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Purcell: Dido And Aeneas / Valentin Radu, Ama Deus Baroque Ensemble

Purcell / Radu / Ama Deus Ensemble
Release Date: 07/17/2007 
Label:  Lyrichord   Catalog #: 8057   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Henry Purcell
Performer:  Fran Bjorneby KraemerPatricia ConradDennis KalupJennifer Graf,   ... 
Conductor:  Valentin Radu
Number of Discs: 1 
Length: 1 Hours 5 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews



PURCELL Dido and Aeneas. The Fairy Queen: Suite Julianne Baird ( Dido ); Andrea Lauren Brown ( Belinda ); Timothy Bentch ( Aeneas ); Tatyana Rashkovsky ( Sorceress ); Dennis Kalup ( Sailor ); Jennifer Graf ( First Witch ); Kemper Read more LeCroy Florin ( Second Witch ); Patricia Conrad ( Second Woman ); Fran Bjorneby Kraiemer ( Sorceress ); Valentin Radu, cond; Ama Deus Baroque Ens LYRICHORD LEMS 8057 (64:58)


What distinguishes this Dido and Aeneas , and I sit facing a foot-high stack of them, is not only the beautiful tone and sensitivity of Julianne Baird, a stunning singer, but the zest and taste of the ensemble, orchestra, and cast. The accompanying booklet is graced with pictures of the singers in costume and makeup. I gather that the recording is based on an actual production, which may help account for the coherence of the whole. Certainly, the brisk conducting of Valentin Radu is to be noted; I have rarely thought of Dido and Aeneas as a conductor’s opera before. The overture is played vigorously, much of it piano . Andrea Lauren Brown’s Belinda enters, and sings in a mannered way that is somehow effective, stressing the “shake” of “Shake the Cloud from Off Your Brow” and sounding almost scornful when she sings of “Empire growing.” But then the mood changes. The chorus seems appropriately concerned singing “Banish Sorrow, Banish Care,” and Baird tragic in a dignified way in her subdued “Ah Belinda.” What is striking in the performance is the way even the chorus manages to convey different moods: they sound positively hopeful when singing “When monarchs unite, / How happy their state,” a cheery prospect that is ignored by the main discussants. There is good taste throughout. The witches are convincing but not grotesque, the sailors buoyant. And Baird is magnificent in the opera’s showpiece, Dido’s lament. The orchestral suite that follows Dido and Aeneas is a welcome, little recorded addendum, here billed as a pastiche and retitled after the masque’s source material, A Midsummer Night’s Dream.


I am forever partial to Janet Baker’s Dido, and admire other recordings, including Andrew Parrott’s and René Jacob’s period-instrument recordings. The singing of Kathleen Battle is gorgeous, of course, and the conducting of Benjamin Britten in his recording is intelligent and musical and kind to the singers.


FANFARE: Michael Ullman
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Works on This Recording

1.
Dido and Aeneas, Z 626 by Henry Purcell
Performer:  Fran Bjorneby Kraemer (Voice), Patricia Conrad (Voice), Dennis Kalup (Voice),
Jennifer Graf (Voice), Andrea Brown (Voice), Julianne Baird (Voice),
Timothy Bentch (Voice), Tatyana Rashkovsky (Voice), Kemper LeCroy-Florin (Voice)
Conductor:  Valentin Radu
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1689; England 
Venue:  Arch Street United Methodist Church, Phi 
Length: 49 Minutes 36 Secs. 
2.
Fairy Queen, Z 629: Prelude by Henry Purcell
Conductor:  Valentin Radu
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1692; England 
Venue:  Arch Street United Methodist Church, Phi 
Length: 0 Minutes 36 Secs. 
3.
Fairy Queen, Z 629: Hornpipe by Henry Purcell
Conductor:  Valentin Radu
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1692; England 
Venue:  Arch Street United Methodist Church, Phi 
Length: 0 Minutes 56 Secs. 
4.
Fairy Queen, Z 629: Overture by Henry Purcell
Conductor:  Valentin Radu
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1692; England 
Venue:  Arch Street United Methodist Church, Phi 
Length: 1 Minutes 11 Secs. 
5.
Fairy Queen, Z 629: Air by Henry Purcell
Conductor:  Valentin Radu
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1692; England 
Venue:  Arch Street United Methodist Church, Phi 
Length: 0 Minutes 49 Secs. 
6.
Fairy Queen, Z 629: Rondeau by Henry Purcell
Conductor:  Valentin Radu
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1692; England 
Venue:  Arch Street United Methodist Church, Phi 
Length: 0 Minutes 58 Secs. 
7.
Fairy Queen, Z 629: Entry Dance by Henry Purcell
Conductor:  Valentin Radu
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1692; England 
Venue:  Arch Street United Methodist Church, Phi 
Length: 0 Minutes 39 Secs. 
8.
Fairy Queen, Z 629: Dance of the Fairies by Henry Purcell
Conductor:  Valentin Radu
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1692; England 
Venue:  Arch Street United Methodist Church, Phi 
Length: 0 Minutes 45 Secs. 
9.
Fairy Queen, Z 629: Dance of the Chinese Man and Woman by Henry Purcell
Conductor:  Valentin Radu
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1692; England 
Venue:  Arch Street United Methodist Church, Phi 
Length: 2 Minutes 51 Secs. 

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