I believe I have (or know about) every recording of this great opera. I do
not know of any recordings that I do not own.
Here is the list of the CDs I currently have, with some comments on each:
|Purcell society volume 1, complete on
78s (I don't know how many records), not available on CD (I have a copy on tape
from the original 78s). Dido: Nancy Evans; Belinda: Mary Hamlin; Aeneas: Roy
Henderson. Charles Kennedy Scott's A Cappella singers and The Boyd Neel string
orchestra conducted by Clarency Raybould. Recorded 1935 in mono on 78s.|
I believe this is the first complete recording of this opera ever. The
sound is actually very good consider it was recorded in 1935. The performance
is very good, much better than many of the recordings listed below. The only
problem is that you can't get hold of this performance anywhere. It's not
released on CD, and I don't know if it has ever been released on LP either.
But, if you one day should see it in a music store, go get it! My hope is that
someone will release it on CD one day.
|Opera D'Oro OPD-1220, full price. Dido: Joan Hammond. Recorded 1945.
|EMI CDH 7610062, mid price. Dido:
Kirsten Flagstad. Recorded 1952. More info
This CD includes some of the
greatest names in the history of classical music: Kirsten Flagstad and
Elisabeth Schwarzkopf. The sound on this recording is ok, but not among the
best. I don't have many historical CDs, so I have little material to compare
with. I would like the sound to be much better, but remember it's over 55 years
|Urancant 2008, full price. Dido: Martha Mödl. Recorded 1955.
This is the one of the few non-English recordings I know of. It's sung in
|BBC BBCB 8003-2, full price. Dido: Claire Watson. Recorded 1959 (Purple
veil recorded in 1965). Mono recording. More info|
I love Benjamin Britten's music, so I was very glad to discover that he
recorded this opera. Purcell was Britten's musical hero,so it was only
natural that did this. He made his own realization of it (together with
Imogen Holst), and this is the only recording as far as I know of, of this
This recording is from 1959, and the mono sound is not among the very
best. It's a full price recording, but it does not include the libretto.
It's also only six tracks on the CD, which I find annoying.
The performances are very good. Another reason for having this recording
is to hear Peter Pears as Aeneas. He does a splendid job. This recording may
not be as good as some of the others, but it's a CD there should be room for
in any Purcell collection.
|Decca 425 720-2, mid price. Dido: Janet
Baker. Recorded 1961. More info |
This recording is one the best ever of this opera. Janet Baker is a
wonderful Dido and she couldn't possibly sing any better than she does here.
Also the sound is good. It's an old recording, but the sound is very
satisfying. This is the best recording available today, together with
Christie's 2nd recording (on Erato). There could also been more CD tracks.
It's only divided into 17 tracks, while others have around 35-40 (which is
|Vanguard Classics 08 2032 71, mid price.
Dido: Mary Thomas Recorded 1964. More info |
This is an ok recording, not more or not less. I am not too impressed with
the Lament. The sound is also ok. It has also the most interesting libretto.
It's a reprinting of (what seems to be) the 1689 libretto.
|EMI CDM 5 65664 2, mid price. Dido:
Victoria de Los Angeles Recorded 1965. More info
This is one the better recordings, and there are also some great names
among the soloists, not to mention the conductor! It's very exciting to hear
Barbirolli conduct this opera, as he has done very much good with British
music from this century (his Elgar and Delius recordings are very good). Maybe
not the best recording, it's still a very good one. It's very much
|Archiv 447 148-2, mid price. Dido: Tatiana Troyanos. Recorded 1967. More info
This recording is also available in a box (the Purcell Collection, 8CD).
This a rather good recording, and the sound is very good. I am very pleased
with it, and you can do worse thing in life than buying this recording!
|Philips Solo 446 577-2, mid price. Dido:
Josephine Veasey. Recorded 1970. More info |
This is another one of those rather good, but not among the greatest of the
recordings. The sound is good.
|Arkadia HP 619.1, full price. Dido:
Shirley Verrett. Recorded live 1971. More info |
The first thing you notice about this recording, is the awful sound. I have
problems with enjoying this CD because of it. The Berlioz extracts has much
better sound than the Dido. I am not very impressed with this recording.
|Erato 2292-45263-2, mid price. Dido:
Tatiana Troyanos. Recorded 1977. More info |
This is a very good recording, atleast among the top 10. It's Troyanos 2nd
recording, and she is a very good Dido. It's also worth mentioning that Philip
Langridge is singing the role of sailor. The sound is good.
|Chandos 0521, full price. Dido: Emma
Kirkby. Recorded 1981. More info |
This is a very good recording, and one the very best. Emma Kirkby is a very
good Dido. There are a few negative things about this CD. There are no
libretto, and there are only four CD tracks. Both these thing are not
acceptable in a full price recording. Despite this, it's a great recording!
|Teldec 4509-93686-2, mid price. Dido:
Ann Murray. Recorded 1983. More info |
This is a good performance. Maybe not the best, but definitely not the
worst. It's also good to have Harnoncourt's interpretation of this work. The
sound is also good.
|Philips 416 299-2, full price. Dido:
Jessye Norman. Recorded 1985. More info |
This is another one of those recordings with a big name in the lead. I have
never been a great fan of Jessye Norman, but she does a good job here. In my
opinion, her voice isn't perfect for Dido. There are many Dido's I would have
preferred before her.
|Harmonia Mundi HMC 905173, full price.
Dido: Guillmette Laurens. Recorded 1985. More info
This is one of the few non-English speaking casts. Most of the soloists are
French, but you don't hear it very much. This is a very good recording, and
almost as good as the one with Kirkby. Guillmette Laurens does a very good job
as Dido, and Christie do also a very good job. Highly recommended.
|Archiv 427 624-2, full price. Dido: Anne
Sofie von Otter. Recorded 1988. More info |
Anne Sofie von Otter are one of the great stars of today, and she makes a
very nice performance here. I have seen Lynne Dawson in concert singing Dido,
so I know that she can be a marvellous Dido. She sings Belinda very well here.
Also a very recommended recording.
|Teldec 4509-91191-2, full price.
Dido: Della Jones. Recorded 1989. More info |
This is another one of those good but not to impressive recordings. I am
not to happy with the lament, it could have been better.
|Philips 432 114-2, full price. Dido:
Carolyn Watkinson. Recorded 1990. More info |
John Eliot Gardiner has been one of my favourite conductors for a long
time, so it's very good to see that he also has recorded this opera. I don't
know much about Carolyn Watkinson, but she does a very good job as Dido. This
is a highly recommended recording. It's also very nice to see that they have
included a filler.
|Wijnand van Hooff WVH 050, budget price.
Dido: Wilke te Brummelstroete. Recorded 1991. More info
This is an all-Dutch recording, and with (for me) only unknown soloists.
It's also not generally available. I think you must get to Holland to get it
(I got it from a friend living there). It's actually a descent recording.
Maybe not the best, but you can do worse.
|L'Oiseau-lyre 436 992-2, full price.
Dido: Catherine Bott. Recorded 1992. More info |
Catherine Bott is a very impressive Dido, and she sings very good. She
makes this one of the best Didos. Maybe not as good as Baker and Gens, but she
is clearly among the very best.
|Harmonia Mundi HMU 907110, full price.
Dido: Lorraine Hunt. Recorded 1993. More info |
Lorraine Hunt is a very impressive Dido, and I would recommend this
over the first one on the same label. Also one of the best recordings
|BBC Music magazine BBC MM 129, budget
price. Dido: Emily van Evera. Recorded 1994. More info
This is the cheapest recording you can get. You also get a good magazine
with it! This is actually a rather good recording, and better than many of the
|Erato 4509-98477-2, full price. Dido:
Veronique Gens. Recorded 1994. More info |
Here we have the best of them all (together with Janet Baker on Decca)!
This is a wonderful recording, and Veronique Gens is a great Dido. I am very
happy that Christie made his second recording! It's going to be difficult to
get any better than this. I can't recommend this recording too much.
|Chandos CHAN 0586, full price. Dido:
Maria Ewing. Recorded 1995. More info |
I have never really liked this recording, and it's because of Maria Ewing
as Dido. She is not too good in the video either, where she shows very little
emotions in her singing. The video itself is good, but not Ewing's acting.
It's a film version, and not a stage recording, so it's easy to follow the
action. If you would like to have this recording, get the video as you then
add another dimension to the music.
|Vox classics VOX 7518, budget price.
Dido: Jennifer Lane. Recorded 1995. More info |
This is a very interesting recording because they have tried to restore
some of the "wrong-doings" on earlier performances. They have
included several instrumental pieces and changed who should some of the arias.
Also, Jennifer Lane performs well. A good performance.
|CBC SMCD 5147, full price. Dido:
Jennifer Lane. Recorded 1995. More info |
This is the soundtrack of an all-male ballet. I have seen it on TV, and I
can't say I liked it too much. A little bit to strange for me. The recording
itself are very good, and I believe that Jennifer Lane sings better here than
on her Vox recording. This is also the only recording of Dido & Aeneas with
a female conductor.
|Telarc CD-80424, full price. Dido: Nancy
Maultsby. Recorded 1996. More info |
This is one of the the newest recordings of this opera, but not among the
best. It's a good one, but I am not to happy with Maultsby as Dido. I prefer
my Dido not to be so low as she is.
|Naxos 8.553108, budget price. Dido: Kym
Amps. Recorded 1994. More info |
I have been waiting for the Scholars baroque ensemble to record Dido &
Aeneas for a long time now. After I heard their recordings of The Messiah and
St. John passion, both on Naxos, I have wanted them to record this opera. So,
it was with great anticipation I bought this new recording. They didn't let me
down. This is a very good recording! It might not be the very best, but it's
not far from it. Kym Amps is a very good Dido. It's also very good to have
such a good recording available at such low price. It's a highly recommended
A link to the Dido &
Aeneas page on the Naxos homepage.
|Sony SK 62993, full price. Dido: Emily
van Evera. Released 1999. More info|
This is the same recording as the BBC Music Magazine CD mentioned above.
|Harmonia Mundi HMC 901683, full price. Dido: Lynne Dawson. Recorded 1998. More
I have been waiting for Lynne Dawson to record this opera for a long
time, and I am very glad to finally be able to listen to her Dido on CD. She
does a very good Dido. It's also worth mentioning that this recording is one
of the longest at almost one hour. Very good recording and warmly
Other recordings that I have, but not yet have had time to comment on:
|Cascavelle VEL 5005, full price. Dido: Teresa Barganza. Recorded 1999.
|Glossa GCD 921601, full price. Dido: Laura Pudwell. Recorded 2000. More
|Virgin Veritas 545 6052, full price. Dido: Susan Graham. Recorded 2003.
|Brilliant Classics 92464, budget price. Dido: Nicola Wemyss. Recorded
2004. More info.|
|Manchester Files CDMAN138. Dido: Eugenia Gorokhovskaya. Recorded 1977.
|Walhall Eternity series WLCD 0186. Dido: Kirsten Flagstad. Recorded
1951. More info|
|Edition Lilac 200204-2. Dido: Evelyn Tubb. Recorded 2002. More info|
|Cascavelle VEL 3107. Dido: Irma Kolassi. Recorded 1951. More info|
|Decca 468 561-2. Dido: Janet Baker. Recorded 1975. More info|
|Lyrichord LEMS 8057. Dido: Julianne Baird. Recorded 2007. More info|
|Globe 5020. Dido: Rachel Ann Morgan. Recorded 1989. More info|
|Vocal and full score, Novello ISBN
0-85360-284-0 and order no. NOV 070318. Edited by Margaret Laurie and Thurston
Dart. More info.|
|A live concert! I was fortunate to be
able to attend the King's consort conducted by Robert King in a concertante
performance of this opera in 1995. Lynn Dawson sang Dido and Nancy Argenta
Belinda. It was a marvellous concert! This concert also included one of
|Ellen T. Harris: Henry Purcell's Dido and Aeneas. Clarendon paperback, 184
pages. More info.|
See the book section for further info on this book.
If you know of any other recordings (or relevant books) with Dido & Aeneas other than the ones
mentioned here, tell me! I would
be very much interested in getting more recordings.
Here is a link to the full score. You can buy the
full score here
Here is another Dido &
Aeneas page in Dutch. And
is one in french