Purcell: Dido and Aeneas

Challenge Classics: CC72737

Prices shown exclude VAT. (UK tax is not payable for deliveries to United States.)
See Terms & Conditions for p&p rates.
Purcell: Dido and Aeneas

Catalogue No:




Release date:

18th Nov 2016




75 minutes


SACD (download also available)


Hybrid Multi-channel
| Share

Purcell: Dido and Aeneas


The Loves of Mars and Venus: Prologue

John Eccles, Godfrey Finger


Dido and Aeneas

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



(also available to download from $10.00)

Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days. (Available now to download.)

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.

Henry Purcell: Dido and Aeneas, Z. 626: Overture

Dido and Aeneas, Z. 626: Overture

Henry Purcell: Dido and Aeneas, Z. 626, Act I

Shake the Cloud

Ah! Belinda, I Am Prest

Whence Could So Much

Fear no Danger

See, See

If Not for Mine

To the Hills and the Vales

The Triumphing Dance

Henry Purcell: Dido and Aeneas, Z. 626, Act II

Wayward Sisters

In Our Deep Vaulted Cell

Echo Dance of Furies

The Grove

Thanks to These Lonesome

Oft She Visits

Behold Upon My Bending

Stay Prince and Hear

Henry Purcell: Dido and Aeneas, Z. 626, Act III

The Ships

The Sailors Dance

Our Next Motion

Destruction’s Our Delight

The Witches Dance

Your Counsel All Is Urg’d

Great Minds

When I Am Laid in Earth

With Drooping Wings

Gottfried Finger, John Eccles: The Love of Mars and Venus


Come All, Come All

Chorus. Come All, Come All

John Eccles, Gottfried Finger: The Love of Mars and Venus

Love Alone

Love Like War

Scorn tho Beauty

To Double the Sports

To Treble the Pleasures

Let Scenes of Mirth

BBC Music Magazine

February 2017


“The real star is the instrumental playing (how the dances swing!); and with less at stake, warmly stylish, The Love of Mars and Venus proves a delightful postscript.”

Choose Format:

What is MP3 and FLAC?

Click here for alternative recordings of this work.

Copyright © 2002-17 Presto Classical Limited, all rights reserved.