Purcell: The Judgment of Paris Spiritato!

Cover Purcell: The Judgment of Paris

Album info



Label: Resonus Classics

Genre: Classical

Subgenre: Opera

Artist: Spiritato!, Rodolfus Choir & Julian Perkins

Composer: Daniel Purcell (1664-1717)

Album including Album cover Booklet (PDF)


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  • Daniel Purcell (1664-1717): The Judgment of Paris
  • 1Symphony05:41
  • 2Mercury - From High Olympus and the Realms Above04:26
  • 3Paris - Symphony for Hoboys to Paris02:31
  • 4Paris - Wherefore dost thou seek01:26
  • 5Mercury - Symphony for Violins (This Radiant fruit behold)02:13
  • 6Symphony for Paris01:46
  • 7Paris - O Ravishing Delight – Help me Hermes05:34
  • 8Mercury - Symphony for Violins (Fear not Mortal)02:39
  • 9Mercury, Paris and Chorus - Happy thou of Human Race01:36
  • 10Symphony for Juno – Saturnia, Wife of Thundering Jove02:15
  • 11Trumpet Sonata for Pallas02:45
  • 12Pallas - This way Mortal, bend thy Eyes01:49
  • 13Venus - Symphony of Fluts for Venus04:13
  • 14Venus, Pallas and Juno - Hither turn thee gentle Swain01:10
  • 15Symphony of all01:38
  • 16Paris - Distracted I turn01:51
  • 17Juno - Symphony for Violins for Juno (Let Ambition fire thy Mind)01:41
  • 18Juno - Let not Toyls of Empire fright02:18
  • 19Chorus - Let Ambition fire thy Mind00:49
  • 20Pallas - Awake, awake!01:51
  • 21Trumpet Flourish – Hark! Hark! The Glorious Voice of War02:33
  • 22Trumpet Sonata02:41
  • 23Pallas - O what Joys does Conquest yield02:30
  • 24Chorus - O how Glorious00:55
  • 25Venus - Stay lovely Youth, delay thy Choice03:12
  • 26Venus - Far from thee be anxious Care00:59
  • 27Venus and Chorus - One only Joy Mankind can know02:07
  • 28Venus - Nature fram'd thee sure for Loving03:37
  • 29Venus - Gentle Shepherd02:11
  • 30Paris - I yield, I yield05:14
  • 31Grand Chorus02:32
  • Total Runtime01:18:43

Info for Purcell: The Judgment of Paris

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).

„Daniel Purcell’s drama is absorbing and certainly musically entertaining [...] High quality entertainment“ (BBC Radio 3)

The Judgment of Paris, by Daniel Purcell, is our biggest project to date. Written for a competition in 1701, it is one of the very first operas to be performed in London – sung entirely in English. It has never been recorded and has remained unstaged for over 300 years – We are going to do both!

Thanks to a new edition of the opera by Spiritato! trumpeter William Russell, we are able to bring this forgotten masterpiece back to life. We hope this work will shed new light on an exciting and inventive composer working at a time of great musical and social change.

Daniel Purcell (c.1670-1717) is a man of mystery. For a long time he was regarded as the brother of the famous Henry Purcell, but recent research has suggested he may in fact have been his cousin. Both the Purcell’s benefited from a similar musical upbringing, yet whilst Henry has achieved immortality, Daniel and his many works have been overshadowed and are now almost entirely forgotten.

Despite this, he was a composer of great skill, who sustained a successful career for over twenty years following the death of his brother. He was able to embrace new styles, and his innovative use of highly fashionable Italian ideas alongside more traditional ‘Purcellian’ sounds, created a visionary and vibrant soundworld full of surprise and excitement.

Purcell’s music for The Judgment of Paris is set to a libretto by the renowned playwright William Congreve and gives us a spectacular picture of his vision for a new, English form of opera. At this time almost all works for the theatre, including the famous semi-operas of Henry Purcell, were essentially plays, with instrumental music, songs and dances thrown in to add to the entertainment. Often the interludes bore no thematic resemblance to the action on stage at all and the main characters were played by actors, not singers.

What was so revolutionary about The Judgment of Paris, was that all the roles were sung throughout. The opera was also conceived with a new sense of direction for the theatre – there are no dances (something even Dido and Aeneas and Venus and Adonis couldn’t do without) so the plot is never stationary, it flows smoothly from the first song through to the final Grand Chorus.

Interest in Daniel Purcell and his music has increased dramatically in recent years. He is finally being recognised on his own merits and we can’t wait to add to his story!

This is just the beginning…

Anna Dennis (Venus)
Amy Freston (Pallas)
Ciara Hendricks (Juno)
Samuel Boden (Paris)
Ashley Riches (Mercury)
Rodolfus Choir
Julian Perkins, conductor

Recorded in St John’s Smith Square, London on 27-29 September 2013
Produced, engineered and edited by Adam Binks

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Booklet for Purcell: The Judgment of Paris

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