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Grand Prix - Haydn: The Creation / McNair, et al

Album Summary

>Haydn, Franz Joseph : Die Schöpfung (The Creation), oratorio, H. 21/2
Performers Conductor Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

"yet his (Gardiner) is a fun Creation and a real enrichment of the library Gardiner stands firm as an easy first choice; a re-creator of vision, a great invigorator and life-enhancer."-Gramophone. 1997 Gramophone Award Winner

Gramophone Classical Music Guide
With Gardiner's first down-beat it's obvious that Chaos's days are numbered. Not that 'days' (strictly speaking) are in question till the mighty words have been spoken, and then, in this performance, what an instantaneous blaze! No premonitory intimation (of pre-echo in the old days whereas now even the faintest stirring in the ranks of the choir will do it), but a single-handed switching-on of the cosmic power-grid and a magnificently sustained C major chord to flood the universe with light. This is one of the great characteristics here: the superbly confident, precise attack of choir and orchestra. Enthusiasm, then, in plenty; but how about the mystery of Creation? It's certainly part of the aim to capture this, for the bass soloist's 'Im Anfange' ('In the beginning') with pianissimo chorus has rarely been so softly and so spaciously taken: the Spirit that moved upon the face of the waters is a veiled, flesh-creeping presence, felt again in the first sunrise and the 'softer beams with milder light' of the first moon. Even so, others have incorporated this element more naturally.

Gardiner has an excellent Raphael in Gerald Finley, and gains from having extra singers for Adam and Eve, especially as the Eve, Donna Brown, brings a forthright style doubly welcome after the somewhat shrinking-violet manner and breathy tone of Sylvia McNair's Gabriel. On the whole, Gardiner is sound: yet his is a fun Creation and a real enrichment of the library. Against others of comparable kind, Gardiner stands firm as an easy first choice: a re-creator of vision, a great invigorator and life-enhancer.



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Works Details

>Haydn, Franz Joseph : Die Schöpfung (The Creation), oratorio, H. 21/2
  • Performers: Donna Brown; Gerald Finley; Rodney Gilfrey (Voice); Sylvia McNair; Michael Schade (Tenor)
  • Conductor: John Gardiner
  • Ensemble: Monteverdi Choir
  • Notes: Composition written: 1798.
  • Running Time: 92 min. 47 sec.
  • Period Time: Classical
  • Form: Cantata/Oratorio
  • Written: 1798