Throughout this Warner Classics six disc set one remains impressed with Harnoncourt’s tightly controlled direction of his magnificent forces, employing tempi that always feel appropriate. The sound quality is of a high standard as is the interesting and informative annotation. A valuable set of Haydn sacred music that is perfect for dipping in and out.
This was, at one time, the most popular piece of music that Haydn composed. It was originally written as a series of eight slow movements (an introduction, then the seven "words") and a final "earthquake" designed to be performed in a Spanish church during Holy Week. So famous did the music become that some hack made a vocal version of the work, which Haydn felt he could do much better himself. So he created this oratorio, as well as making (or approving) arrangements for string quartet and solo piano! For the vocal version, he divided the work into two parts and added a stunning introduction to the second part for wind band alone.
Un double CD Diapason d'or à retrouver dès aujourd'hui en kiosque avec le numéro de février de Diapason.
An ideal constellation: 2009 marked Haydn's anniversary year as well as Nikolaus Harnoncourt's 80th birthday. For this occasion the maestro chose 'Il Mondo della Luna', a delicious mixture of satire, comedy and science fiction based on a popular comedy by Carlo Goldoni. Haydn's music unleashes a display of fireworks performed with irresistible energy by Harnoncourt and his ensemble. Renowned actor and director Tobias Moretti relates the story as a magical fairy tale infused with slapstick and fantasy costumes.
Nikolaus Harnoncourt präsentierte 2009 einen der spannendsten Beiträge zum Haydn-Jubiläumsjahr. Seine Neueinspielung der berühmten Jahreszeiten von Haydn mit dem Originalklangorchester Concentus Musicus Wien bietet einen liebevoll im Detail ausgemalten, kontraststarken und spannungsreichen Bilderbogen - mit wild brausenden Winterstürmen, brütender Sommerhitze, heftigem Gewitter und einem ausschweifenden Winzerfest. Das Solistenterzett mit Genia Kühmeiers mädchenhaften Sopran, dem kultivierten Tenor von Werner Güra und dem ausdruckstarken, lyrischen Bariton von Christian Gerhaher lässt keine Wünsche offen. 2010 erhielt Nikolaus Harnoncourt für diese Einspielung den Echo Klassik für die beste Chorwerk-Einspielung des Jahres.
Nikolaus Harnoncourt created an interpretation in which Haydn’s work can become a veritable gem of opera literature. Renowned actor and director Tobias Moretti relates the story as a light-footed, magical fairy tale infused with slapstick, witty details and fantasy costumes.
This delightful "dramma eroicomico" ("heroic-comic drama"–-a made-up phrase brimming with irony) tells the story of the noble knight Orlando, who goes mad being torn between duty and love, his love, Angelica, who actually wants Medoro, and Alcina, an evil sorceress out to get Orlando, and turns it into a type of farce, with great results. There is some lovely music, mostly for Angelica and Medoro, but most of it is fun and light, with characters whistling, trying to impress people with how well they sing, etc. The scoring wittily underlines their foibles.
Of the two oratorios Haydn wrote in his old age The Creation is the more dramatic and immediate while The Seasons is more idyllic. It’s also a good deal longer, which to some extent explains why The Creation is regularly performed while its country cousin is a comparatively rare visitor to the concert hall. There is no denying that the later work contains a lot of good music and has a more folksy character; Austrian folk music is never far away. It is also has a more leisurely pace with long stretches of admittedly beautiful but slow and restrained music. There are moments of drama also, for example the end of part II, Summer (CD1 tracks 16 – 18), where in the recitative the soloists build up the tension. This describes how the air changes, the sky turns black, “the muted roar from the valley that announces the furious tempest”. We hear the timpani murmuring in the distance and suddenly lightning flashes, the thunder rolls and the people (the chorus) are dismayed and frightened. Harnoncourt makes the most of this, rhythmically alert and backed up by the excellent Arnold Schönberg-Choir. Suddenly the thunderstorm is over, the sun looks out again and the soloists and the choir rejoice.
One of the greatest artists of her generation, Cecilia Bartoli is at the height of her powers. With thrilling performances of Mozart and Haydn arias, recorded live in concert, this double disc set also includes symphonic performances from Nikolaus Harnoncourt and his Concentus Musicus Wien.
Thanks to his omnivorous curiosity, conductor Nikolaus Harnoncourt has revived an authentic masterpiece. Several opera composers–Lully, Handel, and Gluck–had already availed themselves of the amorous and stormy adventures of the knight Rinaldo and the enchantress Armida, drawn from Tasso's Jerusalem Liberated. Composed in 1784, Haydn's Armida was his the final opera he wrote for his patron Prince Esterházy, but it was also the composer's debut opera seria.