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La Nouvelle Menestrandie - Purcell: Dido and Aeneas

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Purcell: Dido and Aeneas

La Nouvelle Menestrandie / Cappella Mediterranea / Leonardo García Alarcón

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Langue disponible : anglais

In the program notes for this recording of Dido and Aeneas, conductor Leonardo García Alarcón makes a persuasive scholarly and analytical case for his many unconventional performance choices, but listeners should be forewarned that this is not a version of the opera for the faint of heart or for committed traditionalists. Most noticeably, this performance, which features the Geneva-based ensembles La Nouvelle Ménestrandie and Cappella Mediterranea, makes Dido and Aeneas seem like a very big opera, something on the order of Il Trovatore in its wrenching intensity, if not in its length. Alarcón's augmentation of the orchestra with oboes and bassoons doubling the strings in some places, as he argues Purcell would have done, is partly accountable for its enlarged sense of scale. Equally significant is the ferocity with which both the singers and players tear into their parts and the extremity of some of the characterizations. Dido and the Sorceress, for instance, express their anguish and hatred, respectively, by bending pitches to a degree rarely heard in "classical" music settings, and the Witches sing in creaky, crone-like character voices. It should be remembered that "baroque" was originally a term of derision meaning something misshapen or distorted, the equivalent of wagging the finger and saying, "you've gone too far this time!" That may be exactly the reaction of some listeners, but whether you're appalled or beguiled, this is a Dido and Aeneas that's likely to keep you on the edge of your seat with suspense. Few performances of the opera have so clearly delineated its arch-shaped trajectory; it opens with Dido lamenting the possibility of Aeneas' inconstancy and ends with her lamenting its actuality, and in this recording just about everything that transpires between the laments happens at a fever pitch of musical and dramatic tension. The fact that Alarcón is able to create and sustain the performance's intensity is a testimony not only to his vision and skill but to the willingness of the musicians to throw themselves so wholeheartedly into the venture. Every role, even the smallest, demonstrates the singers' investment in their parts. They all sing beautifully and powerfully, and manage to convey a verismo-like theatricality while operating (more or less) within the bounds of accepted Baroque performance practice. Aeneas can easily come across as a cipher, but Alejandro Meerapfel gives him substance, someone about whom the Queen of Carthage could believably get worked up. Countertenor Fabián Schofrin is a weird, sinister Sorceress. As Belinda, Yeree Suh sings with exceptional warmth, clarity, and sweetness. Solenn' Lavanant Linke's soprano is sumptuous and creamy, and she makes a regal but womanly Dido. The orchestra plays with aching expressivity and the continuo realizations are marvelously inventive. The recording is vividly present and is miked at a high level for a classical album, which also contributes to its unusually large sense of scale. Highly recommended.
© TiVo

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Purcell: Dido and Aeneas

La Nouvelle Menestrandie

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1
Dido and Aeneas, Z. 626: Ouverture
00:02:49

Henry Purcell, Composer - Leonardo Garcia Alarcon, MainArtist - La Nouvelle Menestrandie, MainArtist

Centre culturel de rencontre d’Ambronay Centre culturel de rencontre d’Ambronay

2
Dido and Aeneas, Act I, Z. 626: I. Shake the Cloud from off Your Brow
00:01:03

Nahum Tate, Lyricist - Henry Purcell, Composer - Leonardo Garcia Alarcon, MainArtist - Cappella Mediterranea, MainArtist - Yeree Suh, MainArtist - La Nouvelle Menestrandie, MainArtist

Centre culturel de rencontre d’Ambronay Centre culturel de rencontre d’Ambronay

3
Dido and Aeneas, Act I, Z. 626: II. Ah! Belinda, I Am Prest with Torment
00:03:15

Nahum Tate, Lyricist - Henry Purcell, Composer - Leonardo Garcia Alarcon, MainArtist - Cappella Mediterranea, MainArtist - La Nouvelle Menestrandie, MainArtist - Solenn Lavanant Linke, MainArtist

Centre culturel de rencontre d’Ambronay Centre culturel de rencontre d’Ambronay

4
Dido and Aeneas, Act I, Z. 626: II. Grief Increases by Concealing
00:00:32

Nahum Tate, Lyricist - Henry Purcell, Composer - Leonardo Garcia Alarcon, MainArtist - Cappella Mediterranea, MainArtist - Yeree Suh, MainArtist - La Nouvelle Menestrandie, MainArtist - Solenn Lavanant Linke, MainArtist

Centre culturel de rencontre d’Ambronay Centre culturel de rencontre d’Ambronay

5
Dido and Aeneas, Act I, Z. 626: IV. When Monarchs Unite
00:00:15

Nahum Tate, Lyricist - Henry Purcell, Composer - Leonardo Garcia Alarcon, MainArtist - Cappella Mediterranea, MainArtist - La Nouvelle Menestrandie, MainArtist

Centre culturel de rencontre d’Ambronay Centre culturel de rencontre d’Ambronay

6
Dido and Aeneas, Act I, Z. 626: V. Whence Could so Much Virtue Spring
00:01:59

Nahum Tate, Lyricist - Henry Purcell, Composer - Leonardo Garcia Alarcon, MainArtist - Cappella Mediterranea, MainArtist - Yeree Suh, MainArtist - La Nouvelle Menestrandie, MainArtist - Solenn Lavanant Linke, MainArtist

Centre culturel de rencontre d’Ambronay Centre culturel de rencontre d’Ambronay

7
Dido and Aeneas, Act I, Z. 626: VI. Fear No Danger
00:01:20

Nahum Tate, Lyricist - Henry Purcell, Composer - Leonardo Garcia Alarcon, MainArtist - Cappella Mediterranea, MainArtist - Yeree Suh, MainArtist - Mariana Flores, MainArtist - La Nouvelle Menestrandie, MainArtist

Centre culturel de rencontre d’Ambronay Centre culturel de rencontre d’Ambronay

8
Dido and Aeneas, Act I, Z. 626: VII. See, Your Royal Guest Appears... / When, Royal Fair... / Fate Forbids...
00:00:54

Nahum Tate, Lyricist - Henry Purcell, Composer - Leonardo Garcia Alarcon, MainArtist - Cappella Mediterranea, MainArtist - Yeree Suh, MainArtist - Alejandro Meerapfel, MainArtist - La Nouvelle Menestrandie, MainArtist - Solenn Lavanant Linke, MainArtist

Centre culturel de rencontre d’Ambronay Centre culturel de rencontre d’Ambronay

9
Dido and Aeneas, Act I, Z. 626: VIII. Cupid Only Throws the Dart
00:00:32

Nahum Tate, Lyricist - Henry Purcell, Composer - Leonardo Garcia Alarcon, MainArtist - Cappella Mediterranea, MainArtist - La Nouvelle Menestrandie, MainArtist

Centre culturel de rencontre d’Ambronay Centre culturel de rencontre d’Ambronay

10
Dido and Aeneas, Act I, Z. 626: IX. If Not for Mine
00:00:31

Nahum Tate, Lyricist - Henry Purcell, Composer - Leonardo Garcia Alarcon, MainArtist - Cappella Mediterranea, MainArtist - Alejandro Meerapfel, MainArtist - La Nouvelle Menestrandie, MainArtist

Centre culturel de rencontre d’Ambronay Centre culturel de rencontre d’Ambronay

11
Dido and Aeneas, Act I, Z. 626: X. Pursue Thy Conquest, Love
00:00:44

Nahum Tate, Lyricist - Henry Purcell, Composer - Leonardo Garcia Alarcon, MainArtist - Cappella Mediterranea, MainArtist - Yeree Suh, MainArtist - La Nouvelle Menestrandie, MainArtist

Centre culturel de rencontre d’Ambronay Centre culturel de rencontre d’Ambronay

12
Dido and Aeneas, Act I, Z. 626: XI. To the Hills and the Vales
00:01:19

Nahum Tate, Lyricist - Henry Purcell, Composer - Leonardo Garcia Alarcon, MainArtist - Cappella Mediterranea, MainArtist - La Nouvelle Menestrandie, MainArtist

Centre culturel de rencontre d’Ambronay Centre culturel de rencontre d’Ambronay

13
Dido and Aeneas, Act I, Z. 626: XII. Triumphing Dance
00:01:10

Henry Purcell, Composer - Leonardo Garcia Alarcon, MainArtist - La Nouvelle Menestrandie, MainArtist

Centre culturel de rencontre d’Ambronay Centre culturel de rencontre d’Ambronay

14
Dido and Aeneas, Act II, Z. 626: I. Prelude for the Witches / Wayward Sisters... / Say, Beldam...
00:01:53

Nahum Tate, Lyricist - Henry Purcell, Composer - Leonardo Garcia Alarcon, MainArtist - Cappella Mediterranea, MainArtist - Fabian Schofrin, MainArtist - Magali Arnault, MainArtist - La Nouvelle Menestrandie, MainArtist

Centre culturel de rencontre d’Ambronay Centre culturel de rencontre d’Ambronay

15
Dido and Aeneas, Act II, Z. 626: II. Harm's Our Delight
00:00:14

Nahum Tate, Lyricist - Henry Purcell, Composer - Leonardo Garcia Alarcon, MainArtist - Cappella Mediterranea, MainArtist - La Nouvelle Menestrandie, MainArtist

Centre culturel de rencontre d’Ambronay Centre culturel de rencontre d’Ambronay

16
Dido and Aeneas, Act II, Z. 626: III. The Queen of Carthage
00:00:25

Nahum Tate, Lyricist - Henry Purcell, Composer - Leonardo Garcia Alarcon, MainArtist - Cappella Mediterranea, MainArtist - Fabian Schofrin, MainArtist - La Nouvelle Menestrandie, MainArtist

Centre culturel de rencontre d’Ambronay Centre culturel de rencontre d’Ambronay

17
Dido and Aeneas, Act II, Z. 626: IV. Ho Ho Ho! Part. 1
00:00:10

Nahum Tate, Lyricist - Henry Purcell, Composer - Leonardo Garcia Alarcon, MainArtist - Cappella Mediterranea, MainArtist - La Nouvelle Menestrandie, MainArtist

Centre culturel de rencontre d’Ambronay Centre culturel de rencontre d’Ambronay

18
Dido and Aeneas, Act II, Z. 626: V. Ruin'd Ere the Set of Sun... / The Trojan Prince...
00:00:58

Nahum Tate, Lyricist - Henry Purcell, Composer - Leonardo Garcia Alarcon, MainArtist - Cappella Mediterranea, MainArtist - Mariana Flores, MainArtist - Fabian Schofrin, MainArtist - Magali Arnault, MainArtist - La Nouvelle Menestrandie, MainArtist

Centre culturel de rencontre d’Ambronay Centre culturel de rencontre d’Ambronay

19
Dido and Aeneas, Act II, Z. 626: VI. Ho Ho Ho! (2)
00:00:09

Nahum Tate, Lyricist - Henry Purcell, Composer - Leonardo Garcia Alarcon, MainArtist - Cappella Mediterranea, MainArtist - La Nouvelle Menestrandie, MainArtist

Centre culturel de rencontre d’Ambronay Centre culturel de rencontre d’Ambronay

20
Dido and Aeneas, Act II, Z. 626: VII. But Ere We This Perform
00:01:10

Nahum Tate, Lyricist - Henry Purcell, Composer - Leonardo Garcia Alarcon, MainArtist - Cappella Mediterranea, MainArtist - Mariana Flores, MainArtist - Magali Arnault, MainArtist - La Nouvelle Menestrandie, MainArtist

Centre culturel de rencontre d’Ambronay Centre culturel de rencontre d’Ambronay

21
Dido and Aeneas, Act II, Z. 626: VIII. In Our Deep Vaulted Cell
00:01:17

Nahum Tate, Lyricist - Henry Purcell, Composer - Leonardo Garcia Alarcon, MainArtist - Cappella Mediterranea, MainArtist - La Nouvelle Menestrandie, MainArtist

Centre culturel de rencontre d’Ambronay Centre culturel de rencontre d’Ambronay

22
Dido and Aeneas, Act II, Z. 626: IX. Echo Dance of the Fairies
00:00:54

Henry Purcell, Composer - Leonardo Garcia Alarcon, MainArtist - La Nouvelle Menestrandie, MainArtist

Centre culturel de rencontre d’Ambronay Centre culturel de rencontre d’Ambronay

23
Dido and Aeneas, Act II, Z. 626: X. Ritornelle
00:00:42

Henry Purcell, Composer - Leonardo Garcia Alarcon, MainArtist - La Nouvelle Menestrandie, MainArtist

Centre culturel de rencontre d’Ambronay Centre culturel de rencontre d’Ambronay

24
Dido and Aeneas, Act II, Z. 626: XI. Thanks to These Lonesome Vales
00:02:29

Nahum Tate, Lyricist - Henry Purcell, Composer - Leonardo Garcia Alarcon, MainArtist - Cappella Mediterranea, MainArtist - Yeree Suh, MainArtist - La Nouvelle Menestrandie, MainArtist

Centre culturel de rencontre d’Ambronay Centre culturel de rencontre d’Ambronay

25
Dido and Aeneas, Act II, Z. 626: XII. Oft She Visits This Lov'd Mountain
00:01:36

Nahum Tate, Lyricist - Henry Purcell, Composer - Leonardo Garcia Alarcon, MainArtist - Cappella Mediterranea, MainArtist - Mariana Flores, MainArtist - La Nouvelle Menestrandie, MainArtist

Centre culturel de rencontre d’Ambronay Centre culturel de rencontre d’Ambronay

26
Dido and Aeneas, Act II, Z. 626: XIII. Behold, Upon My Bending Spear... / The Skies Are Clouded...
00:00:33

Nahum Tate, Lyricist - Henry Purcell, Composer - Leonardo Garcia Alarcon, MainArtist - Cappella Mediterranea, MainArtist - Alejandro Meerapfel, MainArtist - La Nouvelle Menestrandie, MainArtist - Solenn Lavanant Linke, MainArtist

Centre culturel de rencontre d’Ambronay Centre culturel de rencontre d’Ambronay

27
Dido and Aeneas, Act II, Z. 626: XIV. Haste, Haste to Town
00:00:47

Nahum Tate, Lyricist - Henry Purcell, Composer - Leonardo Garcia Alarcon, MainArtist - Cappella Mediterranea, MainArtist - Yeree Suh, MainArtist - La Nouvelle Menestrandie, MainArtist

Centre culturel de rencontre d’Ambronay Centre culturel de rencontre d’Ambronay

28
Dido and Aeneas, Act II, Z. 626: XV. Stay, Prince... / Jove's Command...
00:02:48

Nahum Tate, Lyricist - Henry Purcell, Composer - Leonardo Garcia Alarcon, MainArtist - Cappella Mediterranea, MainArtist - Alejandro Meerapfel, MainArtist - Christophe Carrè, MainArtist - La Nouvelle Menestrandie, MainArtist

Centre culturel de rencontre d’Ambronay Centre culturel de rencontre d’Ambronay

29
Dido and Aeneas, Act III, Z. 626: I. Prelude / Come Away, Fellow Sailors
00:01:22

Nahum Tate, Lyricist - Henry Purcell, Composer - Leonardo Garcia Alarcon, MainArtist - Cappella Mediterranea, MainArtist - Valerio Contaldo, MainArtist - La Nouvelle Menestrandie, MainArtist

Centre culturel de rencontre d’Ambronay Centre culturel de rencontre d’Ambronay

30
Dido and Aeneas, Act III, Z. 626: II. Sailor's Dance
00:00:36

Henry Purcell, Composer - Leonardo Garcia Alarcon, MainArtist - La Nouvelle Menestrandie, MainArtist

Centre culturel de rencontre d’Ambronay Centre culturel de rencontre d’Ambronay

31
Dido and Aeneas, Act III, Z. 626: III. See the Flags... / Phoebe's Pale Deluding Beams...
00:01:00

Nahum Tate, Lyricist - Henry Purcell, Composer - Leonardo Garcia Alarcon, MainArtist - Cappella Mediterranea, MainArtist - Mariana Flores, MainArtist - Fabian Schofrin, MainArtist - Magali Arnault, MainArtist - La Nouvelle Menestrandie, MainArtist

Centre culturel de rencontre d’Ambronay Centre culturel de rencontre d’Ambronay

32
Dido and Aeneas, Act III, Z. 626: IV. Our Next Motion
00:00:51

Nahum Tate, Lyricist - Henry Purcell, Composer - Leonardo Garcia Alarcon, MainArtist - Cappella Mediterranea, MainArtist - Magali Arnault, MainArtist - La Nouvelle Menestrandie, MainArtist

Centre culturel de rencontre d’Ambronay Centre culturel de rencontre d’Ambronay

33
Dido and Aeneas, Act III, Z. 626: V. Destruction's Our Delight
00:00:32

Nahum Tate, Lyricist - Henry Purcell, Composer - Leonardo Garcia Alarcon, MainArtist - Cappella Mediterranea, MainArtist - La Nouvelle Menestrandie, MainArtist

Centre culturel de rencontre d’Ambronay Centre culturel de rencontre d’Ambronay

34
Dido and Aeneas, Act III, Z. 626: VI. Witches' Dance
00:01:26

Henry Purcell, Composer - Leonardo Garcia Alarcon, MainArtist - La Nouvelle Menestrandie, MainArtist

Centre culturel de rencontre d’Ambronay Centre culturel de rencontre d’Ambronay

35
Dido and Aeneas, Act III, Z. 626: VII. Your Counsel All... / See, Madam... / What Shall Lost Aenas Do?
00:04:54

Nahum Tate, Lyricist - Henry Purcell, Composer - Leonardo Garcia Alarcon, MainArtist - Cappella Mediterranea, MainArtist - Yeree Suh, MainArtist - Alejandro Meerapfel, MainArtist - La Nouvelle Menestrandie, MainArtist - Solenn Lavanant Linke, MainArtist

Centre culturel de rencontre d’Ambronay Centre culturel de rencontre d’Ambronay

36
Dido and Aeneas, Act III, Z. 626: VIII. Great Minds Against Themselves Conspire
00:00:56

Nahum Tate, Lyricist - Henry Purcell, Composer - Leonardo Garcia Alarcon, MainArtist - Cappella Mediterranea, MainArtist - La Nouvelle Menestrandie, MainArtist

Centre culturel de rencontre d’Ambronay Centre culturel de rencontre d’Ambronay

37
Dido and Aeneas, Act III, Z. 626: IX. Thy Hand, Belinda
00:00:43

Nahum Tate, Lyricist - Henry Purcell, Composer - Leonardo Garcia Alarcon, MainArtist - Cappella Mediterranea, MainArtist - La Nouvelle Menestrandie, MainArtist - Solenn Lavanant Linke, MainArtist

Centre culturel de rencontre d’Ambronay Centre culturel de rencontre d’Ambronay

38
Dido and Aeneas, Act III, Z. 626: X. When I Am Laid in Earth
00:03:14

Nahum Tate, Lyricist - Henry Purcell, Composer - Leonardo Garcia Alarcon, MainArtist - Cappella Mediterranea, MainArtist - La Nouvelle Menestrandie, MainArtist - Solenn Lavanant Linke, MainArtist

Centre culturel de rencontre d’Ambronay Centre culturel de rencontre d’Ambronay

39
Dido and Aeneas, Act III, Z. 626: XI. With Drooping Wings
00:04:34

Nahum Tate, Lyricist - Henry Purcell, Composer - Leonardo Garcia Alarcon, MainArtist - Cappella Mediterranea, MainArtist - La Nouvelle Menestrandie, MainArtist

Centre culturel de rencontre d’Ambronay Centre culturel de rencontre d’Ambronay

Descriptif de l'album

In the program notes for this recording of Dido and Aeneas, conductor Leonardo García Alarcón makes a persuasive scholarly and analytical case for his many unconventional performance choices, but listeners should be forewarned that this is not a version of the opera for the faint of heart or for committed traditionalists. Most noticeably, this performance, which features the Geneva-based ensembles La Nouvelle Ménestrandie and Cappella Mediterranea, makes Dido and Aeneas seem like a very big opera, something on the order of Il Trovatore in its wrenching intensity, if not in its length. Alarcón's augmentation of the orchestra with oboes and bassoons doubling the strings in some places, as he argues Purcell would have done, is partly accountable for its enlarged sense of scale. Equally significant is the ferocity with which both the singers and players tear into their parts and the extremity of some of the characterizations. Dido and the Sorceress, for instance, express their anguish and hatred, respectively, by bending pitches to a degree rarely heard in "classical" music settings, and the Witches sing in creaky, crone-like character voices. It should be remembered that "baroque" was originally a term of derision meaning something misshapen or distorted, the equivalent of wagging the finger and saying, "you've gone too far this time!" That may be exactly the reaction of some listeners, but whether you're appalled or beguiled, this is a Dido and Aeneas that's likely to keep you on the edge of your seat with suspense. Few performances of the opera have so clearly delineated its arch-shaped trajectory; it opens with Dido lamenting the possibility of Aeneas' inconstancy and ends with her lamenting its actuality, and in this recording just about everything that transpires between the laments happens at a fever pitch of musical and dramatic tension. The fact that Alarcón is able to create and sustain the performance's intensity is a testimony not only to his vision and skill but to the willingness of the musicians to throw themselves so wholeheartedly into the venture. Every role, even the smallest, demonstrates the singers' investment in their parts. They all sing beautifully and powerfully, and manage to convey a verismo-like theatricality while operating (more or less) within the bounds of accepted Baroque performance practice. Aeneas can easily come across as a cipher, but Alejandro Meerapfel gives him substance, someone about whom the Queen of Carthage could believably get worked up. Countertenor Fabián Schofrin is a weird, sinister Sorceress. As Belinda, Yeree Suh sings with exceptional warmth, clarity, and sweetness. Solenn' Lavanant Linke's soprano is sumptuous and creamy, and she makes a regal but womanly Dido. The orchestra plays with aching expressivity and the continuo realizations are marvelously inventive. The recording is vividly present and is miked at a high level for a classical album, which also contributes to its unusually large sense of scale. Highly recommended.
© TiVo

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