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Back to 1683* England, for John Blow's masterpiece, Venus and Adonis, subtitled at the time as "A Masque for the entertainment of the King" (Charles II), it is nevertheless considered an opera now (England's first, in fact), as is Purcell's magnificent and moving Dido and Aeneas, whose form was modeled after Blow's work.  Opera in England would reach its zenith with Handel several decades later, to then be eclipsed by Handel's own oratorios.

 

John Blow

Venus and Adonis

Rosemary Joshua

Gerard Finley

René Jacobs/Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment

 

Rosemary Joshua sings with exquisite beauty, fittingly, as Venus, while Gerald Finley's baritone has an unforced virility as Adonis.  Cupid is portrayed by countertenor Robin Blaze (I'm not fond of his hooty tone, it's a pity that Michael Chance wasn't enlisted for this 1998 recording, it could have been perfect!  Blaze is of course talented, though.).  This Harmonia Mundi recording has marvelous sound, warm yet clear.

 

Venus and Adonis of mythology, of course, were the epitome of physical grace.  The singers themselves are much closer to the ideals of beauty than the hideous beasts of the famed painting chosen as the cover art.  Not that I blame the singers for not wishing to be pictured 'in costume' themselves haha!

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*The notes with the CD state that the first performance was in 1681, but everything else I've read suggests 1683 is correct.  Perhaps 1681 was a private Royal performance, and 1683 was the first public performance.  


请教别人一次是5分钟的傻子,从不请教别人是一辈子的傻子

"I know I chatter on far too much...but if you only knew how many things I want to say and don't, you'd give me some credit!"  -Anne of Green Gables

 

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An beautifful EP (6 track) album available from bandcamp for only $US5.00.

Rivers and Vessels.jpg


"Relax, it's only hi-fi. There's never been a hi-fi emergency." - Roy Hall

"Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted"- William Bruce Cameron

 

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I can't recall right now who recommended it on 'My Essential..' thread but I'm really grateful!  CD

 

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The man that hath no music in himself, nor is not moved with concord of sweet sounds, is fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils. The motions of his spirit are dull as night, and his affections dark as Erebus. Let no such man be trusted. Mark the music.

                                                                          ―  William Shakespeare.

 

 

 

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6 hours ago, sphinxsix said:

Just finished streaming.

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All of it? I’m impressed. 

 

I can barely sit through one of them.

 

I have the Solti cycle as well, actually both on vinyl and as download, but I’m still waiting for the day that I really start to fully  it. 

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1 hour ago, Musicophile said:

All of it? I’m impressed. 

 

I can barely sit through one of them.

 

I have the Solti cycle as well, actually both on vinyl and as download, but I’m still waiting for the day that I really start to fully  it. 

 

It is a single CD selection of instrumental parts from Der Ring. Kind of greatest hits. Just to get a feeling of Wagner's universe.

 

Would you believe it or not, I listened to whole opus in its entirety countless times, not only Solti, which is most famous, but many other versions as well, starting from post-war live recordings. Was even dreaming about undertaking the effort of getting tickets to Bayreuth festival (it is not a simple task at all if you know what I mean), but laziness prevailed. 

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4 hours ago, Musicophile said:

All of it? I’m impressed. 

 

3 hours ago, AnotherSpin said:

It is a single CD selection of instrumental parts from Der Ring.

Yes, these are orchestral excerpts. I was highly impressed but it was too late yesterday to comment on it. I will do it on 'My Essential..' thread now.


The man that hath no music in himself, nor is not moved with concord of sweet sounds, is fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils. The motions of his spirit are dull as night, and his affections dark as Erebus. Let no such man be trusted. Mark the music.

                                                                          ―  William Shakespeare.

 

 

 

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The final act of new age music listening that will occur in my home.  You can hunt up the French nature show for undesirable quality examples of the music if you so wish.  Or mute everything and enjoy the beautiful footage of giraffes frolicking and so on.

 

opera-sauvage-51beaf74e465d.jpg  

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