Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Franz Joseph Haydn, Nickolaus Harnoncourt, Concentus Musicus Wien|
Haydn: Die Schöpfung (The Creation)
Listen to Samples
Harnoncourt's Back in a Big Way
Charles Richards | Los Angeles, CA | 03/25/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This has been the first release with Harnoncourt and the Concentus Musicus Wien in quite some time, and the first for Harnoncourt's new label (BMG). Because of the long hiatus, just about anything would have done, but, luckily, we don't have to settle for just anything: this new release is a real winner in every way.
By far the more popular of Haydn's two major oratorios, The Creation has been recorded by several period instrument orchestras in the past decade or so, but it's refreshing and almost revelatory to hear it done by one of the founding fathers of the early music movement. This is Harnoncourt's second recording of this work (his first was for Teldec in the 1980's - now long out of print)but his first on period instruments, and is definitely the better of the two.
As one would expect, Harnoncourt's choice of tempi are idiosynchratic and unique. Considering this is a period performance, Harnoncourt is almost uniformly slow, but this is not necessarily a bad thing. Whatever Harnoncourt does, even when it's unexpected and bizarre, he usually does well and with a great deal of thought and panache, and this recording is no exception. As usual with a Harnoncourt recording, this new reading of Haydn's masterpiece encourages the listener to hear the work in a new way, and even those who might have thought they knew The Creation backwards and forwards will be happily surprised to find that new discoveries await them here.
As far as the soloists go, Harnoncourt could not have been better blessed. Dorothea Roschmann has been one of my favorite new voices for several years now, and she shines, definitely topping Gruberova, who sang for Harnoncourt in his earlier version. Among the delights is the gorgeous first duet for Adam and Eva, in which Roschmann poignantly brings forth Eva's wonder and joy in the newly created world.
Michael Schade, a top rate baritone who just signed with BMG recently, is another inspired choice, his rich, resonant voice blending with Roschmann's and Gerhaher (the tenor)melodiously.
While, perhaps, not as robust as the Bruno Weil recording on Sony Vivarte, or as elegant as Gardiner's on Archiv, Harnoncourt's new version is well worth hearing."