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Bonizzoni: Purcell – Dido and Aeneas (24/88 FLAC)

Composer: Henry Purcell
Performer: Coro Constanzo Porta
Orchestra: La Risonanza
Conductor: Fabio Bonizzoni
Format: FLAC (tracks)
Label: Challenge
Release: 2016
Size: 1.29 GB
Recovery: +3%
Scan: yes

Raffaella Milanesi – Dido
Richard Helm – Aeneas
Stefanie True – Belinda
Iason Marmaras – Sorceress
Michela Antenucci – First Witch, Sailor
Anna Bessi – Second Witch, Spirit

La Risonanza & Coro Constanzo Porta
Fabio Bonizzoni

Dido and Aeneas
01. Overture
02. Shake the Cloud
03. Ah! Belinda, I Am Prest
04. Whence Could So Much
05. Fear no Danger
06. See, See
07. If Not for Mine
08. To the Hills and the Vales
09. The Triumphing Dance
10. Wayward Sisters
11. In Our Deep Vaulted Cell
12. Echo Dance of Furies
13. The Grove
14. Thanks to These Lonesome
15. Oft She Visits
16. Behold Upon My Bending
17. Stay Prince and Hear
18. The Ships
19. The Sailors Dance
20. Our Next Motion
21. Destruction’s Our Delight
22. The Witches Dance
23. Your Counsel All Is Urg’d
24. Great Minds
25. When I Am Laid in Earth
26. With Drooping Wings

Gottfried Finger, John Eccles: The Love of Mars and Venus
27. Symphony
28. Come All, Come All
29. Chorus. Come All, Come All

John Eccles, Gottfried Finger: The Love of Mars and Venus
30. Love Alone
32. 1Love Like War
32. Scorn tho Beauty
33. To Double the Sports
34. To Treble the Pleasures
35. Let Scenes of Mirth

Fabio Bonizzoni, one of the leading Baroque music 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 Loves 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 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 is 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.