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Purcell: Dido & Aeneas / Rachael Lloyd, Robert Davies, Elin Manahan Thomas. Armonico Consort, Christopher Monks

Album Summary

>Purcell, Henry : Dido and Aeneas, Z 626
Conductor Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

The Armonico Consert and soloists perform Henry Purcell's evergreen chamber opera Dido & Aeneas, the work based on Virgil's epic, the Aeneid. Armonico Consert is one of the largest and most innovative organizations of its kind in the UK, existing to inspire audiences with its unique programs. About Armonico Consert: "... the whole thing seems suffused with light reflected from Manahan Thomas' voice, and Steele-Perkins' effortlessly projected trumpet." (BBC Radio 3 CD review of Let The Bright Seraphim, SIGCD289) "... a disc of unending delight." (Gramophone review of Naked Byrd Two, SIGCD235).

The Telegraph, 24th May 2015
Lithe, colourful, tastefully phrased and dynamically astute playing...[the cast] sing compellingly and inhabit their roles with the same sensitivity that distinguishes the whole performance.

Sunday Times, 24th May 2015
This account has likeable soloists..., a fine chorus (though "Great minds" and "With drooping wings" are too slow) and a lively band. One-string-to-a-part weakens passages like the end of "Oft she visits", but brings out Purcell's expressive part-writing.

The Guardian, 4th June 2015
A fine performance should magic up a sense of epic. Christopher Monks and his Armonico Consort almost manage to. This is a clean, uncluttered account featuring crystalline voices, good diction, safe tempos and well-defined phrasing...vocal ensembles are luminous and the instrumental playing is bright and streamlined. Best of all is Rachael Lloyd's dignified Dido, rich-voiced, poetic and flawlessly delivered.

Financial Times, 20th June 2015
The Armonico Consort and its musical director, Christopher Monks, capture this abundance of inspiration in a performance full of life and variety...Rachael Lloyd's dignified Dido and Elin Manahan Thomas's bright Belinda are well contrasted.

Gramophone Magazine, August 2015
There's a lot going for this newcomer. The scale is modest...The playing is wonderfully vital...The soloists are equally fine. Bright-toned Elin Manahan Thomas is well cast as Belinda...Roderick Morris is pleasingly unexaggerated as a countertenor Sorceress...Rachael Lloyd - lovesick, imperious, resigned - is an excellent Dido, her famous Lament no less effective for being restrained.

BBC Music Magazine, September 2015
This new recording, with a cast of youthful, fresh-voiced soloists and an ingenuous approach, recaptures the spirit of the first known performance in a Chelsea boarding school for 'young gentlewomen'... Rachel Lloyd makes a graceful Dido... Christopher Monks's fleet direction and wispy instrumental playing enhance the all-pervasive dance rhythms.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Church of St Augustine, Kilburn (10/20/2014-10/21/2014).


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Works Details

>Purcell, Henry : Dido and Aeneas, Z 626
  • Conductor: Christopher Monks
  • Ensemble: Armonico Consort
  • Notes: Church of St Augustine, Kilburn (10/20/2014-10/21/2014)
  • Running Time: 42 min. 19 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Form: Opera/Operetta
  • Written: 1689