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Haydn: The Creation

Boston Baroque

Haydn: The Creation

...spectacular
CKD 401 (Linn Records)
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Tracks: Listen and Download

Format
Track Time Listen
1
Part 1, Prelude: ‘Die Vorstellung des Chaos’

Part 1, Prelude: ‘Die Vorstellung des Chaos’

Composer Joseph Haydn
Band Boston Baroque
05:08 Play $3.40
2
Part 1, No. 1, Recitativ mit Chor: ‘Im Anfange schuf Gott Himmel und Erde’

Part 1, No. 1, Recitativ mit Chor: ‘Im Anfange schuf Gott Himmel und Erde’

Composer Joseph Haydn
Band Boston Baroque
02:29 Play $1.70
3
Part 1, No. 2, Arie mit Chor: ‘Nun schwanden vor dem heiligen Strahle’

Part 1, No. 2, Arie mit Chor: ‘Nun schwanden vor dem heiligen Strahle’

Composer Joseph Haydn
Band Boston Baroque
03:34 Play $1.70
4
Part 1, No. 3, Recitativ: ‘Und Gott machte das Firmament’

Part 1, No. 3, Recitativ: ‘Und Gott machte das Firmament’

Composer Joseph Haydn
Band Boston Baroque
01:52 Play $1.70
5
Part 1, No. 4, Solo mit Chor: ‘Mit Staunen sieht das Wunderwerk’

Part 1, No. 4, Solo mit Chor: ‘Mit Staunen sieht das Wunderwerk’

Composer Joseph Haydn
Band Boston Baroque
01:49 Play $1.70
6
Part 1, No. 5, Recitativ: ‘Und Gott sprach: Es sammle sich das Wasser’

Part 1, No. 5, Recitativ: ‘Und Gott sprach: Es sammle sich das Wasser’

Composer Joseph Haydn
Band Boston Baroque
00:37 Play $1.70
7
Part 1, No. 6, Arie: ‘Rollend in schaumenden Wellen’

Part 1, No. 6, Arie: ‘Rollend in schaumenden Wellen’

Composer Joseph Haydn
Band Boston Baroque
03:47 Play $1.70
8
Part 1, No. 7, Recitativ: ‘Und Gott sprach: Es bringe die Erde Gras hervor’

Part 1, No. 7, Recitativ: ‘Und Gott sprach: Es bringe die Erde Gras hervor’

Composer Joseph Haydn
Band Boston Baroque
00:28 Play $1.70
9
Part 1, No. 8, Arie: ‘Nun beut die Flur das frische Grun’

Part 1, No. 8, Arie: ‘Nun beut die Flur das frische Grun’

Composer Joseph Haydn
Band Boston Baroque
04:42 Play $1.70
10
Part 1, No. 9, Recitativ: ‘Und die himmlischen Heerscharen’

Part 1, No. 9, Recitativ: ‘Und die himmlischen Heerscharen’

Composer Joseph Haydn
Band Boston Baroque
00:10 Play $1.70
11
Part 1, No. 10, Chor: ‘Stimmt an die Saiten’

Part 1, No. 10, Chor: ‘Stimmt an die Saiten’

Composer Joseph Haydn
Band Boston Baroque
02:01 Play $1.70
12
Part 1, No. 11, Recitativ: ‘Und Gott sprach: Es sei'n Lichter an der Feste’

Part 1, No. 11, Recitativ: ‘Und Gott sprach: Es sei'n Lichter an der Feste’

Composer Joseph Haydn
Band Boston Baroque
00:32 Play $1.70
13
Part 1, No. 12, Recitativ: ‘In vollem Glanze steiget jetzt ‘

Part 1, No. 12, Recitativ: ‘In vollem Glanze steiget jetzt ‘

Composer Joseph Haydn
Band Boston Baroque
02:38 Play $1.70
14
Part 1, No. 13, Terzett mit Chor: ‘Die Himmel erzahlen die Ehre Gottes’

Part 1, No. 13, Terzett mit Chor: ‘Die Himmel erzahlen die Ehre Gottes’

Composer Joseph Haydn
Band Boston Baroque
04:03 Play $1.70
15
Part II, No. 14, Recitativ: ‘Und Gott sprach: Es bringe das Wasser’

Part II, No. 14, Recitativ: ‘Und Gott sprach: Es bringe das Wasser’

Composer Joseph Haydn
Band Boston Baroque
00:25 Play $1.70
16
Part II, No. 15, Arie: ‘Auf starkem Fittiche schwinget sich’

Part II, No. 15, Arie: ‘Auf starkem Fittiche schwinget sich’

Composer Joseph Haydn
Band Boston Baroque
07:01 Play $3.40
17
Part II, No. 16, Recitativ: ‘Und Gott schuf grosse Walfische’

Part II, No. 16, Recitativ: ‘Und Gott schuf grosse Walfische’

Composer Joseph Haydn
Band Boston Baroque
02:07 Play $1.70
18
Part II, No. 17, Recitativ: ‘Und die Engel ruhrten ihr' unsterblichen Harfen’

Part II, No. 17, Recitativ: ‘Und die Engel ruhrten ihr' unsterblichen Harfen’

Composer Joseph Haydn
Band Boston Baroque
00:21 Play $1.70
19
Part II, No. 18, Terzett mit Chor: ‘In holder Anmut stehn, mit jungem Grun’

Part II, No. 18, Terzett mit Chor: ‘In holder Anmut stehn, mit jungem Grun’

Composer Joseph Haydn
Band Boston Baroque
06:22 Play $3.40
20
Part II, No. 19, Recitativ: ‘Und Gott sprach: Es bringe die Erde hervor’

Part II, No. 19, Recitativ: ‘Und Gott sprach: Es bringe die Erde hervor’

Composer Joseph Haydn
Band Boston Baroque
00:23 Play $1.70
21
Part II, No. 20, Recitativ: ‘Gleich offnet sich der Erde Schoss’

Part II, No. 20, Recitativ: ‘Gleich offnet sich der Erde Schoss’

Composer Joseph Haydn
Band Boston Baroque
02:57 Play $1.70
22
Part II, No. 21, Arie: ‘Nun scheint in vollem Glanze der Himmel’

Part II, No. 21, Arie: ‘Nun scheint in vollem Glanze der Himmel’

Composer Joseph Haydn
Band Boston Baroque
03:03 Play $1.70
23
Part II, No. 22, Recitativ: ‘Und Gott schuf den Menshen’

Part II, No. 22, Recitativ: ‘Und Gott schuf den Menshen’

Composer Joseph Haydn
Band Boston Baroque
00:32 Play $1.70
24
Part II, No. 23, Arie: ‘Mit Wurd' und Hoheit angetan’

Part II, No. 23, Arie: ‘Mit Wurd' und Hoheit angetan’

Composer Joseph Haydn
Band Boston Baroque
03:26 Play $1.70
25
Part II, No. 24, Recitativ: ‘Und Gott sah jedes Ding’

Part II, No. 24, Recitativ: ‘Und Gott sah jedes Ding’

Composer Joseph Haydn
Band Boston Baroque
00:23 Play $1.70
26
Part II, No. 25, Terzett mit Chor: ‘Zu dir, o Herr, blickt alles auf’

Part II, No. 25, Terzett mit Chor: ‘Zu dir, o Herr, blickt alles auf’

Composer Joseph Haydn
Band Boston Baroque
08:31 Play $3.40
27
Part III, No. 26: Recitativ: ‘Aus Rosenwolken bricht’

Part III, No. 26: Recitativ: ‘Aus Rosenwolken bricht’

Composer Joseph Haydn
Band Boston Baroque
03:55 Play $1.70
28
Part III, No. 27: Duett mit Chor: ‘Von deiner Gut', o Herr und Gott’

Part III, No. 27: Duett mit Chor: ‘Von deiner Gut', o Herr und Gott’

Composer Joseph Haydn
Band Boston Baroque
09:06 Play $3.40
29
Part III, No. 28: Recitativ: ‘Nun ist die erste Pflicht erfullt’

Part III, No. 28: Recitativ: ‘Nun ist die erste Pflicht erfullt’

Composer Joseph Haydn
Band Boston Baroque
02:30 Play $1.70
30
Part III, No. 29: Duett: ‘Holde Gattin, dir zur Seite’

Part III, No. 29: Duett: ‘Holde Gattin, dir zur Seite’

Composer Joseph Haydn
Band Boston Baroque
08:00 Play $3.40
31
Part III, No. 30: Recitativ: ‘O glucklich Paar, und glucklich immerfort’

Part III, No. 30: Recitativ: ‘O glucklich Paar, und glucklich immerfort’

Composer Joseph Haydn
Band Boston Baroque
00:21 Play $1.70
32
Part III, No. 31: Chor: ‘Singt dem Herrn alle Stimmen’

Part III, No. 31: Chor: ‘Singt dem Herrn alle Stimmen’

Composer Joseph Haydn
Band Boston Baroque
03:31 Play $1.70
Total Running Time 97 minutes Purchase all tracks 
$13.00 
Prices shown in US Dollars

The three-time Grammy-nominated Boston Baroque, widely regarded as ‘one of the world's premier period-instruments bands' (Fanfare), marks the beginning of its relationship with Linn with a two-disc recording of Haydn's The Creation

The SACD layer is both 5.1 channel and 2-channel. The Studio Master files are 192kHz or 96kHz / 24-bit.

Download includes - cover art, inlay, booklet

Boston Baroque, conducted by Martin Pearlman recorded Haydn's masterpiece at Mechanics Hall in Worchester, Massachusetts. The soloists Amanda Forsythe soprano, Keith Jameson tenor and Kevin Deas bass-baritone joined the ensemble for the performance of Haydn's crowning achievement.  The Creation remains one of the greatest works in the choral repertoire and has been astonishing audiences since its premiere in 1798.

The ensemble's previous performances of The Creation have received rave reviews, with the Boston Globe stating: ‘Boston Baroque performed [Haydn's Creation] with vibrant color and a fleet momentum...and made it a vivid, effervescent occasion.'

Personnel:

BOSTON BAROQUE
MARTIN PEARLMAN
AMANDA FORSYTHE soprano
KEITH JAMESON tenor
KEVIN DEAS bass-baritone

Booklet notes:

From its very first performance in Vienna in April of 1798, The Creation caused an unprecedented sensation throughout Europe. It was seen as the crowning achievement of the greatest living composer and box office receipts for the premiere broke all records. With tickets hard to come by, market stalls had to be cleared in front of the theatre, and foot police were hired to control the crowd. Following the Paris premiere Napoleon - who was nearly assassinated in the plot of Rue Saint-Nicaise on his way to the theatre - had a medal struck in honour of the composer.

In Vienna, Haydn's oratorio has been performed every year since its premiere and has enjoyed the unique stature that Handel's Messiah has in English-speaking countries. Elsewhere, however, the work, and particularly its text, gradually began to come in for criticism. At a time when a great deal of literature was censored in Vienna for its  revolutionary tendencies, some saw dangerous Masonic influences in the text and the church banned performances in its buildings. Nonetheless, government authorities generally considered the libretto of The Creation to be safe and conservative. It reads like a Baroque text, influenced in part by Handel's oratorios: it is based on a biblical model with old-fashioned symbolism and musical depictions of animals and other effects. While all this worked well with the Viennese, the more up-to-date - and less censored - German literati began after a few years to criticize it as backward. Schiller, whose plays were banned in Vienna, called the libretto a ‘characterless mishmash' and considered the word painting in the music to be simplistic.

In England, where Haydn's recent visits were still remembered with admiration, the music was an enormous success, even after the libretto eventually began to be criticized. But here there was another element at work. As popular as Haydn was, there were increasingly strong suggestions that it was presumptuous to try to compete with the enshrined oratorios of their ‘native' son Handel. A newspaper review of the London premiere began the attack gently: ‘[The Creation], although not equal in grandeur to the divine compositions of the immortal HANDEL, is nevertheless, on the whole, a very charming production.'  

By the end of the nineteenth century, The Creation was in low repute and rarely heard outside Vienna, except for some of its solo arias, which were used as recital pieces. The libretto, according to one biographer of the time, was in places ‘more than modern flesh and blood can bear ... In another fifty years, perhaps, the critic will be able to say that [the work's] main interest is largely historic and literary.' Nearly fifty years later, however, almost the opposite happened. In 1949, the short-lived Haydn Society, a company created by the scholar H. C. Robbins Landon, issued the first recording of The Creation and touched off its rapid revival as one of the greatest and most popular works of the choral repertoire. Today, even the librettist of this great work is generally admired as a fine collaborator who could inspire Haydn's genius. 

The libretto

The text for The Creation is by Baron Gottfried van Swieten, the same musical connoisseur who introduced Mozart and Haydn to many of the works of Bach and Handel. It was he who commissioned Mozart's arrangements of Handel's Messiah and Acis and Galatea and who commissioned symphonies from C. P. E. Bach. And it was he who encouraged Haydn to write an up-to-date Handelian oratorio, a suggestion which Haydn no doubt found intriguing, since he had only recently visited England, where he was greatly moved by performances of Handel's music. The work is in three parts, Part I dealing with the creation of the earth and its flora, Part II with the creation of the animal world and of man, and Part III with the awakening of Adam and Eve. Three soloists - the number always used by Haydn himself for this piece - portray three archangels and later Adam and Eve. Van Swieten's German text derives mainly from English sources, principally paraphrases of the English bible and Milton's Paradise Lost. An actual English translation, using some of the original words from these sources, appears in the first published edition of The Creation (1800), which gives singing texts in both German and English. Exactly who created the English translation has never been completely established, although some suspect Van Swieten himself, perhaps even with the collaboration of Haydn.

German or English?

Because The Creation appeared in both German and English during Haydn's lifetime, it is often sung in the vernacular in English-speaking countries. However, German is the language for which the music was originally composed and which fits the notes more convincingly. While the English can make the text feel more immediate to English speakers, the writing is often awkward and stilted, where it is not borrowing directly from Milton or the bible. This was already recognized and criticized by British listeners and critics during Haydn's lifetime. One publisher wrote, ‘It is lamentable to see such divine music joined with such miserable broken English...' Today, with audiences used to hearing works of Bach, Mozart and others in their original languages, it seems preferable to present this oratorio in its stronger, original German text.

The music

The oratorio opens with an extraordinary orchestral introduction, depicting the chaos which preceded creation. It is without doubt the most modern music written up to that time. Not only do the chromatic harmonies depict the instability of chaos, but the large orchestra is used in novel ways that truly belong to the nineteenth century. The transparent colours of solo woodwinds and of lower strings create swirling, shadowy effects. Each element of the orchestration is carefully thought out, without any formulaic doubling of parts. At a time when most scores show the same dynamic in every instrument part to indicate the overall effect, Haydn's overture treats each instrument individually, with crescendos and diminuendos bringing out first one instrument and then another.  

The musical depictions of animals, the sunrise and other effects which were so criticized in the following century, were initially - and are again today - enormously effective and popular. The famous moment when light is created out of darkness with a sudden, fully orchestrated C Major chord was particularly electrifying to the original audiences. An eyewitness at the first public rehearsal records the effect:  

No one, not even Baron van Swieten, had seen the page of the score wherein the birth of light is described. That was the only passage of the work which Haydn had kept hidden. I think I see his face even now, as this part sounded in the orchestra. Haydn had the expression of someone who is thinking of biting his lips, either to hide his embarrassment or to conceal a secret. And in that moment when light broke out for the first time, one would have said that rays darted from the composer's burning eyes. The enchantment of the electrified Viennese was so general that the orchestra could not proceed for some minutes.

The use of trombones and contrabassoon is unusual for the time and brilliantly enhances special moments, such as the creation of light and the heavy footsteps of beasts on the earth. The contrabassoon, which Haydn first heard in London, was in fact new to Vienna.  

Performance issues

The size of the forces used for Haydn's own performances of The Creation varied enormously. There were performances with 200 musicians, one version so small that it would have to be called chamber music, and ensembles of various sizes in between. When Haydn conducted the work for a visit of Lord Nelson at Esterhazy two years after the premiere, he had a somewhat smaller orchestra and chorus than what we use for this recording. Haydn is said by various reports to have taken quick, vigorous tempos in conducting his own works, even in his old age. In some of the old manuscript parts used by soloists, there are embellishments added in certain arias, inspiring ideas about ornamentation which we follow in this recording. © Martin Pearlman, 2012


Recording information:

Produced and edited by Thomas C. Moore, Five/Four Productions, Ltd.
Recorded and mixed by Robert Friedrich, Five/Four Productions, Ltd.
Mastered by Michael Bishop using Five/Four Reveal SDM technology
Recorded Direct to Stereo and Surround at Mechanics Hall, Worcester, Massachusetts, USA from 19th-20th and 22nd-23rd October 2011
Assistant Engineer: Ian Dobie
Special thanks to Joseph Chilorio and Bob Kennedy, Mechanics Hall; Wes Dooley and Paul Pegas, AEA; Mike Pappas, Pappas Consulting; Gus Skinas, Super Audio Center.
Front photograph: Stromboli volcano at full-moon with eruption by Vulkanette

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Early Music Today
'Career Highlight'
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Classical Voice of North Carolina
‘This recording is the best one I have ever heard. Because of its extraordinary recorded sound…’
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The Absolute Sound
'superb'
more >>

Classics Today France
‘Ceci posé, dans sa logique chambriste, la réalisation est formidable: finesse des dosages instrumentaux, ductilité du choeur, choix idéal des solistes.’
more >>

Criticaclassica.com
'we believe that this incision can become an important benchmark in the category of record versions of "The Creation" by Haydn.'
more >>

Fanfare Magazine
'...so electric that one wants to stand up and cheer..'
more >>

Thewholenote.com
'If you are looking for a historically informed performance with period instruments which also shows passion and drama, I would recommend this version.'
more >>

WQXR
'...an Operavore nod for the supple, radiant, and unfailingly musical singing of soprano Amanda Forsythe.'


Fanfare Magazine
'Pearlman and his forces produce a performance of great dramatic force without skimping on its charm.'
more >>

Criticaclassica.com
'This is a recording of the highest level, thanks in part to the excellent performance of the U.S. team, capable of exalting the bright colors and the most solemn, that the three singers, with voices of great intensity.'
more >>

Manchester Evening News
Named one of the 'Top Ten Classical CDs of 2012'


Opera News
The sound is beautifully balanced, and Haydn's livelier choral episodes showcase the ensemble's terrific flexibility.
more >>

American Record Guide
'This is the most joyful Creation I've ever heard.'
more >>

Colorado Public Radio
'Congratulations on a stunning recording.'


Boston Globe
'sparkling new recording'
more >>

Gramophone
'Pearlman's soloists are all accomplished.'
more >>

Pizzicato
'graceful and soulful, expressive playing.'
more >>

SA-CD.net
4 Stars
'the sonic aspects are superb'
more >>

International Record Review
'...this is a delightful, charming and often moving performance...'
more >>

BBC Music Magazine
4 Stars
'This new version...lives up to its high reputation in this clean account, nicely scaled and finely balanced under the direction of Martin Pearlman.'
more >>

Classical Music Sentinel
'...the Boston Baroque orchestra under the direction of Martin Pearlman is a delightful listening experience'.
more >>

Choir & Organ
5 Stars
'Martin Pearlman extracts every subtle nuance out of the score.'
more >>

Gramophone
'...choral singing and orchestral playing are splendidly alive...'


ArkivMusic
Recommendation: 'A magnificent, masterful display of orchestral eloquence, dramatic capabilities, and superb choral writing. Martin Pearlman captures the work's essential majesty and expressive chracter, the orchestra conveys Haydn's colorful score as well as any, and the chorus is second to none.'


Jewish Daily Forward
'This new set by Boston Baroque under Martin Pearlman can take its place among the very best, rising in sound and spirit to the heights of Haydn's sublime music.'
more >>

MDR Figaro
'...in klanglich transparenter Form.'
more >>

The Plain Dealer
5 Stars
'If only actual creation resembled this recording. Then would the world be a place of unspoiled beauty and perfect harmony.'
more >>

WFMT
5 Stars
'The three-time Grammy-nominated Boston Baroque marks the beginning of its relationship with Linn,,,'
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Cleveland.com's Digital Dose
'Soprano Amanda Forsythe is a gleaming delight and Kevin Deas wields a rich, evocative bass.'
more >>

Audio Video Club of Atlanta
'Sheer, matchless poetry, beautifully rendered and captured here.'
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Allmusic.com
4½ Stars
'The hybrid SACD presentation is first-rate, and the musicians have phenomenal presence and clarity.'
more >>

Buffalo News
4 Stars
'The big choruses have zest. And there is glory in the details.'
more >>

Time Out NY
4 Stars
'Even so, Pearlman's expert Boston players and vocalists-Deas; deft, ultra-charming Met tenor Keith Jameson; and spring water clear soprano Amanda Forsythe, who aces her ravishing arias and scatters delightful trills-make this well-recorded set a delight.'
more >>

Infodad.com
4 Stars
'Boston Baroque, under Martin Pearlman, holds all those keys and knows how to use them to unlock the manifest beauties of the score: the group's performance is outstanding.'
more >>

Classical CD Review
'This is a major choral issue.'
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The Sunday Times
'Pearlman and his choir and period band are excellent.'
more >>

Musical Toronto
5 Stars
'...a sparkling new recording of The Creation...'
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Musicweb International
'The recording in 24/96 format is excellent...'
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Criticaclassica
A nice review in Italian. 'Strongly recommended'
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Classics Today
'This orchestra conveys Haydn's colorful score as well as any, and this chorus is second to none for its unbridled energy and uncommonly articulate delivery.'
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Audiophile Audition
5 Stars
'...the results are spectacular.'
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Musical Pointers
'enjoyable and convincing'
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