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Spiritato & Julian Perkins
In their second album for the Resonus label, the London-based early music group Spiritato present the world premiere recording of Daniel Purcell's opera The Judgment of Paris.
Composed for the Music Prize of 1700-01 to a libretto by William Congreve, Daniel, the younger cousin or brother of Henry Purcell, here demonstrates an endlessly inventive and innovative style in a bold attempt to create a school of all-sung English opera. Used by all of the four entrants to the Music Prize (John Eccles, Gottfried Finger, John Weldon and Daniel Purcell), the libretto tells the tale of a shepherd Paris, who is visited by a messenger of the Gods, Mercury, who gives him the Golden Apple of Discord, which he has to award to the most deserving of three goddesses - Venus (goddess of love), Pallas (godeess of war) or Juno (goddess of marriage).
Spiritato are joined here by director and harpsichordist Julian Perkins and the Rodolfus Choir. The roles of the five protagonists are superbly brought to life by Anna Dennis (Venus), Amy Freston (Pallas), Ciara Hendrick (Juno), Samuel Boden (Paris) and Ashley Riches (Mercury).
© 2014 Resonus Limited
Ⓟ 2014 Resonus Limited
Producer, engineer & editor: Adam Binks
Cover image: The Judgment of Paris (1716) by Adriaen van der Werff (1659-1722)
'Daniel Purcell’s drama is absorbing and certainly musically entertaining [...] High quality entertainment'
BBC Radio 3 CD Review
'[...] this ia a genial performance that brings light to a surprisingly lovely work'
BBC Music Magazine
'Thanks to this well-made recording, with a cast led by soprano Anna Dennis and countertenor Samuel Boden, an overlooked episode in English musical history is exposed.'
'[...] heartening dramatic energy under Julian Perkins's assured direction [...] Well done to Resonus for jumping in where others have not'
'The florid writing is extremely well handled here by a splendid cast, Samuel Boden's Paris and Ashley Riches' Mercury in particular, while the opera is directed by Julian Perkins with verve and wit'
Early Music Today
'Director Julian Perkins, his soloists and period-instrument Spiritato! ensemble make a good case for the work'
'More to the point, the work is delightful – not the equal of Henry’s Dido and Æneas, but as entertaining as his Indian Queen – and the performances do it excellent service. All the singers are thoroughly competent [...] and are very well supported and directed.'
MusicWeb International (Recording of the Month)
'[...] all soloists are stylish and involving. Spiritato! lives up to its name, giving us a spirited and sophisticated performance. There is crisp support from the Rodolfus Choir. Perkins keeps the work flowing nicely and gets a stylish performance all round.'
'Such is the vigour of the chaconne as a musical structure that there is no sense of the recording palling with repetition – every work is a delight in itself.'
Daniel Purcell: The Judgment of Paris
- Artists: Spiritato , Julian Perkins , Rodolfus Choir , Ashley Riches , Anna Dennis , Samuel Boden , Ciara Hendrick , Amy Freston
- Product Code: RES10128 (download only)
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