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Purcell: Dido & Aeneas / Hickox, Ewing, Daymond, Et Al

Release Date: 04/29/2008 
Label:  Chandos   Catalog #: 586   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Henry Purcell
Performer:  Mary PlazasKarl DaymondSally BurgessMaria Ewing,   ... 
Conductor:  Richard Hickox
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Collegium Musicum 90Collegium Musicum 90 Choir
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 55 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

"Maria Ewing sounds...lovely: her “Ah Belinda“ and the following lament is full bodied, but also languid, and very slow. Rebecca Evans as Belinda is equally stylish; Belinda sounds positively pandering here with her feverish “Her eyes confess the flame.“ The chorus seems in this case to be part of the opera: it is interesting to hear the various ways conductors interpret the chorus's part when they sing “Banish sorrow, banish care.“ Here the singers sound a bit concerned. (On the Pinnock they sound positively joyous.) So among these three new recordings, the Richard Hickox with Maria Ewing seems to me to be the winner."

-- Michael Ullman, Fanfare

"The danger of an established opera star venturing
Read more into this newly defined area is that she can become outrageously over-billed at glaring expense to overall dramatic integrity. My fears of a repeat are ill-founded here. Richard Hickox's Dido does not revolve exclusively around his 'star', Ewing, and the litmus test is that, by and large, the experience is a suitably draining one. Rebecca Evans is a fine and foreboding Belinda and Act 2 with the dignified Sorceress of Sally Burgess (accompanied by two fine witches) is deftly handled without the ridiculous pantomime we hear all too often.

...Ewing grasps Dido's predicament with both hands. She makes the Lament remarkable in its way, taking control as she does of her destiny with a gripping sense of despair and loneliness; to manipulate a line such as this to such noble and profound effect reveals artistry of a high order and on those grounds alone, this Dido is one to be reckoned with....Hickox's pacing of the last ten minutes is finely judged and this gives Ewing the perfect opportunity to make the most remarkable section of the work so memorable."

-- JF-A, Gramophone [1/1996]
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Works on This Recording

Dido and Aeneas, Z 626 by Henry Purcell
Performer:  Mary Plazas (Soprano), Karl Daymond (Baritone), Sally Burgess (Mezzo Soprano),
Maria Ewing (Soprano), James Bowman (Countertenor), Patricia Rozario (Soprano)
Conductor:  Richard Hickox
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Collegium Musicum 90,  Collegium Musicum 90 Choir
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1689; England 
Language: English 

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