
  23. The witches dance
  24. Your counsel all is urg'd
  25. Great minds
  26. When I am laid in earth
  27. With drooping wings
  28. JOHN ECCLES|GOTTFRIED FINGER: The Love of Mars and Venus (1680), Symphony
  29. Come all, come all
  30. Chorus. Come all, come all
  31. Love alone
  32. Love like war
  33. Scorn, tho beauty
  34. To double the sports
  35. To treble the pleasures
  36. Let scenes of mirth
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