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John Blow - Venus & Adonis / Joshua · Finley · Blaze · Jacobs

Import

4.1 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Import, July 13, 1999
$28.00 $10.94

Editorial Reviews

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Here we have the very first English opera, with good gossip behind it to boot: John Blow composed the work for private performance at the English court, with King Charles II's longtime mistress Moll Davis as Venus and their illegitimate 9-year-old daughter playing Cupid. Venus and Adonis isn't just a historical curiosity, though: it's a full-scale Versailles-style opera in miniature, the near-equal of Purcell's more celebrated Dido and Aeneas (evidently composed for similar circumstances). Retired countertenor René Jacobs made quite a splash through the 1990s conducting early opera from Monteverdi to Mozart; the liveliness and dramatic sensitivity that made his reputation as a conductor are much in evidence here. Soprano Rosemary Joshua is excellent in many ways, but she occasionally lets her vibrato spread wide enough to carry her off-pitch; aside from that sporadic flaw, she is a superb Venus: sweet, sensuous, and, in her lament on Adonis's death, affecting without ever sounding overblown. Baritone Gerald Finley as Adonis nicely blends tenderness and virility; as Cupid, countertenor Robin Blaze is certainly no prepubescent girl (presumably Charlotte Church was unavailable) and the role lies just a bit high for him, but he sings with verve, wit, and genuine charm. --Matthew Westphal

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Product details

  • Performer: John Blow, René Jacobs, Rosemary Joshua, Gerald Finley, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, et al.
  • Audio CD (July 13, 1999)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Harmonia Mundi Fr.
  • ASIN: B00000JKF9
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #710,032 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
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March 7, 2009
Format: Audio CD
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April 10, 2009
Format: Audio CD
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