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John Blow: Venus and Adonis

(2011) John Blow: Venus and Adonis

Record type: Music Item


For this recording of Venus & Adonis on Wigmore Hall Live, Elizabeth Kenny, one of Europe’s leading lute players and founder of the Theatre of the Ayre, has, for the first time, used girl choristers in the chorus and females rather than boys in the roles of Cupid and Little Cupids. The critically-lauded Theatre of the Ayre was set up to explore the dramatic vocal music of 17th century England and this performance, with its distinctive female perspective and improvisatory nature apt to Blow’s recitative style, is a faithful interpretation. The distinguished vocal line-up includes Sophie Daneman, Roderick Williams and Elin Manahan Thomas. Venus & Adonis later served as a model for Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, and in this new recording - alongside Lambert’s excerpts from Livre d’airs de cour and de Visée’s Chaconne - it demands attention as a masterpiece in its own right.

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Published date: 30 January 2011
Additional Information: The author of the libretto of Venus & Adonis, the oldest surviving all-sung English opera (1683), had the simple moniker of “anonymous,” until recent research uncovered the true librettist to be not only female, but also maid of honour to the Duchess of York, Maria Beatrice of Modena. In penning Venus & Adonis, Anne Kingsmill (1661-1720) used her inside knowledge to comment on court morals with staggering directness, incorporating strands of comedy, sexual politics and passionate love.
Organisations: Music


Local EPrints ID: 185303
PURE UUID: 24792133-ea1c-42b2-b31e-878471a7ae39

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Date deposited: 10 May 2011 12:59
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 11:49

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