December 13, 2011

Kirsten Flagstad: Dido's Lament

Kirsten Flagstad as Dido

I came upon this recording of Kirsten Flagstad singing Dido's Lament from Dido and Aeneas by Henry Purcell this evening, and in listening to it, am reminded just how wonderfully full, clear, rich, even and effortless Flagstad's voice was - even at the very end of her career when this recording was made. Of course, those who have had their musical tastes formed in the last thirty years will assert that this kind of singing in this kind of music is much too much. This can't be bel canto they say. And I can only shake my head. When did Baroque performance practice become so small?

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