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Haydn: Die Schöpfung / Spering, Capella Augustina


Release Date: 04/19/2005 
Label:  Naxos   Catalog #: 8557380-81   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Franz Joseph Haydn
Performer:  Jan KobowChristine WehlerHanno Müller-BrachmannSunhae Im
Conductor:  Andreas Spering
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cologne Vocal EnsembleCapella Augustina
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 44 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews


Although The Creation is no stranger to period-instrument performance, two in particular spring to mind as particularly outstanding. The first of these is Christopher Hogwood's on L'Oiseau-Lyre, which is in English and remains the only version to assemble the huge forces for which Haydn actually wrote, with singularly thrilling results. Second, there is Hengelbrock on Deutsche Harmonia Mundi, who demonstrated that at least on recordings the music can sound just as big and colorful, but without extensive doubling of instrumental parts. In his version of The Seasons, René Jacobs accomplished a similar feat, and so does this newcomer, even outdoing Hengelbrock in wringing
Read more every last drop of color from Haydn's perennially fresh orchestration. All of the other period performances, including Brüggen, Weil, Harnoncourt (twice), Kuijken, and Gardener, stand at some remove from these three.

Andreas Spering has a lot going for him right from the beginning: crack vocal and instrumental forces, a strong lineup of soloists, and an excellent German radio production that sounds fabulous...This account of Chaos must stand as the most creepy and desolate on disc, the music still truly revolutionary and modern even at this late date. Spering takes time to make every detail tell: the sudden brass interjections, the startling clarinet run leading to the recapitulation, the muted strings and soloistic writing for timpani. Spering rightly treats the piece Romantically, allowing plenty of opportunities for rhetorical emphasis, as at the thrilling eruption of light and the ensuing recitative, taken a bit slower and more grandly than usual. But there's nothing mannered or unduly exaggerated: everything is dictated by the sense of the text. The chorus obviously relishes the words and sings as though they really mean something.

There are too many outstanding details to list completely. The concluding choruses of all three parts combine blazing brass with exceptional contrapuntal clarity. Sunhae Im and Hanno Müller-Brachmann make a charming Adam and Eve. The latter hasn't the steadiest of baritone voices, particularly in his lower register (as I noted in his recent recording of Bach's B minor Mass for Naxos), but he does surprisingly well in Raphael's big Part 2 aria "Nun scheint in vollem Glanze der Himmel", and tenor Jan Kobow turns in an excellent "In Native Worth" (as it's known in English). Spering somehow manages to play the living daylights out of the great duet with chorus at the center of Part 3, which Tovey called the greatest single movement that Haydn ever wrote, without making an anti-climax out of the following Adam and Eve duet and the big closing ensemble, with its dazzling coloratura "Amens". In short, from just about every possible standpoint, this is as fine a performance of this work as I hope to hear, one that at every turn reveals the miraculously undying youthfulness of Haydn's inspiration. Now on to the The Seasons, please!

--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

1.
The Creation, H 21 no 2 by Franz Joseph Haydn
Performer:  Jan Kobow (Tenor), Christine Wehler (Alto), Hanno Müller-Brachmann (Baritone),
Sunhae Im (Soprano)
Conductor:  Andreas Spering
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cologne Vocal Ensemble,  Capella Augustina
Period: Classical 
Written: 1796-1798; Vienna, Austria 
Length: 104 Minutes 22 Secs. 
Language: German 

Sound Samples

Die Schopfung (The Creation), Hob.XXI:2: Part I, No.1: Die Vorstellung des Chaos (The Representation of Chaos)
Die Schopfung (The Creation), Hob.XXI:2: Part I: Im Anfange schuf Gott Himmel und Erde (In the beginning God created Heaven and Earth) (Raphael, Uriel, Chorus)
Die Schopfung (The Creation), Hob.XXI:2: Part I, No.2: Nun schwanden vor dem heiligen Strahle (Now vanish before the holy beams) (Uriel, Chorus)
Die Schopfung (The Creation), Hob.XXI:2: Part I, No.3: Und Gott machte das Firmament (And God made the firmament) (Raphael)
Die Schopfung (The Creation), Hob.XXI:2: Part I, No.4: Mit Staunen sieht das Wunderwerk (The marv'lous work beholds amaz'd (Gabriel)
Die Schopfung (The Creation), Hob.XXI:2: Part I, No.5: Und Gott sprach: Es sammle sich das Wasser (And God said: Let the waters under the heaven) (Raphael)
Die Schopfung (The Creation), Hob.XXI:2: Part I, No.6: Rollend in schaumenden Wellen (Rolling in foaming billows) (Raphael)
Die Schopfung (The Creation), Hob.XXI:2: Part I, No.7: Und Gott sprach: Es bringe die Erde Gras hervor (And God said: Let all the earth bring forth grass) (Gabriel)
Die Schopfung (The Creation), Hob.XXI:2: Part I, No.8: Nun beut dir Flur das frische Grun (With verdure clad the fields appear) (Gabriel)
Die Schopfung (The Creation), Hob.XXI:2: Part I, No.9: Und die himmlischen Heerscharen (And the Heav'nly host proclaimed the third day) (Uriel)
Die Schopfung (The Creation), Hob.XXI:2: Part I, No.10: Stimmt an die Saiten (Awake the harp) (Chorus)
Die Schopfung (The Creation), Hob.XXI:2: Part I, No.11: Und Gott sprach: Es seien Lichter an der Feste des Himmels (And God said: Let there be lights in the firmament of heaven)
Die Schopfung (The Creation), Hob.XXI:2: Part I, No.12: In vollem Glanze steiget jetzt die Sonne (In splendour bright is rising now the sun) (Uriel)
Die Schopfung (The Creation), Hob.XXI:2: Part I, No.13: Die Himmel erzahlen die Ehre Gottes (The heavens are telling the glory of God) (Gabriel, Uriel, Raphael, Chorus)
Die Schopfung (The Creation), Hob.XXI:2: Part II, No.14: Und Gott sprach: Es bringe das Wasser in der Fulle hervor (And God said: Let the waters bring forth abundantly) (Gabriel)
Die Schopfung (The Creation), Hob.XXI:2: Part II, No.15: Auf starkem Fittiche schwinget sich der Adler stolz (On mighty pens uplifted soars the eagle aloft) (Gabriel)
Die Schopfung (The Creation), Hob.XXI:2: Part II, No.16: Und Gott schuf grosse Walfische (And God created great whales) (Raphael)
Die Schopfung (The Creation), Hob.XXI:2: Part II, No.17: Und die Engel ruhrten ihre unsterblichen Harfen (And the angels struck their immortal harps) (Raphael)
Die Schopfung (The Creation), Hob.XXI:2: Part II, Nos.18-19: In holder Anmut stehn (Most beautiful appear) (Trio) / Der Herr ist gross (The Lord is great) (Trio and Chorus)
Die Schopfung (The Creation), Hob.XXI:2: Part II, No.20: Und Gott sprach: Es bringe die Erde hervor lebende Geschopfe (And God said: Let the earth bring forth the living creature)
Die Schopfung (The Creation), Hob.XXI:2: Part II, No.21: Gleich offnet sich der Erde Schoss (Straight opening her fertile womb) (Raphael)
Die Schopfung (The Creation), Hob.XXI:2: Part II, No.22: Nun scheint in vollem Glanze der Himmel (Now heav'n in fullest glory shone) (Raphael)
Die Schopfung (The Creation), Hob.XXI:2: Part II, No.23: Und Gott schuf den Menschen nach seinem Ebenbilde (And God created man in his own image) (Uriel)
Die Schopfung (The Creation), Hob.XXI:2: Part II, No.24: Mit Wurd' und Hoheit angetan (In native worth and honour clad) (Uriel)
Die Schopfung (The Creation), Hob.XXI:2: Part II, No.25: Und Gott sah jedes Ding, was er gemacht hatte (And God saw ev'rything that he had made) (Raphael)
Die Schopfung (The Creation), Hob.XXI:2: Part II, Nos.26-28: Vollendet ist das grosse Werk (Chorus) / Zu dir, o Herr, blickt alles auf (Trio) / Vollendet ist das grosse Werk
Die Schopfung (The Creation), Hob.XXI:2: Part III, No. 29: Aus Rosenwolken (In rosy mantle appears) (Uriel)
Die Schopfung (The Creation), Hob.XXI:2: Part III, No.30: Von deiner Gut', o Herr und Gott (By thee with bliss, O bounteous Lord) (Eve and Adam, Chorus)
Die Schopfung (The Creation), Hob.XXI:2: Part III, No.31: Nun ist die erste Pflicht erfullt (Our duty we performed now) (Adam and Eve)
Die Schopfung (The Creation), Hob.XXI:2: Part III, No.32: Holde Gattin! (Graceful consort!) (Adam and Eve)
Die Schopfung (The Creation), Hob.XXI:2: Part III, No.33: O glucklich Paar (O happy pair) (Uriel)
Die Schopfung (The Creation), Hob.XXI:2: Part III, No.34: Singt dem Herren alle Stimmen (Sing the Lord, ye voices all!)

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