Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Haydn, Ziesak, Solti|
A Delightful *Creation*
Johannes Climacus | Beverly, Massachusetts | 02/11/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Solti is not remembered as a major interpreter of 18th Century music, but he gave us some very fine Haydn toward the end of his career. In particular, this invigorating "live" account of *Creation*--sympathetically directed, superbly sung, and affectionately played--must rank high among the versions I have heard. Bernstein's two recordings are, of course, unique; no-one has surpassed him for sheer chutzpah in Haydn. Karajan paces the music to perfection, has the benefit of the BPO at its smoothest and some "golden age" singers, including Janowitz, Wunderlich and Fischer-Dieskau. Gardiner's period performance practice version is tremendously incisive and imaginative. But Solti is by no means eclipsed by these better known recordings.
Solti has the advantage of the CSO chorus, superbly trained by Margaret Hillis, and an orchestra whose virtuosity is unsurpassed, even by Karajan's BPO. His soloists make an outstanding team. I am particularly impressed by Pape's sonorous Raphael, Ziesak's soaring (if at times shrill) Gabriel, and Lippert's full-voiced and finely nuanced Uriel. Scharinger and Ziesak (again) sound marginally less convincing as Adam and Eve, at least when compared to the standard set by Janowitz and Fischer-Dieskau for Karajan.
Solti's direction is urbane and refreshingly light-hearted, with nicely sprung rhythms and a nod or two in the direction of (what we used to call) "authenticity". This is a vastly different conductor from the one who stormed the heavens in Wagner and Mahler (or, for that matter, in his earlier, studio recording of *Creation*).
The sound remains well defined despite a distant and somewhat "swimmy" aural perspective. The big moments do create a splendid visceral impact, and the soloists are generally well balanced in relation to the choral and orchestral forces.
I'm not sure of the general availability of this set; it may have been officially withdrawn. If so, it deserves to be reissued at mid- or bargain price; then it would prove an irresistable option for this work, if you favor a modern-instrument version with fairly large forces, under a non-specialist conductor.