Helen Donath (soprano), Kurt Widmer (tenor), Adalbert Kraus (bass)
Orchester der Ludwigsburger, Süddeutsches Madrigalchor, Wolfgang Gönnenwein
CD - 4 discs
Usually despatched in 4 - 5 working days.
Joseph Haydn was not only a prolific orchestral and chamber music writer, but also a fine vocal composer who produced many songs during his extensive career. This 4CD compilation is dedicated to his two powerful choral works, or oratorios – joyous evocations of the world, which stand among the German’s final masterpieces. The four-disc set begins with The Creation, a work inspired by the gargantuan performances of Messiah and Israel in Egypt that Haydn attended at the 1791 Handel Festival.
Drawing on the Book of Genesis, Milton’s Paradise Lost and the Book of Psalms, the oratorio paints a vivid picture of a benevolent, rationally ordered universe and features some of the 18th century’s most harmonically audacious music in the ‘Representation of Chaos’. It was a hugely popular work in its day and contains many a thrilling moment – something that can also be said of The Seasons.Written in response to the phenomenal success of the former composition, this oratorio embraces an even wider range of images – from storm to stag hunt, wine harvest to songs of Praise to the Almighty.
It features a diverse array of styles, such as Viennese Singspiel, and similarly makes use of sophisticated orchestral and harmonic language. Bursting with vitality and inventive richness, The Creation and The Seasons are hugely optimistic works written by a man who was at the height of his compositional career. Here they are given assured performances by the Süddeutsches Madrigalchor and Orchester der Ludwigsburger Festspiele, one of Europe’s leading ensembles for 18th-century music.
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