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Venue: Aldeburgh Festival, Snape Maltings Concert Hall, IP17 1SP, Snape, UK
Time: 7.30pm

The Greek myth Phaedra is in Britten’s hands a miniature masterpiece of storytelling and pyscho-drama, his brittle, brooding score revealing the enormity of the tragic love compressed in the form and orchestral forces of a latter-day baroque cantata. The period instruments of Arcangelo add a starkly different soundworld that enhances its chilling intensity still further.

Christine Rice mezzo -soprano

Mahan Esfahani, harpsichord

Jonathan Cohen director

Programme:

15’ Purcell Dances from The Fairy Queen

15’ Handel Concerto Grosso Op 6 No.6 in D major

15’ Britten Phaedra

20’ Mozart Serenata Notturna in D major K239

5’ Handel Verdi Prati (Alcina)

4′ Handel Ombre mai fu (Xerxes)

The Greek myth Phaedra is in Britten’s hands a miniature masterpiece of storytelling and pyscho-drama, his brittle, brooding score revealing the enormity of the tragic love compressed in the form and orchestral forces of a latter-day baroque cantata. The period instruments of Arcangelo add a starkly different soundworld that enhances its chilling intensity still further. Appropriately it’s paired with Handel and Purcell – Britten’s idol and hidden guide in the dramatic exploitation of the English language. The charm of Mozart’s night music and Handel’s ravishing nocturnal arias provide the balm and solace to the churning passions that precede them.

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