Aureole etc.




Golden Age singers

Nimbus on-line




Faure songs
Charlotte de Rothschild (soprano);

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett


CD REVIEW

Some items
to consider

 


Enjoy the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra wherever you are. App available for iOS and Android


Tudor 7188


Vaughan Williams Symphony 3 etc.


Lyrita New Recording


Lyrita Premiere Recordings

Lyrita 4CDs £16 incl.postage

Lyrita 4CDs £16 incl.postage


Decca Phase 4 - 40CDs


Judith Bailey, George Lloyd


BAX Orchestral pieces


CASKEN Violin Concerto

Schumann Symphonies Rattle


Complete Brahms
Bargain price

 

 

 

 

alternatively Crotchet

 

Henry PURCELL (1659-1695)
Dido and Aeneas (1689)
Susan Graham (soprano)  - Dido
Ian Bostridge (tenor) – Aeneas
Camilla Tilling (soprano) - Belinda
Cécile de Boever (soprano) - Second Woman
Felicity Palmer (soprano) - Sorceress
David Daniels (counter-tenor) - Spirit
Paul Agnew (tenor) – Sailor
European Voices
Le Concert d’Astrée/Emmanuelle Haïm
rec. Arsenal de Metz, March 2003
VIRGIN CLASSICS 5034222 [52:54]
Experience Classicsonline


Back comes Emmanuelle Haïm’s 2003 recording of Dido and Aeneas in rapidly overhauled guise. This Virgin Classics re-release bears a Gramophone Recommends rosette on the booklet and is part of a relatively extensive reissue programme that sports the same rubric.
 
Some in the series are relative disappointments – Anderszewski’s much praised Diabelli variations, Kyung-Wha Chung’s lethargic Beethoven and Bruch concertos with Tennstedt, Sarah Chang’s torpid Dvořák with Colin Davis and Nigel Kennedy’s gruesome Elgar with Rattle. But this Dido, fortunately, is not of their ilk. This is a fine recording and offers real pleasure.
 
The playing of Le Concert d’Astrée is both sensitive and subtle. We can gauge its invention from the overture and in the playing behind Dido’s first entry Ah! Belinda where the instrumental immediacy projects real character and tension. Haïm stresses the expressive depth of this scene, mining it richly and – it seems to me – explicitly aligning it to Dido’s farewell, thus creating the two powerful expressive columns through which the rest of the opera operates as an arch. If that’s the intention, if that’s where Haïm locates the core expressive moments, then it works very successfully. With drooping wings incidentally and revealingly is taken quite briskly, unsentimentally and no undue lingering.
 
Fear no danger is elegantly sprung – the accompaniment includes a nicely audible baroque guitar – and the chorus, European Voices, sounds eminently well drilled but not at all manicured. The dynamic guitar figures strongly in Act I’s If not for mine, the scene where Aeneas and Dido are together alone. It’s a scene full of tactile energy and dynamism – some may in fact find it too much so – but it richly conveys the emotional urgency underling their meeting. The guitar also dominates the Second Woman’s Act II Scene II Of she visits with blunt, rhythmic attacks – almost a “pop” sensibility at work here. The thunderclaps of the opening of the second Act are also visceral and really rather realistic though the Hammer Horror groans of the Furies dance are a little immodestly done.
 
I’ve concentrated on the orchestral and choral properties and so far said nothing about the solo singing. Susan Graham is an expressive but not overly static heroine. In her exchanges with Aeneas she proves quick, urgent, compelling. In her opening and closing moments she retains regal dignity; good diction and fine trills as well. Ian Bostridge is better than I’d perhaps unfairly anticipated. Some native tenors have adopted a bank managerish approach to the role but Bostridge is commendably straight with what is, any case, a difficult role to bring to life. Felicity Palmer is the Sorceress – powerful and convincing – and David Daniels pops up as the Spirit. Paul Agnew, another luxury in the cast, throws himself, Francis Drake-like, into his role of the Sailor.
 
I’m not sure what’s happened to my review copy. A huge chunk of the text is missing so if this matters to you check before you buy. But a warm welcome back to a first class recording, one that is more agile than the more ponderous René Jacobs for instance, whilst not quite exploring the ultimate in gravity of the old Anthony Lewis recording.
 
Jonathan Woolf
 
see also review by Kirk McElhearn



 


Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and get a free CD

New Releases

Naxos Classical

Hyperion

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
Alto
Arcodiva
Atoll
CDAccord
Cameo Classics
Centaur
Hallé
Hortus
Lyrita
Nimbus
Northern Flowers
Redcliffe
Sheva
Talent
Toccata Classics


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample
 


EXPLORE MUSICWEB INTERNATIONAL

Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews

 

Discographies
   Composer
      Composer surveys
   National
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
.
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

Interviews
With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site

Nostalgia

Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Comment
Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure

Announcements

 

Community
Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Reviewers
Pat and present

Helpers invited!

Resources
How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips


Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Publishers
Other links
Newsgroups
Web News sites etc

PotPourri
A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Questionnaire    
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Dictionary
Magazines
Newsfeed  
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools




Return to Review Index

Untitled Document


Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.