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Dido and Aeneas - The Titfield Thunderbolt
Heisenberg might have stayed here
Dido and Aeneas
There was a performance of Purcell's Dido and Aeneas at the Proms in 2003, which regrettably I missed, so when I saw an advert for a performance at St Martin-in-the-Fields it was an easy decision to book. The concert was given by the Brandenburg Sinfonia and the Choral Scholars of St Martin's, and began with three other Purcell works: Rejoice in the Lord Alway and Welcome to all the Pleasures both for choir and orchestra, with the purely orchestral Chaconne in between. I recognised all three pieces to some extent; an interesting serendipity was the discovery that part of Welcome to all the Pleasures forms the basis for one of Michael Nyman's tracks for The Draughtsman's Contract.

After the interval we moved on to Dido and Aeneas. It's quite surprising how much can be condensed into about an hour, with a handful of soloists and an orchestra of seven (including harpsichord and organ) - perhaps a certain Mr Wagner could take note. Richard Moore was particularly good as Aeneas, and Hilary Cronin as Belinda; Emma Lewis' Dido seemed a bit muffled from time to time. All in all, an enjoyable concert in a suitably impressive (but modestly sized) venue.


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