Purcell: Dido and Aeneas

Chandos’ featured release is a new recording of the first English operatic masterpiece, Purcell’s tragedy Dido and Aeneas. Starring Sarah Connolly, Gerald Finley, with the Orchestra and Choir of the Age of Enlightenment, it is released to commemorate the 350th anniversary of Purcell’s birth.

Directed from the keyboard by Steven Devine and Elizabeth Kenny as in recent concert performances, the ensemble presents the opera in a version that incorporates other dance works by Purcell.

There have been two revolutions in scholarly thinking about Dido and Aeneas and both had serious implications for historically inclined performers, and demand a creative response today. The musicological backdrop to this recording results in a performance closer to the court entertainment of Purcell’s day, in which musical dramas evolved from the English theatre tradition.

Performed with: Julius Drake, piano

Released January 2009



Act I: Shake the cloud from off your brow (Belinda, Chorus)

Act I: Ah! Belinda, I am press’d with torment (Dido)

Act I: Grief increases by concealing (Belinda, Dido, Chorus)

Act I: Whence could so much virtue spring? (Dido, Belinda, 2nd Woman, Chorus)

Act I: See, your Royal guest appears (Belinda, Aeneas, Dido, Chorus)

Act I: Cupid only throws the dart (Chorus)

Act I: If not for mine, for Empire’s sake (Aeneas, Belinda)

Act I: Guitar Chaconne

Act I: To the hills and the vales (Chorus)

Act I: The Triumphing Dance

Act II: Wayward sisters (Sorceress, 1st Witch, Witches)

Act II: The Queen of Carthage, whom we hate (Sorceress, Chorus)

Act II: Ruin’d ere the set of sun? (Witches, Sorceress, Chorus)

Act II: In our deep vaulted cell (Chorus)

Act II: Echo Dance of Furies

Act II: Ritornelle

Act II: Thanks to these lonesome vales (Belinda, Chorus)

Act II: Guitar Passacaille

Act II: Guitar Dance: Oft she visits this lone mountain (2nd Woman)

Act II: Behold, upon my bended spear (Aeneas, Dido) – Haste, haste to town (Belinda, Chorus)

Act II: Stay, Prince! and hear great Jove’s command (Spirit, Aeneas)

Act II: Groves’ Dance: Then since our charms have sped (Chorus)

Act III: Come away, fellow sailors (1st Sailor, Chorus)

Act III: See, the flags and streamers curling (Sorceress, 1st and 2nd Witches)

Act III: Our next motion (Sorceress)


Act III: The Witches’ Dance

Act III: Your counsel all is urg’d in vain (Dido, Belinda, Aeneas)

Act III: Great minds against themselves conspire (Chorus)

Act III: Thy hand, Belinda; darkness shades me (Dido)

Act III: With drooping wings ye cupids come

Listen now!