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Haydn: The Creation / McCreesh, Gabrieli Consort & Players


Release Date: 02/05/2008 
Label:  Archiv Produktion (Dg)   Catalog #: 001086502   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Franz Joseph Haydn
Performer:  Miah PerssonRuth MasseySandrine PiauPaul Harvey,   ... 
Conductor:  Paul McCreesh
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gabrieli ConsortGabrieli PlayersChetham's Chamber Choir
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Exciting, moving and wonderfully sung, this big band Creation is a triumph.

Haydn and his librettist Baron van Swieten conceived The Creation as the first bilingual oratorio and would surely have been perplexed that Anglophone record-buyers seem to prefer the work in German. The main problem, of course, is that the Baron’s command of English failed to match his self-confidence, prompting many attempts to improve on the original. On this new recording, Paul McCreesh’s emendations are less radical than those on the two other available versions in English (from Simon Rattle, 4/91, and Robert Shaw, 12/92), but on the whole more successful, retaining all the Milton-inspired quaintness of van Swieten’s text while rectifying
Read more his mistranslations and clumsy Germanic word order.

Language apart, McCreesh’s recording differs from its period competitors – Gardiner (Archiv), Harnoncourt (DHM), Spering (Naxos) and Christie (Virgin) – in scale: where they typically use a smallish professional choir and an orchestra of around 50, McCreesh pits a 113-strong band against a chorus of similar numbers. Abetted by the glowing, spacious acoustics of Watford Town Hall, the big celebratory choruses make a more powerful impact than in any of the rival period versions. Occasionally – say in the rollicking fugue in “Awake the harp”, here done at a constant fortissimo – I would have welcomed more nuanced dynamics. But there is no denying the incandescence of the climaxes to “The heavens are telling” and the final “Praise the Lord, uplift your voices”.

In all the choruses McCreesh’s pacing – eager but never hectic – and rhythmic energy are wonderfully inspiriting. He is acutely responsive, too, to the work’s mystery and awe, daring, and vindicating, slower-than-usual tempi for “Chaos” (launched by the most apocalyptic of timpani rolls), the Sunrise and the first morning in Paradise, celestially evoked by the Gabrieli’s trio of flutes. A pity, though, that he allows the cannon-fire timpani to pre-empt Haydn’s cosmic blaze at “light”.

McCreesh’s trump card is his solo team, superb both individually and as an exceptionally sensitive ensemble. I can’t recall ever hearing the trio near the close of Part 2, “On thee each living soul awaits”, sung with such radiant inwardness. Other highlights include Sandrine Piau’s graceful, smiling “With verdure clad”, here a truly happy song to the spring, Mark Padmore’s tender legato in Haydn’s portrayal of the first woman, and Neal Davies’s deep, velvet softness in “the limpid brook” and his hieratic reverence in the sublime arioso “Be fruitful all, and multiply”. Peter Harvey, supple and lyrical, and Miah Persson, with a touch of sensuousness in her vernal tone, are beautifully paired as Adam and Eve. The less consistently cast Rattle recording sometimes generates more fun. But for a Creation in English, this new version – exhilarating, poetic and marvellously sung – becomes the prime recommendation.

-- Richard Wigmore, Gramophone [3/2008]
Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
The Creation, H 21 no 2 by Franz Joseph Haydn
Performer:  Miah Persson (Soprano), Ruth Massey (Alto), Sandrine Piau (Soprano),
Paul Harvey (Baritone), Mark Padmore (Tenor), Neal Davies (Bass)
Conductor:  Paul McCreesh
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gabrieli Consort,  Gabrieli Players,  Chetham's Chamber Choir
Period: Classical 
Written: 1796-1798; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 10/2006 
Language: English 

Featured Sound Samples

Part I: The Second Day: "The glorious heav'nly hierarchy"
Part II: The Fifth Day: "Most beautiful appear, with verdure young adorn'd - The Lord is great"

Sound Samples

The Creation (Die Schöpfung) - Text Adjustment: Paul McCreesh / Part 1 / The First Day: Introduction: The Representation Of Chaos
The Creation (Die Schöpfung) - Text Adjustment: Paul McCreesh / Part 1 / The First Day: In The Beginning God Created The Heaven And The Earth - And The Spirit Of God
The Creation (Die Schöpfung) - Text Adjustment: Paul McCreesh / Part 1 / The First Day: Now Vanish Before The Holy Beams - Despairing, Cursing Rage
The Creation (Die Schöpfung) - Text Adjustment: Paul McCreesh / Part 1 / The Second Day: And God Made The Firmament
The Creation (Die Schöpfung) - Text Adjustment: Paul McCreesh / Part 1 / The Second Day: The Glorious Heav'nly Hierarchy
The Creation (Die Schöpfung) - Text Adjustment: Paul McCreesh / Part 1 / The Third Day: And God Said: Let The Waters Under The Heaven Be Gathered Together
The Creation (Die Schöpfung) - Text Adjustment: Paul McCreesh / Part 1 / The Third Day: Rolling In Foaming Billows
The Creation (Die Schöpfung) - Text Adjustment: Paul McCreesh / Part 1 / The Third Day: And God Said: Let The Earth Bring Forth Grass
The Creation (Die Schöpfung) - Text Adjustment: Paul McCreesh / Part 1 / The Third Day: With Verdure Clad The Fields Appear
The Creation (Die Schöpfung) - Text Adjustment: Paul McCreesh / Part 1 / The Third Day: And The Heavenly Host The Third Day Proclaimed
The Creation (Die Schöpfung) - Text Adjustment: Paul McCreesh / Part 1 / The Third Day: Awake The Harp, The Lyre Awake
The Creation (Die Schöpfung) - Text Adjustment: Paul McCreesh / Part 1 / The Fourth Day: And God Said: Let There Be Lights In The Firmament Of Heaven
The Creation (Die Schöpfung) - Text Adjustment: Paul McCreesh / Part 1 / The Fourth Day: In Brightest Splendour Rises Now The Sun
The Creation (Die Schöpfung) - Text Adjustment: Paul McCreesh / Part 1 / The Fourth Day: The Heavens Are Telling The Glory Of God
The Creation (Die Schöpfung) - Text Adjustment: Paul McCreesh / Part 2 / The Fifth Day: And God Said: Let The Waters Bring Forth Abundantly
The Creation (Die Schöpfung) - Text Adjustment: Paul McCreesh / Part 2 / The Fifth Day: On Mighty Pens Uplifted Soars The Eagle
The Creation (Die Schöpfung) - Text Adjustment: Paul McCreesh / Part 2 / The Fifth Day: And God Created Great Whales
The Creation (Die Schöpfung) - Text adjustment: Paul McCreesh / Part 2 / The Fifth Day: And The Angels Struck Their Immortal Harps
The Creation (Die Schöpfung) - Text Adjustment: Paul McCreesh / Part 2 / The Fifth Day: Most Beautiful Appear, With Verdure Young Adorn'd - The Lord Is Great
The Creation (Die Schöpfung) - Text Adjustment: Paul McCreesh / Part 2 / The Sixth Day: And God Said: Let The Earth Bring Forth The Living Creature
The Creation (Die Schöpfung) - Text Adjustment: Paul McCreesh / Part 2 / The Sixth Day: Straight Opening Her Fertile Womb
The Creation (Die Schöpfung) - Text Adjustment: Paul McCreesh / Part 2 / The Sixth Day: Now Heaven In Fullest Glory Shines
The Creation (Die Schöpfung) - Text Adjustment: Paul McCreesh / Part 2 / The Sixth Day: And God Created Man
The Creation (Die Schöpfung) - Text Adjustment: Paul McCreesh / Part 2 / The Sixth Day: In Native Worth And Honour Clad
The Creation (Die Schöpfung) - Text Adjustment: Paul McCreesh / Part 2 / The Sixth Day: And God Saw Ev'rything That He Had Made
The Creation (Die Schöpfung) - Text Adjustment: Paul McCreesh / Part 2 / The Sixth Day: Achieved Is The Glorious Work
The Creation (Die Schöpfung) - Text Adjustment: Paul McCreesh / Part 3: In Rosy Mantle Now Appears
The Creation (Die Schöpfung) - Text Adjustment: Paul McCreesh / Part 3: By Thee With Bliss, O Bounteous Lord
The Creation (Die Schöpfung) - Text Adjustment: Paul McCreesh / Part 3: Our Duty Have We Now Perform'd
The Creation (Die Schöpfung) - Text Adjustment: Paul McCreesh / Part 3: Graceful Consort!
The Creation (Die Schöpfung) - Text Adjustment: Paul McCreesh / Part 3: O Happy Pair
The Creation (Die Schöpfung) - Text Adjustment: Paul McCreesh / Part 3: Praise The Lord, Uplift Your Voices

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