Boston Baroque - Haydn Creation - Musicweb International

Some musical works have an abiding appeal while recordings of others, though attractive, seem to get hidden at the back of a cupboard. The Creation, whether in German or in Baron van Swieten's slightly mangled English, has definitely been in the former camp for me ever since I first heard it some 50 years ago. Supposedly inspired by emerging from hearing Handel's Messiah with tears streaming down his face and exclaiming ‘Truly he is the master of us all', he need not have felt daunted in emulating his great predecessor; though an ardent Handelian, for me The Creation matches the master's achievement.

Even more than Haydn's own so-called Nelson Mass it's one of my favourite choral works so, although we already had excellent recordings from John Eliot Gardiner and Paul McCreesh both from DG, there's always room for a first-class rival. I knew from the start that we had such a rival here.

With three excellent soloists who employ some tasteful ornamentation, strongly supported by the period-instrument Boston Baroque and with Martin Pearlman's sure hand at the tiller, the performance is a delight from start to finish. There's no single answer to how large the chorus should be - Haydn employed different sizes - but the number recorded here sounds just right to me.

Musicweb International
20 July 2012