Thomas Arne: The Judgment of Paris
Mary Bevan, Susanna Fairbair, Gillian Ramm, Ed Lyon, anthony Gregory, Andrew Mahon, The Brook Street Band, John Andrews
Dutton CDLX 7361 @ £13.75 plus P&P
About the recording …. Thomas Arne’s opera The Judgment of Paris (1742), a setting of William Congreve’s libretto of the same name, is known only from the printed score, but in this world premiere recording is performed with panache and authority by The Brook Street Band and a scintillating young cast led by sopranos Mary Bevan (Venus), Susanna Fairbairn (Pallas) and Gillian Ramm (Juno), with tenors Ed Lyon as the shepherd Paris and Anthony Gregory as Mercury, all under the expert direction of conductor John Andrews. By the end of the opera we are not surprised when Venus’s softly, softly appeal to her shepherd judge succeeds over the more demonstrative blandishments of her competitors, Pallas and Juno. This is a lovely discovery, with all the cast joining in the spirit of this fable to give it a stylish and compelling revival.