Released: 14 October 2022

Reference: AP296


Recorded in September 2021 at the Temple de Chêne-Bougeries, Swizterland.

Artistic direction: Nicolas Bartholomée
Sound Engineering: Nicolas Bartholomée, Ambroise Helmlinger
Editing, mixing et mastering: Ambroise Helmlinger

Recorded in 24 bits/96kHz


Released: 14 October 2022

Reference: AP296

Purcel: Dido & Æneas & Circe



The circumstances of the composition of Purcell’s only opera, Dido and Æneas, are unclear. First performed in the 1680s, it received few performances in the composer’s lifetime, before disappearing until its revival at the very end of the nineteenth century. This miniature, poetic, dramatic, delightfully melodic, and containing some unforgettably beautiful vocal pieces (Dido’s “Lament”, the Witches’ songs…) has enjoyed great success ever since.

Jonas Descotte and his young ensemble Les Argonautes (named after the heroes who accompanied Jason in the quest for the Golden Fleece) have chosen this work for their recording debut. Taking the intimate approach, one musician per part, the conductor sculpts his sound material in order to capture the very essence of the work’s musical and dramatic content, sublimated here by an attractive vocal cast, in which Camille Allérat, Renato Dolcini, Anthea Pichanick and Julie Roset are particularly outstanding. Between historical practice and modernity, the conductor, in perfect symbiosis with his musicians, delivers here a highly polished and intense interpretation, swept by the winds of freedom.




Act 1: The Palace

1. Overture
2. Shake the cloud from off your brow (Belinda)
3.  Banish Sorrow, banish care (Chorus)
4.  Ah! Belinda, I am press’d with torment (Dido)
5. Grief increases by concealing (Belinda, Dido)
6. When monarchs unite, how happy their state (Chorus)
7. Whence could so much virtue spring? (Dido, Belinda)
8. Fear no danger to ensue (Belinda, Second Woman, Chorus)
9. See, your Royal Guest appears (Belinda, Æneas, Dido)
10. Cupid only throws the dart (Chorus)
11. If not for mine, for Empire’s sake (Æneas, Belinda)
12. To the hills and the vales (Chorus)
13. The Triumphing Dance

Act 2: Scene 1: The Cave

14. Prelude for the Witches. Wayward sisters, 2’20 you that fright (Sorceress). Harm’s our delight (Chorus)
15. The Queen of Carthage, whom we hate (Sorceress). 0’39 Ho, ho, ho (Chorus)
16. Ruin’d ere the set of sun? (Two Witches, Sorceress). 1’14 Ho, ho, ho (Chorus)
17. But ere we this perform (Two Witches)
18. In our deep vaulted cell (Chorus)
19. Echo Dance of the Furies

Act 2: Scene 2: The Grove

20. Ritornelle
21. Thanks to these lonesome vales (Belinda, Chorus)
22. Oft she visits this lone mountain (Second Woman)
23. Behold, upon my bending spear (Æneas, Dido)
24. Haste, haste to town (Belinda, Chorus)
25. Stay, Prince, and hear Great Jove’s command (Spirit, Æneas)

Act 3: Scene 1: The Ships

26. Come away fellow Sailors (First Sailor, Chorus)
27. The Sailors’ Dance
28. See the flags and streamers curling (Sorceress, Two Witches)
29. Our next motion (Sorceress)
30. Destruction’s our delight (Chorus)
31. The Witches’ Dance

Act 3: Scene 2

32. Your counsel all is urg’d in vain (Dido, Belinda, Æneas)
33. But Death, alas! I cannot shun (Dido)
34. Great minds against themselves conspire (Chorus)
35. Thy hand Belinda; Darkness shades me (Dido)
36. When I am laid in earth (Dido)
37. With drooping wings (Chorus)


38. We must assemble by a sacrifice (Second Priest, Chorus)
39. Their necessary aid you use (First, Second and Third Priests)
40. The air, with music gently wound (Second Priest, Third Priest)
41. The air, with music gently wound (Chorus)
42. Come every demon (First Priest)
43. Circe, the daughter of the Sun obey (Chorus)
44. You who hatch factions (First Priest)
45. Circe the daughter of the Sun obey (Chorus)
46. Magicians’ Dance (part 1)
47. Pluto, arise! (Second Priest)
48. Magicians’ Dance (part 2)
49. Lovers, who to their first embraces go (First and Second Women, Chorus)
50. Great minister of Fate (Chorus) · At your dread word (Second Woman)
51. Great minister of Fate (Chorus)

Related albums