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Solti: Haydn – Die Schöpfung (2 CD, APE)

Solti: Haydn - Die Schöpfung (2 CD, APE)
Solti: Haydn - Die Schöpfung (2 CD, APE)

Composer: Franz Joseph Haydn
Performer: Chicago Symphony Chorus
Orchestra: Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Conductor: Sir Georg Solti
Audio CD
Number of Discs: 2
Format: APE (image+cue)
Label: Decca
Size: 358 MB
Recovery: +3%
Scan: no

Gabriel – Ruth Ziesak
Uriel – Herbert Lippert
Raphael – Rene Pape
Eva – Ruth Ziesak
Adam – Anton Scharinger

CD 1
01. Orchestervorsipiel – Die Vorstellunc des Chaos
02. Im Anfage schuf Gott Himmel und Erde (Rezitativ-Raphael) Und der Geist Gottes shwebte auf der Fläche der Wasser (Chor)
03. Nun schwanden vor dem heiligen Strahle (Arie-Uriel) Verzweiflung, Wut und Schrecken (Chor)
04. Und Gott machte das Firmament (Rizitativ-Raphael)
05. Mit Staunen sieht das Wunderwerk (Gabriel,Chor)
06. Und Gott sprach: “Es sammle sich das Wasser”(Rezitativ-Raphael)
07. Rollend in schäumenden Wellen(Arie-Raphael)
08. Und Gott sprach: “Es bringe die Erde Gras hervor” (Rezitativ-Gabriel)
09. Nun beut die Flur das frische Grün (Arie-Gabriel)
10. Und die himmlischen Heerscharen verkündigten (Rezitativ-Uriel)
11. Stimmt an die Saiten, ergreift die Leier! (Chor)
12. Und Gott sprach: “Es sei’n Lichter an der Feste des Himmels” (Rezitativ-Uriel)
13. In vollem Glanze steiget jetzt die Sonne (Rezitativ-Uriel) )
14. Die Himmel erzählen die Ehre Gottes (Chor,Gabriel,Uriel,Raphael)

CD 2
01. Und Gott sparch: “Es bringe das Wasser in der Fülle hervor” (Rezitativ-Gabriel)
02. Auf starkem Fittiche (Arie-Gabriel)
03. Und Gott schuf grosse Walfische (Rezitativ-Raphael)
04. Und die Engel rührten ihr’unsterblichen Harfen (Rezitativ-Raphael)
05. In hlder anmut stehn (Tersett-Gabriel,Uriel,Raphael) Der Herr ist gross in seiner Matcht (Gabriel,Uriel,Raphael,Chor)
06. Und Gott sprach: “Es bringe die Erde hervor” (Rezitativ-Raphael)
07. Glein öffnet sich der Erde Schoss (Rezitativ-Raohael)
08. Nun scheing in vollem Glanze der Himmel (Arie-Raphael)
09. Und Gott schuf den Menschen (Rezitativ-Uriel)
10. Mit Würd’und Hoheit angetan (Arie-Uriel)
11. Und Gott sah jedes Ding (Rezitativ-Raphael)
12. Vollendet ist das grosse Werk (Chor,Terzett)
13. Aus Rosenwolken bricht (Rezitativ-Uriel)
14. Von deiner Güt, o Herr und Gott (Eva,Adam,Chor)
15. Nun ist die erste Pflicht erfüllt (Rezitativ-Adam,Eva)
16. Holde Gattin! Dir zur Seite (Duett-Adam-Eva)
17. O glücklich Paar! (Rezitativ-Uriel)
18. Singt dem Herren, alle Stimmen! (Chor und Solisten)

A Delightful *Creation*

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.

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