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Karajan: Haydn – Die Schöpfung, 1965 (2 CD, FLAC)

Karajan: Haydn - Die Schöpfung, 1965 (2 CD, FLAC)
Karajan: Haydn - Die Schöpfung, 1965 (2 CD, FLAC)

Performer: Vienna Singverein
Orchestra: Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Conductor: Herbert von Karajan
Composer: Franz Joseph Haydn
Audio CD
Number of Discs: 2
Format: FLAC (image+cue)
Label: Deutsche Grammophon
Size: 272 MB
Recovery: +3%
Scan: yes

Gabriel – Gundula Janowitz
Uriel – Fritz Wunderlich
Raphael -Kim Borg
Eva – Gundula Janowitz
Adam – Hermann Prey

CD 1
01. Die Vorstellung des Chaos
02. (Rezitativ und Chor) No. 1. Im Anfange schuf Gott Himmel und Erde (Raphael, Uriel)
03. (Arie mit Chor) No. 2. Nun schwanden vor dem heiligen Strahle (Uriel)
04. (Rezitativ) No. 3. Und Gott machte das Firmament (Raphael)
05. (Chor mit Sopransolo) No. 4. Mit Staunen sieht das Wunderwerk (Gabriel)
06. (Rezitativ) No. 5. Und Gott sprach: Es sammle sich das Wasser (Raphael)
07. (Arie) No. 6. Rollend in schaumenden Wellen (Raphael)
08. (Rezitativ) No. 7. Und Gott sprach: Es bringe die Erde Gras hervor (Gabriel)
09. (Arie) No. 8. Nun beut die Flur das frische Grün (Gabriel)
10. (Rezitativ) No. 9. Und die himmlischen Heerscharen verkündigten (Uriel)
11. (Chor) No. 10. Stimmt an die Saiten
12. (Rezitativ) No. 11. Und Gott sprach: Es sei’n Lichter an der Feste des Himmels (Uriel)
13. (Rezitativ) No. 12. In vollem Glanze steiget jetzt die Sonne (Uriel)
14. (Chor mit Soli) No. 13. Die Himmel erzählen die Ehre Gottes (Gabriel, Uriel, Raphael)

CD 2
01. (Rezitativ) No. 14. Und Gott sprach: Es bringe das Wasser in der Fülle hervor (Gabriel)
02. (Arie) No. 15. Auf starkem Fittige schwinget sich der Adler stolz (Gabriel)
03. (Rezitativ) No. 16. Und Gott schuf große Walfische (Raphael)
04. (Rezitativ) No. 17. Und die Engel rührten ihr’ unsterblichen Harfen (Raphael)
05. (Terzett) No. 18. In holder Anmut stehn (Gabriel, Uriel, Raphael)
06. (Chor mit Soli) No. 19. Der Herr ist groß in seiner Macht (Gabriel, Uriel, Raphael)
07. (Rezitativ) No. 20. Und Gott sprach: Es bringe die Erde hervor lebende Geschöpfe (Gabriel, Uriel, Raphael)
08. (Rezitativ) No. 21. Gleich öffnet sich der Erde Schoß (Raphael)
09. (Arie) No. 22. Nun scheint in vollem Glanze der Himmel (Raphael)
10. (Rezitativ) No. 23. Und Gott schuf den Menschen (Uriel)
11. (Arie) No. 24. Mit Würd’ und Hoheit angetan (Uriel)
12. (Rezitativ) No. 25. Und Gott sah jedes Ding (Raphael)
13. (Chor) No. 26. Vollendet ist das große Werk
14. (Terzett) No. 27. Zu dir, o Herr, blickt alles auf (Gabriel, Uriel, Raphael)
15. (Chor) No. 28. Vollendet ist das große Werk
16. (Orchestereinleitung und Rezitativ) No. 29. Aus Rosenwolken bricht (Uriel)
17. (Duett mit Chor) No. 30. Von deiner Güt, o Herr und Gott (Eva, Adam, Chor)
18. (Rezitativ) No. 31. Nun ist die erste Pflicht erfüllt (Adam, Eva)
19. (Duett) No. 32. Holde Gattin, dir zur Seite (Adam, Eva)
20. (Rezitativ) No. 33. O glücklich Paar, und glücklich immerfort (Uriel)
21. (Schlußchor mit Soli) No. 34. Singt dem Herren alle Stimmen!

An outstanding live performance, perhaps Karajan’s best

Since no one has compared this studio recording from 1966 (patchwork being added up to 1969) with Karajan’s live performance from Salzburg the year before, I thought I’d fill in the gap. This review is posted twice, both here and under the live recording, also on DG.

Sound: Both sets re in excellent sound, although only the studio one is in stereo. The Austrian Radio transcript from Salzburg in 1965 is clear, warm, and detailed mono. The orchestra is set further back than in the studio version, but the soloists often sound closer. In both cases the chorus was the large Vienna Singverein , and their enunciation is muddied compared to smaller choirs. No preference in this regard between live and studio. I did find the original pressing of the studio version a bit too bright and less open than the live broadcast, but that may have been corrected in the new “Originals” reissue.

Soloists: Gundula Janowitz is the ethereal soprano on both recordings and sings almost identically, although in the live recording she opens out to reach the audience, while in the studio she adds a bit more intimacy and nuance. (This is also true of the orchestra.) Fritz Wunderlich performs all the tenor arias and major ensembles in both versions( he died suddenly from a fall in Sept. 1966 before finishing all the recitatives, which are filled in for the studio recording by Werner Krenn). Wunderlich uses his plangent voice with more nuance in the studio, singing out more in the live performance, and I prefer that. The bass is Walter Berry in the studio recording, preferable to Kim Borg in the live one, although not by a huge margin. However, in the baritone role of Adam, the live Hermann Prey is ocnsierably more lyircal and natural than Fishcer-Dieskau in the studio. Christa Ludwig on the studio version sings only one solo in the last chorus. The fact that the live soloists rank ahead of the studio may be a tipping point for some–it was for me.

Conducting: Karajan specialized in this work, as witness his three recordings (I don’t own his digital reading from 1982, generlaly acknowledged as inferior), and he could be uncannily similar from year to year (for example, in both these performances the first big Adam and Eve duet takes 10 min., 1 sec., despite the year separating the two). Karajan took a classical approach to Haydn, preferring proportion and balance over excitement, control over spontaneity. In the style he chose, nobody since has excelled these recordings, but there is another way, as shown by Bernstein’s two versions, particularly the unmatched drama of the first one from New York on Sony.

In the end, both Karajan readings are so close to each other, even down to sound and soloists, that there isn’t much to choose. One might expect the live performance to be more exciting, but in fact that’s a split decision as well–quite often Karajan finds more drama and momentum in the studio recording. I pick the live performance mostly to hear Wunderlich in better form and to have Prey in place of Fishcer-Dieskau.

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