The Death of Dido

A Masque - Score

Johann Christoph Pepusch (1667-1752)

for SSMT soloists & chamber orchestra

Ref. no Pep 3A (in 'largerworks')           sample page      cover page      To order:     

Johann Pepusch collaborated with several of the leading literary figures of the day in the production of a series of masques. Among these was Venus and Adonis, whose success did much to establish his reputation in the London musical world, and another was The Death of Dido, which was performed at Drury Lane Theatre in 1716. The manuscript source for The Death of Dido is in the Royal Academy of Music, and the assistance of the Librarian in making a copy of this available is gratefully acknowledged.

The instrumentation is not always clearly specified, as for example in the opening Symphony. However, a score and a set of parts prepared for the revival of Venus and Adonis at Lincoln’s Inn Fields in 1718/9 is held in the library of the Royal College of Music, and we are grateful to the Librarian for making these available for study, and for Peter Holman’s suggestion that these be looked at. Although the resources at Drury Lane Theatre may have differed from those at Lincoln’s Inn Fields a few years later, it is felt that these parts give valuable guidance to the performance of the present work.

Accordingly, the orchestral parts provided allow for oboes doubling violins and bassoon doubling basses in tutti passages, and where necessary, for the wind instruments either to transpose up an octave, or to double the voice part in order to fit their range. Some editorial suggestions have been made for variation in instrumentation.