March 28, 2014 7:48 pm

Daniel Purcell: The Judgment of Paris

Impish tale of competitive love among the classical gods has enough virtues to be noteworthy
 

Henry Purcell so dominates the pre-Handel musical landscape of London that it is assumed all-sung opera in English barely existed.

But here is a charming one-acter by Purcell’s brother – or possibly cousin – Daniel (c1664-1717), written for a competition in 1700 that was designed to stimulate interest in the art form.

An impish tale of competitive love among the classical gods, The Judgment of Paris may lack the ingenuity and depth of Dido and Aeneas, but it has enough virtues – including Venus’s sensuous “Nature fram’d thee sure for Loving” and Paris’s heart-rending “I yield, I yield” – to be noteworthy.

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.


Daniel Purcell

The Judgment of Paris

Spiritato/Julian Perkins

(Resonus) download only

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2014. You may share using our article tools.
Please don't cut articles from FT.com and redistribute by email or post to the web.

Life & Arts on Twitter

More FT Twitter accounts