Boston Baroque - Haydn Creation - American Record Guide

This is the most joyful Creation I've ever heard. So while I might grumble about the orchestra's lack of heft or soloists who turn out to be more perky than profound, it's impossible to stay fussy for long. The Choruses, in particular, won't allow it, with ‘Stimmt an die Saiten', ‘Die Himmel erzahlen die Ehre Gottes', ‘Vollender ist das Grosse Werk' , ‘Singt dem Herrn alle Stimmen' and the rest reaching critical mass and obliterating any tendency toward analytical moping. Most exciting of all is ‘Der Herr ist Gross' in Part II, where the solo trio and choir bristle with happy excitement as they celebrate the wonders of the 5th day. What a rush! The only choral segment I'd tweak is the ‘Und eine neye Welt' interlude in Part I, which is too matter of facet to convey the hushed awe of souls encountering their newly created world for the first time. Apart from that I wouldn't change a thing.

The soloists sounds fine together in their various combinations especially in the tender ‘Zu dir, o Herr' trio near the end of Part II. Kevin Deas in the most impressive story-teller of the group as he shades in Haydn's tone paintings with colourful strokes of sounds. The foaming seas and gurgling brooks of Part I are terrific. Pearlman offering dynamic orchestral support. [Amanda Forsythe's] Adam and Eve duets with Deas are graceful and charming, and I like the feisty ornamentation she brings to ‘Nun Beut die Flur' as the world goes green for the first time.

The weak link is the period players, who accompany like champs but fail to take centre stage with authority when Haydn places them in the spotlight. Fiddlers in their opening ‘Vorstellung' are eerie enough, but in a scrawny way. More virtuosic strength from the orchestra would have been welcome. But with Linn's magnificent engineering and handsome documentation (translations included), the release is pretty special. What better way to celebrate the miracle of the creation than with the miracle of The Creation?

American Record Guide
01 December 2012