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Gemini - Haydn: Die Schöpfung / Marriner, Et Al

Release Date: 05/02/2006 
Label:  Emi Classics   Catalog #: 50842   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Franz Joseph Haydn
Performer:  Barbara BonneyEdith WiensHans-Peter BlochwitzOlaf Bär,   ... 
Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart Radio Symphony OrchestraStuttgart Radio Chorus
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

HAYDN The Creation ? Neville Marriner, cond; Barbara Bonney ( Gabriel ); Hans Peter Blochwitz ( Uriel ); Jan-Hendrik Rootering ( Raphael ); Edith Wiens ( Eve ); Olaf Bär ( Adam ); Stuttgart RSO & Ch ? EMI 50842 (2 CDs: 100:27)

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Recorded in 1989, this has remained my preferred modern-instrument edition of The Creation since I reviewed it in Fanfare 14:6. The performance is light and fast, with woodwinds to the fore (judging from their dry sound, the horns may be period instruments). It misses some of the grandeur of older oratorio-style versions by the likes of Karajan and Bernstein, but it more than makes up for that with its effervescent high spirits. Marriner?s superb vocal soloists set this apart from other modern-instrument recordings. This Creation may be Barbara Bonney?s finest hour: she is magnificent throughout, shining above vocal ensembles as well as in her arias; she manages the performance?s limited amount of ornamentation superbly. Blochwitz and Rootering are nearly as fine, as are Wiens and Bär in part III. The small chorus is excellent, as is the orchestra. A not-too-subtle fortepiano accompanies the recitatives. EMI?s recording captures everything in clear, clean sound that has plenty of impact for the big moments.

Recordings of period-instrument performances have grown in both quality and quantity over the 15 years since this recording first appeared, and the best of them can make Marriner sound a touch old-fashioned. My top choice is the Harmonia Mundi set led by Thomas Hengelbrock ( Fanfare 27:4); his soprano, Simone Kermes, even matches Bonney. But this Marriner reissue, at a very low price, blows away all other budget issues.

FANFARE: James H. North
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Works on This Recording

The Creation, H 21 no 2 by Franz Joseph Haydn
Performer:  Barbara Bonney (Soprano), Edith Wiens (Soprano), Hans-Peter Blochwitz (Tenor),
Olaf Bär (Baritone), Jan-Hendrik Rootering (Bass)
Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Stuttgart Radio Chorus
Period: Classical 
Written: 1796-1798; Vienna, Austria 

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