After the success of the first Classics delivers the musical range of the singer-songwriters enough good material to make a second part to be able to build. This time with gems of artists that we missed on the first part such as Sting, Janis Ian, Cat Stevens, Lyle Lovett, and even the old stalwarts such as Leonard Cohen, Chris Rea, Bob Dylan, JJ Cale, Joni Mitchell and Paul Simon.
Christopher Hogwood has found himself a dream cast here, with even the smallest roles taken by big names. There are a couple of surprises along the way, such as the underage First Sailor (sung by a slightly quavery treble) and the cross-dressing Sorceress, here taken by a bass. Still David Thomas cackles and machinates with the best of them, so don't let that put you off.
At under an hour this mini-masterpiece should be in every opera-lover's collection. There are scores of versions available but I tend to favour those with a Dido of really starry vocal quality given that her torments lie at the heart of the opera and all other considerations are secondary: Purcell and his librettist Nathum Tate make little of Aeneas's psychology and the other roles are all supplementary, reflecting upon Dido's plight, even to the extent of some suggesting that the Sorceress is her alter ego.
Purcell's Dido and Aeneas is one of the very few 17th-century works to have entered the operatic "canon" and developed a modern performance tradition before the late 20th century's early-music revival. For listeners who had grown fond of this opera in its "traditional" form, the period-instrument recordings of recent years have provided some odd surprises: an all-female cast (excepting Aeneas); a baritone Sorceress; singing in a style closer to a Restoration playhouse than Covent Garden.
Henry Purcell's oft-recorded opera, "Dido and Aeneas", is in fact the only one he ever composed, and renowned Baroque specialist René Jacobs turns out to be an ideal interpreter of this seminal 17th-century musical allegory. Not even an hour in length, the opera is an ideal introduction to this period of classical music, as Purcell melds a tragic love story with Shakespearean-level theatricality and surprising comedy elements. This 2006 reissue of a 1998 performance doesn't have quite the dramatic vibrancy of Emmanuelle Haïm's 2004 six-instrument ensemble, but it compensates with scope and polish…
Dido's debut is moulded from Sarah McLachlan's intimate soul, Sinead O'Connor's Celtic yelp, and Beth Orton's morose resolve–with all the sharp edges rounded out. This is an auspicious and highly listenable album – atmospheric, seductive, and beautifully produced and sequenced. As of 2014, the album has sold more than 22 million copies worldwide, and was the second best-selling album of the 2000s in the UK, behind James Blunt's Back to Bedlam.
'Girl Who Got Away' is the fourth studio album by English recording artist Dido, released in Europe on 4 March 2013, and in North America on 26 March 2013 by RCA Records. The album serves as the follow-up to 2008's Safe Trip Home. Musically the album is a pop album with elements of electropop and trip-hop.