Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Benjamin Luxon, Franz Joseph Haydn, Klaus Tennstedt|
Haydn: The Creation
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A delightfully old-fashioned Creation spoiled by cavernous s
Santa Fe Listener | Santa Fe, NM USA | 01/11/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"There's no Solomon's choice here -- unless you like plush, semi-Victorian oratorio style, this Haydn Creation from Tennstedt and the London Phil. will feel antique. Most reviewers compared it unfavorably to recent period-style readings that are leaner and crisper. But if like me you don't want to hear zingy strings, acidic winds, and thwacking timpani that sound like grenades exploding in the background, this prformance will come as a relief, despite the occasional turgid texture and creeping tempo.
Tennstedt clearly thinks of the Creation as a precursor to Beethoven, far more than even Bernstein and Karajan, two other excellent tradiitonalists. We get a sizable orchestra and chorus, the latter as fine as one expects from London. Among the vocal soloists, Benjamin Luxon sounds a little too curdled at this late date (1984), but Anthony Rolfe-Johnson and Lucia Popp are delightful. (I don't think I know of any ohter recording that asks three singers to carry all the parts -- often we get five or even six different soloists.)
The big problem here, however, and a nearly fatal one, is the cavernous, overly resonant sound from Royal Festival Hall. It loses almost all inner detail, smothering Haydn's exceptional woodwind writing, and the timpani are mailed in from down the street. The chorus is so blurry it might as well be singing in Old Church Slavonic. What a shame, because the one thing The Creation needs, joyous optimism, is here in abundance. For all its flaws, I got more pleasure from Tennstedt's reading than from the utterly correct, utterly joyless accounts by Gardiner, Harnoncourt, Norrington, and their ilk."