Boston Baroque - Haydn Creation -

Although The Creation was a great success when it was first performed, it was almost forgotten by the end of the 19th century, outside Vienna at least. The first recording dates from 1949; now there are about 70 recordings available. They divide into two groups: those with modern instruments and symphony orchestras and, on the other hand, performances with period instruments that are attentive to late 18th-century performance style such as this CD. Tafelmusik recorded the work in 1993. I like the soloists on that recording (especially the soprano, Ann Monoyios) but the conducting by Bruno Weil is unimaginative.

By contrast, Martin Pearlman's conducting has the right momentum. The soloists are very good. The tenor, Keith Jameson, has the right lyricism. The soprano, Amanda Forsythe, sings with lightness; yet her voice is full and warm. The bass-baritone, Kevin Deas, sings with a great deal of vibrato in a manner that might seem more appropriate for Porgy and Bess or the Brahms Requiem, bothofwhich are in his repertoire, but that is less important than the power and the sonority that he brings to the part. Just listen to his account of the dangerous creeping worm in Part II, a premonition of what will destroy the bliss achieved at the end of the work. If you are looking for a historically informed performance with period instruments which also shows passion and drama, I would recommend this version.

30 January 2013