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Haydn: Die Schöpfung (The Creation) Box set

4.6 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Box set, December 4, 2007
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Product Details

  • Performer: Genia Kuhmeier, Toby Spence, Dietrich Henschel, Sophie Karthauser, Markus Werba
  • Orchestra: Les Art Florissants
  • Conductor: William Christie
  • Composer: Joseph Haydn
  • Audio CD (December 4, 2007)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Box set
  • Note on Boxed Sets: During shipping, discs in boxed sets occasionally become dislodged without damage. Please examine and play these discs. If you are not completely satisfied, we'll refund or replace your purchase.
  • Label: Erato Disques
  • ASIN: B000VLR0J2
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #209,266 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Format: Audio CD
This wonderful CD set release snuck up on me. I am already a huge fan of the Handel Messiah previously recorded by Les Arts Florissants led by William Christie. LAF is an original instruments band which usually draws some pretty terrific vocal soloists for their various forays into a wide repertoire, and of course, that Handel Messiah was no exception to excellence. Then I was quite happy to add their recordings of the Mozart Requiem, and the Mozart Mass in c Minor to my fav shelves.

In each case, there was nothing pale or thin about their musical approach. If some controversy lingers around Christie and LAF, it is because they play and sing with such verve and color and freedom that tags like, operatic, or even, romantic, come to some listener's minds.

By the end of the performances, however, the tags no longer matter. What remains is simply the endless blessing of the music - Handel, Mozart, or now, Haydn. Like I was after hearing the Mozart Requiem, when I found myself longing to hear how they might do the Mass in c Minor, I am now anticipating some future bright day, when their performance of Haydn's Seasons oratorio might be offered up as a matched and shining musical light to their current reading of the Creation.

Now I have enjoyed other performers in this work.

Dorati, Munchinger, Marriner, Kubelik brought warmth and musical smiles, along with Robert Shaw in English in Atlanta, and a really old treasure, also in English - Frederick Waldman leading the Musica Aeterna orchestra and chorus with soloists like the young Judith Raskin.
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Format: Audio CD
The MP3 selections attached to this product page may be from a totally different, and far less worthy, performance. This seems to occur altogether too often on amazon with reference to "classical" music.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I have quite a few recordings of The Creation, among the period versions Christie is the best! Transparent, energetic and joyous. Look no more..
For a modern version Karajan is unbeatable! Beautiful playing, singing and full of energy!
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Format: Audio CD
William Christie and his Les Art Florrisant forces are among the most acclaimed period ensembles in the world, and the conductor is particularly known for finding more surprises in familiar music than almost anyone except Harnoncourt (Marc Minkowki, also Paris based, is giving both a run for their money). This venture into Haydn, the group's first, is no exception -- if you are familiar with The Creation, every other bar brings a new accent or turn of phrase. At no point does Chrisite make you think of museums and dust. If anything, the often fierce accents (starting with thunderous thwacks from the timpani) are nerve-wracking, but there's plenty of charming nature painting. Oddly, in the midst of a generally brisk reading, quqite a few solo numbers are given a relazxed treatment -- the contrast isn't always sympatheitc. Ad lib ornamentation is added fairly freely to the vocal line.

As for the solo singers, onlly baritone Dietrich Henschel was known to me, and I msut say that as a crew they are underwhelming. The budget Naxos recording under Spering, also done in period style, features more aggreeable and often more characterful singing -- everyone here seems stiff despite the external applicaiton of thrills. On the other hand, the small orchestra and chorus are exemplary (assuming that you are used to the zingy, razor-wire tone of the violins). I think I'll stick with the Naxos set, but in the interests of full disclosure, no period performance comes close to the classic readings from Karajan and Bernstein -- the latter's Sony recording has brought me much joy for forty years.
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Format: Audio CD
First: EEEEEK. Classical music in MP3? Oh, dear god. Don't. Please don't.

Second: I love Christie's light, precise, energetic style. I LOVE this piece from one of my favorite composers. It is charming. Joyous. The world just becomes right when it is on. I'm in the right place, wherever I am, and God is all around me. A happy God. That is very, very rare. And underrated. It's a masterpiece.

Yes, there are no superstar singers here but I like it more for that. The music is about creation, emergence, not stultifying, overwhelming. No chorus is as tight as I would like them but they move, others sometimes overwhelm and plod. You can feel the effort it takes to get the whole moving. Not here. Things, burst, bloom, explode. Get big forces (McCreesh, Karajan, Rattle -I've not heard Bernstein) and things slow down. (Karajan? I try to love it - well, it's sometimes difficult for me to listen to the Nazi.) I don't know how Christie has kept it all so light and eager - done with bounce.

So much is right about this recording. It really deserves greater play. Other more hyped accounts have come - and I have enjoyed them but I keep coming back to Christie. (Not heard Jacobs yet). Helps, that the sound, the acoustic is great for me. Voices soar. I got rid of the Rattle because the dynamic range was too great and I was turning it up and down and things got lost in a great hall. Haydn just takes me by and hand and we have a lovely time of it. Thanks Mr. Christie.

Oh, and if you have not heard Christie's Messiah, do. It's still my favorite version - and yes, I have at least five different recordings of that too.
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Haydn: Die Schöpfung (The Creation)
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