The name John Ernest Galliard may be unfamiliar to many. He was German born, but took British citizenship, and settled in London in 1706. He was a chamber musician to Prince George of Denmark, and was also organist at Somerset House, and an oboist in the opera orchestra under Handel. He wrote many operas and other stage works, and Pan and Syrinx was premiered in Lincoln’s Inn Fields Theatre in 1718.
Pan and Syrinx provides the perfect foil to Purcell’s dark masterpiece Dido and Aeneas. Both works portray loves destructive powers, though in different ways. Galliard’s treatment is light and comic, Purcell’s tragic and destructive.
These are period practice performances, and for Dido, Jed Wentz has used several dances and one chorus by Purcell to fill in gaps in the score as the libretto mentions musical scenes that have been lost.
- Recording made by WDR in 2004.
- Fascinating coupling of one of the great masterpieces of English music with a rare work by a fellow German contemporary of Handel who also made London his home.
- Performed on period instruments and conducted with verve and dramatic insight by baroque specialist Jed Wentz.