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Jacobs: Haydn – Die Schöpfung (2 CD, APE, DVD-5)

Jacobs: Haydn - Die Schöpfung (2 CD, APE, DVD-5)
Jacobs: Haydn - Die Schöpfung (2 CD, APE, DVD-5)

Composer: Joseph Haydn
Performer: Julia Kleiter, Maximilian Schmitt, Johannes Weisser, Rias Kammerchor, Hans-Chrostopf Rademann
Orchestra: Freiburger Barockorchester
Conductor: Rene Jacobs
Audio CD
Number of Discs: 2 CD + DVD5
Format: APE (image+cue)
Label: Harmonia Mundi
Size: 1.7 GB
Recovery: +3%
Scan: yes

Gabriel – Julia Kleiter
Uriel – Maximilian Schmitt
Raphael – Johannes Weisser
Eva – Julia Kleiter
Adam – Johannes Weisser

CD 1
01. Einleitung. Die Vorstellung des Chaos
02. Rezitativ mit Chor. Raphael, Uriel “Im Anfange schuf Gott Himmel und Erde”
03. Arie mit Chor. Uriel “Nun schwanden vor dem heiligen Strahle”
04. Rezitativ. Raphael “Und Gott machte das Firmament”
05. Chor mit Sopransolo “Mit Staunen sieht das Wunderwerk”
06. Rezitativ. Raphael “Und Gott sprach: Es sammle sich das Wasser”
07. Arie. Raphael “Rollend in schäumenden Wellen”
08. Rezitativ. Gabriel “Und Gott sprach: Es bringe die Erde Gras hervor”
09. Arie. Gabriel “Nun beut die Flur das frische Grün”
10. Rezitativ. Uriel “Und die himmlische Heerscharen”
11. Chor “Stimmt an die Saiten”
12. Rezitativ. Uriel “Und Gott sprach: Es sei’n Lichter”
13. Rezitativ. Uriel “In vollem Glanze steiget jetzt die Sonne”
14. Chor mit Soli. Gabriel, Uriel, Raphael “Die Himmel erzählen die Ehre Gottes”
15. Rezitativ. Gabriel “Und Gott sprach: Es bringe das Wasser”
16. Arie. Gabriel “Auf starkem Fittiche schwinget sich der Adler”
17. Rezitativ. Raphael “Und Gott schuf große Walfische”
18. Rezitativ. Raphael “Und die Engel rührten ihr’ unsterblichen Harfen”
19. Terzet “In holder Anmut stehn” / 19. Chor mit Soli “Der Herr ist groß in seiner Macht”
20. Rezitativ. Raphael “Und Gott sprach: Es bringe die Erde hervor”
21. Rezitativ. Raphael “Gleich öffnet sich der Erde Schoß”
22. Arie. Raphael “Nun scheint in vollem Glanze der Himmel”
23. Rezitativ. Uriel “Und Gott schuf den Menschen”
24. Arie. Uriel “Mit Würd’ und Hoheit angetan”
25. Rezitativ. Raphael “Und Gott sah jedes Ding, was er gemacht hatte”
26. Chor “Vollendet ist das große Werk”
27. Terzett “Zu dir, o Herr, blickt Alles auf”
28. Chor “Vollendet ist das große Werk”

CD 2
01. Rezitativ. Uriel “Aus Rosenwolken bricht”
02. Duett mit Chor. Eva, Adam “Von deiner Güt’, o Herr und Gott”
03. Rezitativ. Adam, Eva “Nun ist die erste Pflicht erfüllt”
04. Duett. Adam, Eva “Holde Gattin, dir zur Seite”
05. Rezitativ. Uriel “O glücklich Paar, und glücklich immerfort”
06. Schlußchor “Singt dem Herren alle Stimmen!”

DVD -The Making of the Recording by Nayo Titzin

An easy first choice for a period ‘Creation,’ and a great recording by any measure

Unlike the lead reviewer, I can think of many recordings of The Creation that had a special X-factor, beginning with my favorite, Leonard Bernstein from New York on Sony, extending through the second Bernstein recording, two from Karajan, and the period production under Spering on Naxos, which he mentions. This work, generally recognized as Haydn’s masterpiece, has enjoyed a number of HIP recordings, but I think that Rene Jacobs easily sweeps the competition. He is an imaginative musician, which the average HIP conductor isn’t, and he’s not hindered by the usual wheezy, creaky timbre of antique instruments — one gets the feeling of full emotional expression. Even the strings playing without vibrato sound sweet and confident. Of course we get the usual contradiction between singers using full vibrato while the instrumentalists are studiously avoiding it. The small, precise professional chorus uses women in place of boys and also employ full vibrato, to lovely effect.

What this says is that Jacobs knows how to make intelligent choices when it comes to period style. We don’t hear a harpsichord clacking along during big choruses, an artificial effect created solely by the microphone. Jacobs uses the more suitable fortepiano, and although there is some florid ornamentation, he allows many vocal lines to unfold as written (in part this may be because The Creation is more a religious work than an opera, calling for a more chaste style). Like the lead reviewer, I love baritone Johannes Weisser, who is jsut as charismatic as he was playing Don Giovanni for Jacobs — who says that a religious theme must be boring? Almost as good is tenor Maximilian Schmitt, with the kind of light, flexible lyric tenor that serves Baroque and early Classical music so well. My only disappointment came with soprano Julia Kleiter, who tiptoes through her ddifficult arias (generally at a cautious tempo), in marked contrast to Weisser’s daring. Her sweet, modest voice is better suited to the simpler lines of Even’s music in Part II.

As for Jacobs himself, no praise would be too excessive. He has a marvelous touch in this score, choosing totally convincing tempos and balances, but more importantly always making sure of the human touch. Haydn gave the world a tender, touching account of our mythic beginnings, and for once every note sounds as touching as Haydn intended.

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